Oh friends, did I ever need this day to come.
Today has been warm and gorgeous. Sunny and bright, with birds chirping everywhere and the sound of lawn mowers.
I needed this day.
After a baby comes, I go to the mattresses. It's not that I'm not happy or even enjoying myself, but I am definitely in Mission Mode. You know, when you slough off the extra things and you tighten the reigns and you put your energy into making life work. "How exactly do I grocery shop with three kids when there aren't any carts with straps?" "When should I do school if Allie is waking up from a nap at our usual school time and Little David is ready to go down for a nap?" "How many loads of laundry are normal now?" "Who holds the baby while the other two are running in different directions?" It's not earth shattering, but when you add something new to your family details simply need to be ironed out. The fun stuff has to wait because now is the time to focus on the nitty gritty.
And just like clockwork - I've done this with every baby - after 6 or 7 months of having my nose to the ground, I start getting depressed. Not "Depressed" with a capital "D", but "Weary from the Work" depressed. Tired from being in Mission Mode for half a year, tired of the daily grind, tired from lack of sleep, tired from all the problem solving, and just plain tired. You look up and realize it's been 6 months since your last hair cut, clothes aren't fitting right, at some point you stopped wearing make up and doing your hair in anything but a ponytail, you've barely left the house except for church and the occasional book club, and everyone in the house is feeding off your emotional slump. You use the old make up, because you just don't feel like thinking about what new stuff to buy. You don't get your hair cut, because weekends are full of family time and arranging child care in the middle of the week is a pain in the butt for three kids. You don't get out of the house much because you like being with your children and anyways you just aren't sure if you know how to make things work in an unfamiliar environment. And you start feeling frumpy, grumpy, and icky and you wonder how you will ever get your groove back.
But then, a day like today happens.
The sun comes out and the breeze blows through the house and you hear lawnmowers and birds and something inside you insists - demands - that you break from your normal routine and do something fun. So, you take the kids to the park to let them run and play and go crazy and you let the sun shine on your face and you realize - all of a sudden - it's safe to come out now. The details have been taken care of. You do know how to get three kids out the door and to the park by yourself without a major crisis. You do know how to hold the baby, let the older kids play in totally different directions, and take pictures of it all while drinking your DDP. At some point, it all paid off.
You did the work, you went to the mattresses, and now you can start to enjoy it all again.