I promise this post is not all dismal, I do have a point to make somewhere in the future. However I am going to begin by telling you that for me the feeling of worthlessness came hand in hand with motherhood.Having had a full time job since graduation, I had either been working or looking for work. I always had ‘something to do with my life’. I was always a weighty stone sinking to the river bed immediately and finding my place and growing some moss. Even though I switched many jobs in life I had never been idle before my little one came along. But you know how they say: ‘Never say never’.
But here I was. Raging postpartum hormones, an extremely misshapen figure (or none at all), a C-section scar, a new baby asking to be fed in 45 minute stretches every 15 minutes, all of which combined to make me feel like crap. Oh and did I mention dear husband lost a ton of weight while I was pregnant. So much for ‘sympathy weight gain’, this guy was in competition with Mr. Universe contestants with his 6 foot 2 inch frame–he looked, what’s the exact word I’m looking for—yes, ‘lithe’. Whereas I was eating an average country’s GDP worth in food. So, my friends, excuse me for the low self esteem, for some its part of the package.
I was eating three to four large chapattis everyday with some sort of salan PER MEAL if you may ask. And I was STILL hungry. By the time the meal reached me, my hands would be shaking. I feel the need to pause here and explain this voraciousness. Imagine the mouth of a large cave that exists within a massive mountain. This is a cave many have tried to explore but no one has returned alive. There are roars emanating from the cave and if the cave is not fed a few animals once every few hours, it results in deafening roars that sound like the coming on of an earthquake. In order to prevent that earthquake, some poor innocent cattle need to be sacrificed at the mouth of this dark wide cave. This is the closest analogy I have for the hunger I felt. At times I was so hungry I could hear squeaky whistling sounds in one ear. At other times, I would see the world jiggling (mind you not shaking but jiggling) in front of me. To this day I have not understood what I went through there and whether it was normal and only breastfeeding could have brought it on. It was an out-of-body experience if I ever had one.
So far we have nailed two issues: low self esteem and raging hunger. Add to the mix: boredom. With life around you bustling as usual, you get the feeling that you are stuck in a time warp. Where everyone is busy around you, making money and having lucrative careers, bringing food to the table. Whereas you are stuck in place, and the only productive thing you do all day is lactate. Even if you minus the hormones etc, that fact alone can depress you to tears. So I started watching Downtown Abbey while the baby napped (his naps were much sounder and longer back them). I am so grateful for that show. But the fabulous figures of the svelte women on the show tore me apart inwardly. Would I EVER lose this bulging tummy, at the rate I was wolfing down food. I wanted time to pass at the same pace as it did for me earlier. Besides, the heat was really coming on and the power failures did much to exacerbate the existing situation.
I am grateful for all the facilities I am endowed with and for the fact that it is infinitely easier for me to raise my little one than it is for most people. I lost sight of this fact back then. Even though I loathed summer and the accompanying heat wave, I have to be grateful for the fact that my baby is born in March and his crucial early months don’t come about in the winter when infections abound and parents have to make frantic doctors visits fearing the worst. As hot as it is, it is way better than having to bundle up the baby and having to worry about colds, coughs, flues ad fever- it’s really not fun.
In conclusion, there will be a day in your new-mommy days when you are in a sorry state, with peach fuzz all over your arms and face, when you hair is oily and matted and you may be smelling of spit-up. On that day, your husband will get up in the morning and without changing your little one’s diaper go take grab a quick breakfast, have a smoke, and go for a shave and shower-looking fresh and clean. He will then proceed to pick up his laptop and go to work. I know it’s easier said than done, but please don’t loathe him for it. It’s not about him. And it’s not about you. It’s just that you are in that place in life and it’s a phase. It will pass. I have lost count of the days when I would give anything to put on eyeliner and heels and go attend a meeting and share my ideas and opinions with a bunch of adults and talk intelligent. I would give anything. And I also know all too well that when I had all that I would have given anything to be a mother and somewhat yearned for the life I have now. It’s a matter of greener grass, is all. And no, you won’t have perspective when you are in either situation simply because it’s not easy. So give yourself a break. Don’t beat yourself up, and don’t beat up that husband of yours. Your babies will do just fine. Read a book, watch a movie and go meet some friends if you feel the need. Remember, it’s not about you. You are not a loser and you are certainly not a failure. You are a new mother learning the ropes. Everyone’s situation is different
don’t compare your weight gain or loss with anyone. Everyone has different body types and hormones.
This hunger, loathsome feeling, boredom and restlessness is temporary. It will pass and you will come out better and stronger. You are a fantastic mom who is giving it your very best shot. Remember, you come first. Love yourself. Everything else will fall in line.