This stage has by far been the hardest one to transition into. I feel like i did in the very beginning of motherhood, like it was all happening at once and i didn’t really know what was going on or what to do.
The beginning was easier than this. In the beginning it was all brand new and having a 7lb baby is scary in theory but motherhood came so easily to me. I spent hours snuggling my newborn baby, trying to soak every second in. I don’t know if i ever changed a diaper until we brought Olive home from the hospital. I only knew as much about breastfeeding as i had learned from an hour long meeting with my doula and from what the nurses taught me in passing after Olive was born.
Everything came & went. If I’m being honest I spent a huge portion of the beginning googling things but we made it. I don’t think my postpartum anxiety & depression had anything to do with Olive and adjusting to the day to day of motherhood.
Now I feel like life is just a shit show most of the time. I’m that mom who’s house is messy somewhere because we can only keep one room clean at a time. You will never come to my house and see a clean sink without dishes. We probably have trash that needs to be taken out and laundry that’s either on the floor needing to be washed or in a basket needing to be put away.
At almost 17 months old Olive is still extremely dependent on me. I have always considered her high needs but I know that it was all my own doing. Lately she’s been experiencing some really really really bad separation anxiety. Maybe that’s because I haven’t left her with anyone else other than my husband. I’ve gone out probably no more than 10 times without her. And 80% of those times she was asleep.
My postpartum anxiety has lifted a little. I feel like it’s just caused my generalized anxiety to go through the roof. I have a hard time keeping up with friendships and conversations. When I do see people i usually spend the next few hours discecting the conversation and thinking about how fucking stupid i must have sounded. It’s so hard for me to keep up with life outside of my bubble, I feel like my brain doesn’t work anymore and it’s constantly running a mile a minute.
I feel like a horrible friend all the time, I’m doing my best to check up on people and engage more but i know I’m failing.
This season of motherhood has taken such a huge toll on me. I’m not usually one to break down and cry but now I have moments everyday where I feel like I could collapse into tears. Some nights at 3am when I am at my most vulnerable just begging Olive to sleep I cry as silently as I can. I feel most days like this is my rock bottom. In all the moments I am alone I just feel empty. In all the moments Olive is awake I feel so much life, she is pure joy and happiness.
I have never experienced so much wonderful chaos in all my life. She keeps me on my toes 24/7, she makes my sweat my ass off just putting her into a car seat. She encourages me to leave the house on days I don’t want to and to let go of so many anxieties I hold onto.
She has taught me so much about myself that I didn’t know I needed to learn. She has taught me patience, she has taught me that having a schedule is so freaking good until it’s not. She’s taught me how to go with the flow, how to have fun when there’s nothing fun around, how to have a good time with a spoon in a room full of toys.
I have loved watching her grow and learn and play.
For every hard moment there has been 100 amazing ones that have come so easily. I do my best everyday to savour the good moments like I did in the very beginning. It’s so easy to focus on the bad. But i’m constantly reminding myself that just because today was a bad day doesn’t make it a bad life.
This is the best life I could have envisioned. A life I didn’t know I wanted or needed.
I might not be my best self everyday, I might feel like I’m failing more than I am winning but that’s just this stage. I know these stages come and go so fast and things will one day get better. One day i’ll miss this version of Ollie.
If you’ve made it this far thanks for reading & being here.
- J xx