Category Archives: Rants

The Mummy Effect

I felt really good the first 5 or 6 weeks after Will was born. Okay, I was exhausted,  but I felt good about myself and about the way I looked.

I still had the lustrous hair and clear skin from pregnancy. My tummy – while certainly not flat – lost it’s pregnant look a lot sooner than I expected. I recovered remarkably quickly from the c-section and the pain I’d been experiencing from months of pelvic instability disappeared almost instantly. I was able to fit into my cargo pants and the most forgiving of my many pairs of jeans. I had more energy each day.

But then things changed – or rather they stopped changing. My weight loss bottomed out; my energy levels plateaud. Breastfeeding and carrying a baby wreaked havoc with my posture.

Worse still as we approached the three-month mark my hair and skin became greasy and dull. I started getting spots again (for a long time the bane of my adult life – why should I be forced to endure wrinkles and pimples simultaneously?); my hair required frequent washing and it always looked either greasy or frizzy – the silken look and feel was gone. My hair started falling out like it was abandoning a sinking ship.

All this has led to me feeling out-of-place in my own skin. I open the wardrobe and have to sift through clothing I can’t fit into; I walk around the house feeling my moulting hair tickling my back like little insects crawling on my skin; my joints ache and creak.

I feel frumpy.

The Mummy Effect isn’t just physical; my mind is susceptible too. I spend all day loving my son; he is in my every thought. I am primarily a mother, and at the end of the day I find it difficult to take my mother hat off and remember that I am also a wife, a woman, an individual.

As you can imagine, this all leaves me feeling less than sexy, and as my husband recently pointed out, our relationship is suffering.

The solution? Probably only time will truly remedy the situation, but there are a few things we can do in the meantime. I have a haircut booked for next week. H is going to make an effort to do things that will make me feel good about myself. I will stand up tall and put my shoulders back – it’s amazing what good posture can do to minimise a tummy!

I may not ever be able to entirely wash away the layers of baby vomit and drool, but I’ve always thought that confidence is  based on feelings and thoughts rather than looks, so that seems a good place to start.

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Idle Hands

Today I am not at my best.

I’m feeling pretty frustrated. I also feel completely useless. I know that I should be making the most of the opportunity to sleep in, watch movies, and read books – these activities will go out the window once Bert makes his appearance. The truth is, I’m more than a little bored of sitting on the couch all day. I do have a list of jobs I want to get done before the birth, and I am slowly getting them done, but I’m frustrated that my body won’t allow me to do the jobs that feel the most pressing, like getting the carpets steam cleaned, or moving our furniture into the current spare room so that we can set up Bert’s nursery. I’m totally dependent on H for these activities and he doesn’t seem to have the same motivation to get them done; he’s also working night shift at the moment which makes getting anything done around the house pretty much impossible. I don’t even like to use the washing machine in case it wakes him.

I’d like to spend this waiting period doing more enjoyable things that I will soon be missing out on… long leisurely walks, day trips out to exercise my much-neglected camera, visiting museums or galleries, evenings out with my friends. But a quick trip to the supermarket leaves me exhausted and in pain. Before I put the first item in the trolley I wish I was at home again.

I haven’t left the house in… five days? Maybe longer.

I feel like instead of spending this precious time anticipating the baby’s arrival and actually making some use of my relative freedom, I’m sitting at home counting the minutes. I feel like the baby’s arrival is eons away, but at the same time I don’t see how I can possibly achieve everything I want to before he arrives. There is only so much you can do with a couch, a laptop, and a mobile phone.

I feel incredibly lucky to be past the 37 week mark, to know that in the matter of a few short weeks I will meet my child. But in the meantime… ohhh I’m so bored!!

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