Mental Health, Postpartum and Beyond

Not Mine

Last week I had a difficult thought. My body is not my own.

I wake up every day and I get my daughter dressed and ready for the day. I feed her, clean the house, and play with her. Generally I’m cleaning while holding her or trying to keep her busy. I hold her until she sleeps and some days while she sleeps. I get bit, scratched, and have my attention demanded for all day. Then, I bathe her and help her to bed.

Then, my husband comes home or he’s already home, and now he wants to cuddle, be sexual, or in general just have some sort of physical contact. In general, all of those things are great. After a long day of having to care for someone else, it can make my skin crawl to even think about more physical contact at the end of the day.

I feel terrible writing it out. I’m a mom now. If my daughter or house (as in any cleaning to be done) needs something then I take care of them first. It should be easy to take care of my daughter and house all day and not feel used up at the end of the day. It’s not though. It can be draining and even violating to be constantly touched and needed by someone all day.

This is a feeling and thought that should be discussed more. It should also be normalized. I know I’m a good mom. I know I try my best every day. The days when I feel gross when someone touches me makes me feel like I’m a failure, a bad mom, and a bad wife.

I’m none of those things and if you’ve felt similarly to me, neither are you. It’s normal to feel used up after taking care of someone else all day. It’s also normal to want to not feel like sex is being expected at the end of a long day like that. If we’re cuddling or hugging (specifically my husband and I), is the butt and/or boob grab necessary?

Well, it’s okay. It’s okay if you’re feeling like you want to be in a no touch bubble. It’s okay if you don’t want to have sex. It’s okay and you’re doing good.

Remember to vocalize to your partner how you’re doing. Vocalize to a friend or family that some days you just feel exhausted of being touched all the time. A chat with your partner can help put you on a track to where you will feel sexual again. It will at least stop the unwanted grabs that instantly turn you off at least. A chat with a friend/family will help you get everything off your chest. They may even be able to related to you so you’ll know that you’re not alone in feeling like this.

To the parents feeling like their body doesn’t belong to them, you’re not alone and it’s okay. Things will get better and until they do, do not feel like you’re not good enough.

Did anyone you know warn you that you may experience any of these feelings? During my pregnancy I don’t think anyone gave me that warning. It was all just “you’re never going to sleep again” comments and general “your life will be so different”.

As always, let me know what you think! Would telling an expecting parent that these feelings may come be helpful or just scare them?

Thank you for stopping by and I will see you next time!

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Updates

April: A Look Back

Hello Venturers! Can you believe April is finished already? If you were here at the beginning of the month, you’ll know that I listed out some goals and things I wanted to improve on. So, let’s take a look back and see how we did for the month!

Fun Challenge

Completed! I actually completely forgot that I had set this kind of goal for myself. I ended up doing an Easter “photoshoot” with Little P. I will accept this win.

Improvements

I did pretty well on prewriting my posts this month. There were a couple of times when I did just write and post because I let myself get behind. Overall though, I stayed ahead of the game. Another win for us.

Interaction… A definite loss for me. I let myself up swept up in my moods of “I want to talk to everyone” and “everyone better leave me alone”. This is something we will need to address for May.

Goals

Increase daily view count was a success. This month we nearly doubled our monthly views and our average daily view is double this month than it was in March. That’s so exciting! Thank you all so much for helping me achieve this goal. I’m so grateful.

Consistency was so great this month! There may have been a day or two where I posted late, but it got out the next day. I would like to look at my newsletter and find ways to improve that. A half win on this. Big win for the blog and needs improvement on the newsletter.

Quality, this one is kind of hard to judge for me. I love to write, but a lot of the time I think it’s absolutely terrible. For April I had posts that I was so excited and proud about and others where I wondered why I was even trying.

Interaction (because it was a goal and needs improvement), see above.

Reflection

As a whole, I’m super excited about April. We had our highest view day ever this month, thank you all so much for that! We gained 12 new followers and even have a few people subscribed to the weekly newsletter. Again thank you so much!! I am absolutely blown away that you are all even stopping by let alone subscribing. So, a million thank yous to you this month!

