Hang in there with me. These days are hard, like really hard. We work tirelessly every day to raise our four kids under five. Yep, we’re those crazy people with kids who outnumber us and most of them don’t wipe their own butts. Basically, it’s chaos up in here, and it’s hard.
I know my hair is a mess; the state of the house isn’t much better. Sometimes I haven’t showered in three days and don’t get me started on the last time the house was vacuumed. I walk barefoot and cringe, then put shoes on so I can ignore the floors for one more day.
Most of the time I’m grumpy because young kids require a lot. A lot of attention, a lot of direction, and a lot of hand-holding (despite our best efforts to help them learn to do for themselves). Not to mention they make huge messes.
I’m hormonal, resentful, and burnt out, and experiencing some bout of depression. Most days I don’t like you (I don’t think I like anyone).
And yet, despite being angry one minute and fine the next, I need you more than ever. My harsh words are simultaneously meant to sting you and act as a cry for help.
It’s this stage of life with little ones where no matter how hard I try to look presentable, get out the door on time, or keep everyone’s schedules straight, I somehow manage to feel like I’ve dropped the ball on something. These moments are all part of my reality.
I can’t think about leaving the house without thinking about where I’ll go to pump milk while we’re out. Date nights are a distant memory and that sexy dress you used to love? I’m probably never fitting in that again. Most days I don’t even want to leave the house.
These days, I choose sleep over date night. I choose a “night in” over a fun time with friends. I obsess over feeding schedules. I constantly Google my fears. I cry over the crib. I’m mourning the loss of my old life and trying to figure out this new one. This new beautiful chaos that we created together.
I’m fearful that I’ll never get back to my old life, let alone my old body. I often don’t feel myself. While I’m physically feeding this new human (who happens to be hungry every three hours), I’m battling these hormones that have me gazing at our new baby in wonderment one minute and crumbling to pieces the next.
I long to reconnect with you again, my dear husband. I long to put that stellar dress and heels back on. But I mean leaky breasts are probably the least sexy thing, am I right?
I don’t feel like the old me and that’s scary, but I know there is hope that things will get better. As it gets better it will be different. We’re evolving together as a unit that created another new life. I’ve recognized that our old life might be a thing of the past. Right now, I may not feel like me, but I’m trying to remember that these feelings are not forever.
I just ask that you love me until I’m “me” again. Don’t stop pursuing me.
The late nights up with a newborn won’t be forever. The hormones will resettle, and I won’t be so weepy all the time. My breastfeeding journey will eventually come to an end. Our children will grow, become more self-sufficient, and eventually need us less and less. I know I will start to feel like a whole person again. I may even feel like exercising again. Who knows, I may even get back into the amazing dress and heels that I used to wear on date night!
Just hang in there with me. Hug me when I’m crying for no reason. Bring water while I’m breastfeeding. Tell me I’m beautiful as I am (even with my new flabby stomach). Love me through my postpartum phase of mourning and the depression when it rears its ugly head. Love me through it all because that’s why we fell in love in the first place. I wouldn’t want to do life with anyone else except you.
Love me until I’m me again, because even if I don’t feel it now or show it right now, I’m still in there.
Your postpartum wife
Originally published on Danielle Rivenbark