Finding Myself

It’s hard to explain, but the past few days I feel as if I’m coming out of a fog.  I feel like these ten weeks have been a blur of changing diapers, feeding schedules, lost sleep, and soothing cries.  I’ve loved every minute of it, don’t get me wrong, but during these weeks, I realize that I sort of let go of myself.

I’m okay with that too because I think in the beginning, especially since I’m new at this, it should be all about the baby.  The thing is – I didn’t even know I was doing it.  Somehow I didn’t mind not taking a shower for three days in a row (my husband may have minded, however).  It didn’t bother me that I had no idea what day it was or even what time.  All that mattered was that I was taking care of our little one.

But that started to change a week or so ago.  It suddenly occurred to me that I’d been completely out of touch with the outside world.  I mean completely.  I didn’t know what my friends were up to, I had no idea what was going on in the news, and what’s more – I didn’t care.

I think the recent visit by my mother really helped change my perspective.  It had been eight weeks since Henry was born so we began taking the baby out in public, which meant that I had to be presentable too.  It’s one thing to spend time dressing up your little one so that he looks cute, it’s another thing trying to find something to wear when all you have is maternity clothes that no longer fit.  After weeks of not caring, I looked in the mirror and thought, “who is that”?

This line of thinking continued as almost every day that my mom was here we did something: ran to the super market, visited a children’s book store, we even made it to Sephora to buy make-up for ourselves!  All of this running around with baby in tow reminded me that life does continue.  I can still run errands and I can still function outside of my house even with a baby.  Yes, it takes some extra time and work to get both of us ready, but I can do it.

Suddenly my days feel different.  I make more of an effort to get ready so that I’m presentable or at the very least, clean.  I try to get out of the house and I don’t mind bringing Henry with me (as opposed to leaving him home with his dad).  I’m suddenly craving contact with my friends and I’m even reading blogs again.

I feel like I’ve found myself.  Not that I was lost, I had just put my own needs aside for a while.  But now I realize that I can, and need to, do both – be a mom and be myself.  I owe it to me and I owe it to my family.

Plus it just feels good.

How did you feel after having your child/children?

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Sandy - April 18, 2010 - 10:11 pm

Yes, all new mothers, or I should say I think most new mothers feel this way. I know I did at first and I saw my daughter do it at first. Because you are all consumed by a little one. Your world becomes centered around him. Especially when it’s your first. I know how wonderful it is to have a newborn. And I saw in my daughter that bless her heart, she wanted a shower, but the baby barely gave her time to do so or brush her teeth or her hair or have dinner ready for her husband. That’s good that your moma came and helped you for a bit. Yes, it is OK and it is good to take care of you Too!! Remember that this time will pass so quickly so enjoy it ever bit of it. My daughter went to Paris and is stuck there because of the volcano eruption in Iceland. I have been taking care of her little boy along with his other Grandmother. You will find you will have time for yourself more and more. So enjoy. You will be taking him everywhere before you know it!! You will even go out on a date with your hubby now and then. :-) It took her a while to feel herself again. Part of the hormonal changes too. And then one day you have menopause to look forward to! UGH hee hee

Genevieve - April 19, 2010 - 4:45 am

PLAYDATE!!!!

Kristy - April 19, 2010 - 4:56 am

It does take a little extra effort to get yourself together, but it is such a lovely thing to feel clean and prepared for the day. With the girls, I would shower during the morning nap time, letting me sleep as late as possible with those up at night babies. As time went on, I started getting up before them. Then came Nate. My only chance at a shower is now quite early in the morning, but that’s how I’ve started my day every day since the day he was born.

I have been blessed in motherhood. I don’t think many mothers I have spoken to have felt as good as I did bringing home that first baby. Perhaps it was the very long wait we had or that I’d taught kids with special needs, so I was a bit more accustomed to care taking. I never took a hiatus on public life either (just how I chose to do things), so I was out three days after my first was born. I felt that I needed that, and I do think it helped me stay sane–the sunshine and being around other people while I was on maternity leave.

