I’ve been feeling very introverted these days, and it’s so nice.
It’s kind of a reverse of the almost manic (to me) extroversion that I’ve experienced for the past few years, which in retrospect was probably related to the intense discomfort I felt as a stay-at-home mom. The lifestyle — and identity — shift was so profound that it was hard for me to feel like I knew who I was, and very hard for me to not internalize the conflicting messages about motherhood put out in our media. Without realizing it, I became unable to just sit with the discomfort or work through it (despite all the yoga! despite my testimony!) and used getting out of the house as a way to pass the time, occupy my mind without having to think about the things that were troubling me, and to avoid having to be alone with my thoughts.
That has all changed.
For much of my pregnancy with Anna I was actually really afraid of having another child. I didn’t feel like a very good mom, and I didn’t feel like I was cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. I worried that I wouldn’t be a good mom to two. And for the first eight or nine weeks of Anna’s life, that all became true. I wasn’t a very good mom of two and I felt like such a failure as a stay-at-home mom. I couldn’t keep it together anymore. I hated everything, I felt trapped, and I wanted to hide under a blanket until the kids grew up.
Thankfully, I got help (if you ever feel as desperate as I did after having a baby, go get help!). And after I did it felt like someone turned the lights on. Finally I could feel like myself again, and I realized that it had been a really, really long time since I had. (Like, probably almost two years — since my thyroid went out of whack and I was training for the ten-miler two years ago.) And since then I have been so thankful to have myself back — especially since I didn’t even realize I was gone. That’s the weirdest thing. I think my depression was subtle enough, and certainly not severe enough, for me to overlook it and think that my life was the problem, and not my outlook.
This shift in thinking is part of why I want to write again (perhaps I stopped blogging and writing because I wasn’t able to work through what I was really thinking and feeling). It’s also why I never want to leave the house anymore — in a good way. This winter has been hard in a lot of ways, but it’s a good hard, and I am taking a lot of familiar solace in being cocooned at home.
This morning Will woke up extra late (he is no longer a late riser, sadly) and we were going to be late for preschool regardless of how much we hurried. Neither of us is good at hurrying, so I asked him if he wanted to go to preschool at all today. “No thank you,” he said, “I want to stay home.”
He’s a boy after my own heart. How could I say no?