I didn't realize it, but it seems I was coming down with a case of the crazies. I remember around 6 months postpartum, I thought that I might have a delayed postpartum depression or something, so I googled it to see if it's a thing (it is) and then I pushed the idea out of mind.
Not sleeping for about a year, combined with anxiety and worry about the baby and everyone's well-being and not taking care of myself... I was becoming unbearable to be around and I didn't even realize it. I wasn't feeling as bonded to Hamburglar as I had earlier on, I was really short with Mr. Adventure and Little Miss Adventure. Apparently it got bad enough that Mr. Adventure was done. He called me on my shit and we had a super serious conversation. I Hadn't realized that most of our conversations had been reduced to exchanging information about when Chumbercules last napped/ate/whether he'd pooped that day...
So, after our conversation, I found a local postpartum support group. I said I need sleep. Mr. Adventure said he needs to not be micromanaged when he's caring for our son and that just because I'm mom doesn't make me right. He made me let him help me. The first night he cared for the baby through the night so I could sleep, I left the baby monitor on and I didn't sleep well because I was worried. And that's when I really and truly realized that I can't live like that. I need to take care of myself and let some stuff go. I went to the postpartum support group and I was the only one who showed up, so I got a counselor all to myself for a little bit before I headed back to work. She told me everything I already know - take care of myself, get rest, take time for myself and my partner, no one likes to be micromanaged - but it was good hearing it from a third party.
I re-read "To My Post-Partum Self: Things I wish I'd Known" and then I thought, "Hey! This lady says things I need to hear more often." So I googled her and found her website and her post "Self-Care for Moms." And you know what she wrote in there? She wrote this:
I’m teaching my kids—in the purest way possible, by modeling—that self-care is a priority. I can’t help but think this is a gift we’re giving them: You deserve care. You deserve time. You deserve health."And I needed to read that. It's so true. What better way to teach my son to value and take care of himself than his father and I valuing and taking care of ourselves? And my favorite 6 year old is going to be a teenager before we know it and I think we all know what can happen to a young lady who doesn't value and care for herself.
So I slept. Mr. Adventure let me sleep. I went to the chiropractor and got adjusted. I spoke with that postpartum counselor, who is also a survivor of postpartum depression. I went to the salon and paid someone to cut and color my hair. And it looks amazing. I'm also going on a five day Mama-baby road trip this weekend to spend time with my tribe. Some of the most amazing strongest ladies I know live in the Portland area and I get to see them. Chumbercules and I are going to hit the beach while we are out west, too. It should be good. And it will give Mr. Adventure time with his daughter, just the two of them, before they both have to go back to school.
And I've realized this week that I have to take care of me. Because doing that makes me a better mom, a better step-mom and a better partner. And probably a better dog-mom, too.
In other news:
Hamburglar used the word 'down' in context! And he is taking two running steps, here and there, typically careening between the coffee table and the couch (or me). And he has been invited to Dog Park Baby's 1st birthday party at the end of the month! I mean, he's so handsome, who wouldn't want him at their party?