I thought I’d be shopping for publishers right about now. I didn’t tell anyone apart from my close friends and some family, but my grand plan for the first year after Munchkin was born was to put together a craft book.
I thought that every day I’d wander into the studio during Munchkin’s nap time and that by the end of a year I’d have a book.
We’re ten and a half months in, and I’m not even close.
What I do have is a pile of paper cut thank you cards for beautiful presents given to Munchkin. They’re so late that I’m not even sure I should bother sending them. She’s grown out of pretty much all she was given.
My gym/ pool/ spa membership has lapsed because I didn’t have the energy to go after my husband got home from work. There’s no point paying for something I wasn’t using.
My brain was mush. I had lists for lists for lists and I’d still forget things. Repeated trips to the grocery on the same day became regular.
The house was tidy (most of the time), Munchkin was clean, fed and clothed (most of the time), my husband and I were eating well (except for dodgy takeout Friday night). But in all other things, it felt like too much effort to tie my shoelaces.
I was more exhausted post baby than when I was carrying her.
“Baby brain”, They said.
“Motherhood”, They said.
I didn’t get depressed, but I got seriously concerned.
I decided to quit the blog. Then I got a commission for a magazine. It took every ounce of energy I could muster but completed it.
Where was the driven woman I used to be? Was this motherhood? Did I just have to adjust my expectations further? How was I going to stay sane?
It became clear that if we didn’t do something I would start to resent motherhood. The festering seeds of resentment had already started to sprout in other areas. Seeing DM leave for work each morning had me wishing I was getting dressed, eating breakfast and heading to work to do something productive.
We hired a baby sitter for two afternoons a week. Each time she and Munchkin walked out the front door, I made a beeline straight into the studio. After the 2 minute pity party when Munchkin stopped getting upset she was leaving me and instead waved goodbye with a big smile, I got to work. It felt great.
But then I got so exhausted that when they left, I went to bed.
I decided to put the blog on hold for a year. But then some of you gorgeous people wrote me encouraging emails, and I decided to stick with it a bit longer.
But still I had no energy.
I got frustrated. My fuse was short.
“Depression”, They hinted.
Maybe I wasn’t mum material? Was I aiming too high? Was it possible that our hopes of my continuing a part-time creative career whilst being a mum were just not possible?
“Rubbish**”, my brain said. There had to be something more wrong. If it was depression, I’d get treatment for it.
I finally took myself off to the doctor.
All it took was some iron infused and some vitamin B supplements.
The lights turned on.
Foggy brain started clearing within hours. Energy increased in the following days. Happiness levels rocketed. Creativity returned.
I hit the studio.
Then a slight bump in the road, the babysitter found full-time work and quit. But Munchkin was accepted into the daycare centre for two half days per week and she starts mid August.
I’m looking for a new gym membership. I’m back in the studio. I’m no closer to having a book, but I have some other collaborations and fun works in progress.
I’m giving myself an A for effort and a C for execution.
I should have listened to myself a lot sooner.
‘They’ were wrong.
She’s perfect. A+
**Or some other non PG rated word