I wish you and baby Henry all the best! Enjoy your new-found freedom.
.-= Kristy´s last blog ..Evacuation Survival =-.

the domestic fringe - April 19, 2010 - 8:06 am

This was a great post! I know that anyone who has had a child can relate. I was very much the same way with my first. I think every memory of me is in my pj’s those first weeks. It was hard to just take a shower. I would actually pull the bassinet into the bathroom with me. Thank God we had a big bathroom!! :-) Everything was so new and it took me a little while to adjust.

Glad you’re finding a balance in life with a baby. It’s a process.
-FringeGirl

Joke - April 19, 2010 - 8:29 am

Tabitha, I’m not a parent, but I wanted to say that not showering for three days in a row is something a lot of people do in Europe without their husbands, wives or the other important people in their lives minding.
So don’t beat yourself up for that!
I wish you and your sweet little family all the best!

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com - April 19, 2010 - 8:33 am

I felt the same way at first. It took me about five weeks to feel comfortable getting out of the house. Even now, at nine months, I have no qualms about going out and about, but it’s still alot of work, so it’s very easy to just, well, NOT.

But Charlotte loves it, so we do =)
.-= Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com´s last blog ..A post about organic mush. =-.

Meg - April 19, 2010 - 8:39 am

While I haven’t yet been in your shoes (but I soon will be — in about eight weeks!), I can definitely understand how easy it would (will) be to get so wrapped up in the newness of caring for an infant and becoming a parent that everything else falls by the wayside for a while. After all, there’s little else that’s so life altering. And I also think it’s natural that after a while, you have the chance to sort of look up again and re-engage with the world around you. It sounds like you’re adjusting to your new role and new life really well. I’m so happy for you and the CPA! And Henry is a lucky boy to have such great, loving parents.

Mindee@ourfrontdoor - April 19, 2010 - 11:36 am

Yep, it’s good for both of you. Exposing Henry to new sights, sounds, smells and faces will help his development and personality. And getting clean and getting out will help your mood and outlook.

Also, never ever underestimate how much husbands appreciate coming home to a pretty wife. :)
.-= Mindee@ourfrontdoor´s last blog ..Sigh =-.

Adriana - April 19, 2010 - 12:31 pm

My best friend had a baby in January and went through that same problem. And now she is a pro at getting ready and going out with baby Abby!
I can’t wait until Tracy is out an’ about with Drew…

Jen - April 19, 2010 - 1:36 pm

Ah Spring- the perfect time for you & Henry to explore! I love Joke’s comment… and will confirm it’s not just Europe where that happens on a lazy long weekend :)
.-= Jen´s last blog ..Start crazy, end Traditional =-.

Courtney - April 19, 2010 - 9:23 pm

Heya! Long time lurker…

Reading this post really helped me out today – I’m 22 weeks pregnant and it’s been… not exactly the easiest. Just tired all the time, backaches, etc (you know, what everyone else has too!) Reading this post gave me a little burst, because it’s great to know that life goes back to (a new?) normal at some point.

I’m excited for my little one to get here and to take him out in the world. Glad to know at some point, new moms *want* to.

Megan (Best of Fates) - April 20, 2010 - 10:57 am

It sounds like such an exciting time – and all I ever need to feel better is some new make-up!

Carolina Baker - May 4, 2010 - 5:27 am

I like this post a lot. I think its okay for this to happen especially with events as big as birthing a child. But the best part is opening up to the possibilities that you really can do it all – be there for your child and still take the time to post, read, and look cute for your hubby and family. :)

I honestly believe that as women, we are all very strong and great at multi-tasking. It’s just about time management and getting used to different facets of your life.

Also, when it deals when sacrificing ourselves for love and for something that makes us better as a person, its worth losing yourself and at the same time making the effort to refind yourself.

I’m happy that you’re back!
.-= Carolina Baker´s last blog .. =-.

admin - May 13, 2010 - 7:15 am

Jen – I loved JOke’s comment too, that made me laugh. Perhaps I should move to Europe where it’s the norm not to shower every day? :)

And thanks for the sweet comments. It’s good to be back.

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