It’s so easy to get sucked into the posts of mama’s bouncing back. Of the cute houses, the perfectly photographed meals, the flat tummies. It’s easy to get sucked into “well I should pack more into my day.” I’m not really complaining about anything, but more so saying that sometimes we just need to relax a little bit about the whole ‘having it together’ notion.
I don’t have it together, but in some ways I feel like I have it more together then I’ve had it before. Maybe it’s been sparked by the realisation that I do need my faith at the core of my life, or the fact that I acknowledge that seeing a counselor again is a fabulous thing, or a quiet embrace that I can’t be busy ALL the time.
I spend my days fluctuating between meeting up with people, going on walks in expensive wraps, sitting on the floor with my daughter as she works on her coordination by grasping my jacket zipper and staring at it. Doing loads of laundry, putting away the clean ones that have been sitting in the basket for three days and attempting to remember to pull something out of the freezer for dinner.
I remember the first four weeks after Ainslise was born, well actually I don’t really, but I was consumed with trying to bounce back. I wanted to shed the weight, I wanted to have my house spotless. I wanted to just be where I was before. OH MY, the first thing I did when I walked through the door after coming home from hospital…clean the fridge out. What the hell? I was nuts. I was consumed with resuming some sort of pre-baby notion and had NO idea where I fit as a mom into the routine I thought I was supposed to me in.
That is insane.
I wish I would have taken every.single.offer for help. That I would have graciously said YES to offers of: floor sweeping, baby holding, laundry washing, kitchen cleaning. I wish I would have just sat back and stopped the internal obsession of trying to shift weight within the first four weeks (I mean started the insanity way too early). I think it has really hit home for me about the intense pressure some women are under both internally and externally to be something other than what nature really calls for us to do after coming out of the exhaustion of the first couple of months and realising that I needed to be present. I need to be a mother.
We are meant to bond, chill out, release the burdens of perfection and just be a mother. (I know that some people do not have this luxury for a host of reasons) but I truly mean this. It means that as other mama’s, who are out of this time period, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and come in. Flock new mamas with encouragement and love and support and floor sweeping. It’s a new mama’s job to open the door to what feels like chaos and be gracious.
I’m grateful that I’ve found a tribe of mama’s who get this. But as I look back into the cloudiness of it all, I really wish I hadn’t put so much emphasis on trying to keep it together. It only hurt me in the end and really did no service for my mental space.
So go make yourself a cuppa tea while the baby sleeps, or take a nap…the dishes will be done when you have time. Relish in these moments of mamahood, even if just for a minute. Cut yourself some slack and know that you don’t have to have it all together, all the time.