I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. I don’t know yet if I’m headed down the PPD path or if there is another entirely logical for the way I’m feeling.
I often find January depressing. Whether it’s the weather – cold, snowy winter has arrived in all its gloomy dampness, making it hard to get out and about (too cold for LM) – or the short days (lack of sunlight contributing to my sudden SADness), or Christmas being over for another year. We finally got our decorations packed up and all the leftover goodies put away. But looking at the houses up the street with their lights still on only serves as a reminder that the holidays have run their course.
I love Christmastime – the music, the movies, the decorations, the food, the act of giving to others and partying it up with friends and loved ones. Despite the anxiety (#ref Looking back) I can still centre on the joy. I enjoyed MD’s Christmas so much – but she was older, and things went at a little slower pace. She could open her own presents (with some help) and have some Christmas dinner. I was done breastfeeding so a bit of wine didn’t hurt either. This year, however, the whole season seemed to go by at light speed. With two, one of which was eating and napping at frequent and unpredictable intervals, and me being tired from middle of the night wakings, I didn’t stop long enough to soak it up. I seem to have trouble letting go of all the things I didn’t get to do, rather than what I did.
Maybe its because I’ve been surrounded by people for the last two weeks and haven’t had time to myself – except for the four minutes I’m in the shower or on the shitter – to decompress and recharge.
Maybe its because I’ve been stuck inside with an almost five month old and almost five year old for the last three days. Even if the weather is nice, MD is too old for a stroller but can’t keep up with me walking.
I’m stressed about my lack of activity, and how I’m ever going to get the next thirty pounds off, and OMG I don’t want to go near a scale after everything I ate over the holidays, and how am I ever going to work up the energy to work out when I’m so tired.
Maybe I’m going through sugar withdrawal. I’ve been trying to eat better the last few days and my body is like why are you starving me! (even though its far from starving).
Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation finally catching up with me. Why is it that I seem to need more sleep than my children? Will I ever sleep again?
Whatever the reason for this funk, I feel like being a Mom has stopped being fun. For the moment. I keep telling myself it will get better, and every time MD walks into the room I am reminded and reassured of that truth. LM is at a wired age – not quite ready for solids, no longer content to lay on a blanket on the floor and look around but not yet crawling, still needing naps about every two hours. I’m the kind of person who craves structure to feel like I’m functioning normally, but with LM, while having a semblance of a routine, we still lack enough structure in my day for me to feel satisfied and productive. Just a few more months I tell myself, just a few more months, he’ll meet these developmental milestones and all will be well for another while.
Then the guilt kicks in. Guilt for wishing my life away. Guilt for not keeping our daughter home from day care at least part time. Guilt because I’m tired of breastfeeding (tired of him biting the boob that feeds him, but determined to meet my 6-month goal. What about the cost to my wellbeing . . .?). Guilt for just wanting our lives to go back to normal (even if it is a “new” normal). Guilt for being so selfish. Guilt for not appreciating my beautiful, funny, healthy children, when so many struggle to have children or have had to stay goodbye too soon. Guilt, and anxiety, because the closer he gets to that “fun”stage the closer I get to going back to work. And now I know that I can never get this time back. This time that I wish I could pull a Stephane Dion and “do over” with MD. MD who in six weeks will be five years old. I well up as I think and type this, the thought of that number five on her cake, of registering her for grade primary in a few weeks. Sad that my little girl has grown up before my eyes. Sad that I feel as if I’ve wasted so much of her childhood wishing myself forward to the next stage, fighting the stages that were hard, trying to figure out how the heck to be a mom, forgetting to live in the moment, until we’re suddenly at now and time is going too fast and I wish I was in that episode of Stargate where Major Carter slows down time so the human-form replicators can’t get off that planet. I know someday they won’t need me any more. I don’t want them to wonder where I was when they did.
Maybe it is all of those things. Plus one more – maybe I’m going to get my period back next month. I remember feeling similar with MD just before that landmark, but that time I was angry. So angry I couldn’t stand to be in the same room with my family. I had no idea that the first post partum period was accompanied with this wave of emotion. It’s a little easier to deal with when you know what to expect.
Maybe I just need to write it all down. If only I could get the hour or so to put it all together in this post. I need to write. I need to cry. But I’m afraid if I start either or both I won’t be able to stop. But I have to be able to stop, to put a cap on it at least temporarily. Because my kids need their mom.