23 February 2012
It's not a contest
Mere days before my first became my firstborn, the church organist sought to encourage me by telling me that, decades ago, she delivered her baby and showed up to play the Christmas Eve service the next night. This did encourage me. I stood up for my baby's baptism at church four days after her birth, and have never stopped wondering what could possibly have made me think I needed to do that.
Some of us bounce back faster than others, and that's great for them and their families. I bounce faster than I used to, but I've still never come close to winning the Bounce Back-Off. The reasons don't matter; what matters is knowing that after I've had a baby, I don't owe anybody but my baby anything. I really do have to get better. Nothing drives home the counterproductivity of pushing it and consequently costing the family more time and energy in momcare.
I do not have to entertain visitors, go to the store, go to church, clean behind the toilet, or carry around any sized person my health care provider has advised me against carrying around no matter how much that person (or anyone else) whines. I do not have to feel as good as my friend/sister/great aunt/gerbil/internet pseudo-acquaintance did three hours/weeks/months after her baby was born. It is lonely, sad, embarrassing, boring, and frustrating, and the house is a mess and everyone eats junk and the girls' hair looks like wrens' nests and these things make me feel even more terrible. But it's not a contest. Feed the baby and get better.