Who would have thought it possible? It is blowing my mind a little this week. This week has seen Rob's return to work and Grace's return to school so it feels like we are coming out of a introspective family/newborn time and re-entering the world at large. Except now there are TWO tiny creatures in our house and when Rob is at work they OUTNUMBER ME. I will be honest and admit that this week has been kicking my butt a bit. Probably the most challenging bit has been getting us all out the door when that is required, and getting Grace to preschool was the most prominent example from this week. One of the main reasons we signed Grace up for Mothers' Day Out/preschool/I-never-know-what-to-call-it was to give me some time alone with the new baby this spring, but I did not foresee just getting her there to be such a challenge. The time when Grace is there is great, of course; it is quiet and I get to gaze into Violet's dark eyes and eat a bit more regularly and sleep. Getting all three of us breakfasted and dressed and out the door on time is just much more difficult than I thought it would be. It's only the first week and will get easier, right?
Some of my parenting/breastfeeding/baby books talk about how other cultures treat the newborn days, and apparently there are a lot of traditional cultures where the first 40 days are set apart as a special, separate time for the new mom and baby. There is much "mothering the mother" and the mama's regular responsibilities taken over by other women in the community and the new mama/baby couple living somewhat secluded away from the regular life of the community. I feel pretty lucky to have gotten 2 weeks with help at home, and we are also really grateful for people bringing us some meals, but this week of reemergence into the real world has made me think longingly about postpartum life in one of those traditional cultures. Six whole weeks... On the other hand, I would miss Tivo and indoor plumbing and the internet. Can't have it all, can we?
Getting out and about more has made me keenly aware of my clothing situation (SO FEW clothes that fit...) and thus the general state of my physique. My attitude toward eating vacillates from wanting to eat nothing but vegetables and legumes and whole grains when I contemplate all the clothes that don't fit and/or how I look in the mirror to wanting to eat something with CALORIES PLEASE GIVE ME FOOD when I get struck by that intense breastfeeding hunger after not having enough time to eat well all day. Every time I see a health care professional from my midwife to Violet's pediatrician they tell me to eat enough and drink enough and not worry about losing the baby weight right now, and I'm trying to follow that advice for now. I know the weight came off with Grace and not-quite-3-weeks-postpartum is not the time to worry about this. I'm also trying to hold off on buying any clothes. I pulled the trigger way too early on that with Grace and ended up with jeans in a huge depressing size that fit for less than a month. So it's time for some patience and a moratorium on clothing purchases, which leaves me wearing... what? I haven't quite figured that out yet.