Pretty big disconnect

01/11/2010 at 8:55 am | Posted in Belly to Butterfly | 2 Comments
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(This is part of the Belly to Butterfly series, written by my sis Laura.)

To say that I haven’t felt like myself since having O is an understatement. I was a moody person to start with but it’s gone to new levels with momhood.

As an introvert I can spend all day around people and be fine as wine, but come evening, I’m ready for some solo time. It’s taken me a while to know this about myself. Since learning this truth, I’m better able to say “Yep, it’s that time where I’ve spread myself too thin for the benefit of others and need to draw in my bridge for a while.”

Before O, when I’d reach this state I’d grab a glass of wine, a chick flick, some chocolate and nail polish and recharge my battery. Now, when she finally goes down at night, I’m too tired to do much besides watch a little “Modern Family” and hit the sack at 9:30.

The person who is probably most affected by this is my husband. Those early days of parenthood set us off on conflicting paths. He’s stoked to leave work and get home to his family, while on the other hand, by the time he gets home I’m spent and want to have him take O for a two-hour walk around the neighborhood and leave me in peace.

He’s been kind and sensitive enough to realize this and does his best to take over parenting until me and the girls are needed.

I’m a big believer in communication (lucky C!), so we’ve spent lots of time talking about what we’re both experiencing. To paraphrase an email in which C hit the nail on the head, we don’t eat meals together (taking turns instead to keep O happy), we don’t Netflix movies we both enjoy, when O’s finally down I catch up on my to-do’s sans C…all combined with not enough sleep, work stress for him, unemployment stress for me and all the grumpiness that comes with the responsibilities of life and new parenthood.

During one particularly rough week, the only conversation of substance we had was where to put our chore list.

I’m beyond fortunate to have a husband who not only calls out negative energy when he sees it but also has the ability to come up with remedies to reverse it. C’s ideas, which we immediately employed, and have helped tremendously include: eating at least twice a week together after O goes down, making every third Netflix one that we can enjoy together and being in the same space even if we’re doing different stuff. I added to the list designated solo time for moi, whether in the house or out in the world.

Like now, it’s my turn to have some free time, so he’s on O duty and I get to write…or sew, read, nap, or just stare at the ceiling daydreaming about sleep. This way I can regroup, which in turn gives me more patience with O and less resentment towards C’s freedom (who would’ve thought I’d ever be jealous of someone going to work!?).

It’s been a few weeks since his email and our grump fest and it’s been going really well. I know I need to ask for help more and actually let him give it and I also know that sometimes I have to move my other roles from the backburner forward…and when it comes to the role of “self” it’s just as important to schedule in some time to be me.

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  1. Great post! It definitely IS all about compromise / give and take with the hubby in my world too. When you come visit later this month, I say we have the kids spend some good daddy time together in the living room while you and I take a “spa” hour in the bedroom by painting toe nails and watching cheesy movies 🙂

  2. Spa hour sounds amazing…I’m all for it! I’d like to give myself a glass of wine and take some Taqueria bistek tacos to go! How’s that for give and take?! =)


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