postpartum "wish i had known"

There's a dense temptation to just survive the infancy. When the baby-hormone high wears off & no one is home to bring up buttermilk pancakes with blueberries while you nurse, when you get bleary, no matter what number of children you've mothered already, you are a new mom to this child. And you need a community of women to nuture you, to remind you how to live & bring the baby along, not just survive. These women will tell you to read for leisure, not just books about sleep patterns & whether or not to schedule your infant. You might need to paint the laundry room Persian Violet & dye your hair with henna. I needed those things. You definitely need alone dates every week, time to do something that feels unnecessary or even extravagant for yourself. At the end of a day I ask myself, “What did I do today?” This can feel like an accusation or an eye-rolling sarcasm. It has taken a while, but now I can sit watching Elijah drift or struggle to sleep, feel him in my arms & really know what I did. At once I can feel him in my belly, on my hip, at my feet & the unfinished projects melt into their unnecessary puddle. It is a quiet, undramatic joy to be his mama. That's what I did today.

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