A few weeks before Cameron was born, I read an article in The Daily Beast entitled, “Why Are America’s Postpartum Practices So Rough On New Mothers?” It discusses how our modern culture is so focused on a mother’s quick recovery after giving birth, in contrast to hundreds of years ago when family and other female “attendants” would keep up the home and care for the postpartum mother as she recovered physically. This practice of a “lying in” period remains in many cultures, but has mostly fallen by the wayside in the U.S. Many women go at it alone, or with limited help and support from their partner or family. The article points out the pressure put on mothers to be “Facebook ready” in just a number of days. It’s no wonder, too, that women feel a need to get back on their feet straight away, given how most American parents are eligible for only a short amount of time off work. There’s not really time to sit on the couch for long.
The piece really resonated with me. It made me realize that my mindset has been to recover as fast as possible, but mostly because I don’t do that well sitting around for long. I get antsy. It was really interesting, though, to think about our priorities these days. What are we trying to prove?
This being my second child, I assumed I knew what I was in for with the recovery. But due to a small complication with the birth, my recovery was much more challenging this time around. Two weeks in and I still couldn’t get around very well. (It really made me wonder how women who have C-sections do it. My hats off to you ladies!) Dan was thankfully off of work for a week and a half (yep, a whole 10 days), but he day he went back, I cried. My mom was due to arrive that evening, but the prospect of a whole day alone with a baby and a toddler seemed insurmountable.
Thankfully, my mom was here for almost two weeks to lift heavy objects, cook and clean, and entertain my wild Willa. Not to mention provide hugs and support when my emotions got the best of me. This week, we’ve had more family in town for Thanksgiving. But next week, it’ll be just me. And managing two kids day in and day out by myself still feels quite daunting.
I know I’ll get it figured out. I have most of my energy back. I’m focusing on the good, and lowering my expectations for what needs doing in a day. I’m just thankful to have two beautiful children, a fantastic husband and teammate, wonderful family to call on whenever I need them, and amazing friends who listen to me whine and are always up for a playdate.
Let’s end this post with this fantastic picture my mom captured of our family. Willa’s just as wild and crazy as she looks, but gosh, I love her so.