As always, let me know what you think. Did you hit your goals for April? How can I help you reach your goals in the future?

Updates

April: A Look Ahead

All right Venturers, it’s a brand new month. So far in April I’ve already had an anniversary as well as my birthday. April is definitely one of my favorite months. Who doesn’t love their birthday months? Since it’s a new month, I decided to outline some goals and things I want to accomplish for the upcoming weeks.

Goals

  • Increase daily view count
  • Consistency! I don’t want to feel like I can take a day off, especially after really good days.
  • Quality! I want to increase my quality, both in types of posts and the actual writing.
  • Interaction! I want to increase the amount of time I spend interacting with other blogs and readers

To improve

  • I want to get in the habit of prewriting my posts again. March I got into a habit of writing and editing posts the day I wanted them out.
  • Interaction, yes it’s both a goal and an area to improve on. I have days where I’m hot and cold. So, even on days when I don’t really feel like it, I still need to interact. I love hearing from everyone! If I don’t make an effort, why should anyone else?

Fun Challenge

All right, so this isn’t really a goal for me. I don’t necessarily care if this gets completed, but it would be a bit of fun. I’ve noticed a lot of fun and cute baby photoshoots. So, this month, I’m going to try and do one myself. Little P loves getting her photo taken and it’s not like I’d be sad to have cute pictures of her. Plus, I think it would be fun to share my experiences and if it was worth it.

Thank you so much for joining me in another month! I have the month planned out and am hoping you all enjoy what I have in store for you.
If anyone has any ideas or want me to write about anything specific, please let me know! Happy April!

Quotes

The only person

The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.

C. JoyBell C.
Postpartum and Beyond

Bah Humbug

Santa or No Santa?

Throughout the holiday season this year, I’ve noticed quite a few parents wondering if they were bad people because they weren’t labeling a lot of presents as “From Santa”. This made me realize that my husband and I hadn’t actually discussed the Santa topic. Luckily Little P is too young to even realize what’s going on this year. So, I was able to raise the question to my husband.

Should we teach Little P that Santa Clause is real?

We decided, after a surprisingly short discussion, that we wouldn’t be teaching her that Santa Clause is real and here are a few reasons why.

1. Christmas is Still Magical

You absolutely do not need Santa Clause to feel like Christmas is magical. It’s great to be able to spend time with family, get time off of school, and/or work. You can still feel like the time of the year is special without believing in Santa Clause. Now, instead of focusing on “What will Santa bring?” you and your kids can focus more on quality time with each other (and extended families that come into town to visit).

2. Santa is a Bribe

Santa is a bribe to get your kids to behave. Not much else to him.
You tell your kids Santa is watching all year round, but especially around November and December, you start reminding them that they need to be good otherwise Santa isn’t going to bring them any presents.

3. Focus is Not Solely on Receiving

If you understand from a young age that some magical man in a suit comes and brings you gifts just because you were good, you realize that someone worked to get you a present, and maybe you want to help that person feel good as well. Maybe instead of focusing completely on what you want, you get something (or make something) for the people who you love as well.

4. They Can Truly Appreciate The Gift Giver

If you put that Santa gave them the present then there’s nothing else to it. They don’t get to say thank you to you. It’s just a gift from Santa because they were good. When they know you gave them the gift, they know it’s because you love them and want them to be happy. Plus, if you both know who gave them the gift, then you get to take credit for it and not feel resentful that Santa gets the credit for your work.

5. Easier to Explain Why Present Wasn’t Received

Maybe one year your kid wants a bunch of things and you just can’t afford it all. It’s a lot easier to ask what the “big ticket items” are and work on making sure those are given and explain that maybe you won’t be able to find all of the items than to try to explain why Santa didn’t bring the items.

Some Thoughts

You’re not a bad parent either way. If you want your kid to believe in Santa, that’s great. If you don’t want your kid to believe in Santa, that’s also great. Either way, I’m sure you want your kid to have a magical holiday season.

Let me know what you think.
Are you teaching your kids Santa is real or not real and why did you decide on that?