Lately I’ve been letting my husband help more with baby duty. He’s always offered but I would try to cope alone as much as I could. I had a lot of help from family during my first month of being a mom. The help would come when I needed to eat or wash, or when my arms are about to fall off. Yet, when my baby is whisked out of my room, the first thing I often did was cry and wish my baby back. Oh why do I have be hungry! Why can’t my arms and back be made of steel! Why do I need sleep! Why did I want to brush my teeth? Motherhood for me demands probably the most self-care I ever needed to date, yet it also gave me this baby who is the only one I want to think and care about.
As months go by, the initial panic and overwhelm calms down, though the workload doesn’t, and we start to feel overworked and under-appreciated by each other. Finally I see how sometimes I start a fight with my husband not really because of anything so important it has to be discussed at the time, but because I’d waited days for my own nap time that never happened and the backlog of things I yet have to do, or could do. Under more favorable circumstances I might not have gotten hooked on that one tiny thing, a choice of word or a certain tone of voice. I may be steady enough to steer my own ship than be carried away by the currents of thoughts and emotions.
Such more favorable circumstances as “being well-rested enough” don’t come by easily. It can only come by if I let my husband – not help – but do his share. I’m still practising not to jump out of the bed to do something when it’s finally my nap time.
To be honest I think it’s to do with the fear of being “lazy” and “not-done”. People praise productivity and efficiency and I know I’m unskilled at either. People are impressed by those of us who gets a ton of things done. I’ve never heard anyone gush about how someone has such wisdom, confidence and freedom that they can resist the voices of society, insist on listening to their body and shove the world to one side so they can take a nap. They have so much optimism and faith in the world that it’s not going to stop spinning just because they have allowed themselves to lie down and check out for half an hour.