Thursday, September 22, 2011

Newsflash: I'm not Superwoman.

"I was always hearing talk about golden mystical baby things and precious time,” she recalls. “And I was like, ‘Who are you talking to?!?’ If you could see me naked, you would weep. Children are like crazy, drunken small people in your house.” ~ Julie Bowen, star of Modern Family, on her pregnancy.

I bet I'm not the only mom that can totally relate to this quote! Don't get me wrong, pregnancy is an amazing thing, and definitely worth it, but honey, it ain't no picnic! And while children are beautiful, wonderful, incredible little miracles, they do wreak havoc on your life, your house, your sleep, your schedule, your everything! It's really refreshing to hear people tell it like it is.

I try to take it with a grain of salt, but when I read an article about how Jessica Alba got her pre-baby body back in two weeks, or hear Giselle Bundchen talk about how childbirth “wasn’t painful, not even a little bit,” I can't help but have two simultaneous reactions: mostly smug eye-rolling, with a dash of motherly guilt. I start with the thought of, "of course it's easy to get your baby body back when you have a nanny, personal trainer, and a chef to prepare all of your meals" (though, to be fair, I have no idea about the status of Jessica Alba's household help). But there's a little voice that sneaks into the back of my mind that says, "You could try harder. You could exercise, eat better, keep the house cleaner, be more mellow."

We had a bit of a scare with preterm labor this week. I started having contractions that were 2-3 minutes apart, and ended up in the hospital on Monday night. Thankfully, with the help of doctor-ordered temporary bed rest, all seems to be well now. I won't lie and say that it's been a horrible experience, lounging on the couch and taking mid-day naps. But is has been hard being home all day, faced with everything that I want to do. The floors need to be swept and mopped. The bathrooms need to be cleaned. There are areas of clutter that are awaiting organization. I make the mental list of chores while sitting in front of the TV eating a bowl of ice cream, and the voice in the back of my mind comes back. "You could try harder. You could exercise, eat better, keep the house cleaner, be more mellow."

I think I'm going to listen to that voice... but only the last part. I could be more mellow. I could come to terms with the realization that I can't move at the same pace that I once did. I will spend more time at my desk when I return to work, and less time running around the halls. I will ask for favors. I will not try to tackle everything myself. I will take my amazing husband up on his countless offers to do whatever it is that I need. I will mellow out for my sake, the baby's sake, and the sake of my family. I will listen to my body and slow down. I will take care of myself. I won't feel guilty about it.

(And, because every blog post needs a picture, here's a recent belly shot. Sorry baby brother, we're not going all out on the maternity photos this time like we did with Ethan. I won't feel guilty about that, either.)

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