Motherhood is Messy

I don’t deal well with messes. I take a good portion of every day just to get myself organized. It’s kind of ridiculous, actually, but I can’t do any work until things are clean, and if I don’t sit down to organize papers and write my to do list first thing in the morning, I’ll feel like I’m forgetting something all day. When I go home at night, I need to prepare everything for the next day for the same reasons. I like things in their rightful place, organized, and preferably at right angles.

There are very few right angles in my life now. Even my body reflects this; where there used to be flat lines and pointy edges there are now soft curves and extra skin. My body is quite literally a physical manifestation of the ways my life has changed: there is just more, and it’s not as clean-cut as it used to be.

I haven’t dealt well with the changes in my body, if we’re being completely honest. The only thing in the world I’ve wanted since giving birth is to wear my old clothes again. And, since my physical being is an allegory of sorts for my mental one, you would think I would be mourning my old life like I’m mourning my old jeans.

But I’m not.

At least, I don’t feel like I am.

The way I have to do things now is so completely different than the way I was able to do them before becoming a mother. No longer can I sit in my office and pound out 10 articles in a day; I’m lucky if I get one done without being interrupted. I can’t do any task without getting interrupted, for that matter, and that was a difficult adjustment for someone such as myself who really, really likes to finish things. My schedule is also wildly unpredictable. Just when I get used to a nap time or feeding schedule, she decides to change things up. Just keepin’ you on your toes, Mom. And then she laughs at my so obviously tilting axis as she rotates in my orbit. She is constantly, constantly in my orbit. The planet that is my body (and sometimes it feels like a planet, indeed) will always have this baby moon surrounding it.

But the baby moon? She’s pretty amazing. She controls the tide, just as you would expect, but she also gives light in the darkness, joy where there wasn’t any before.

I’m full of metaphors today. All of this is just to say that I’m adjusting, slowly, and then re-adjusting again every few weeks. I’m learning to embrace the mess, and learning how to organize some of it (because my personality can’t entirely change). I’m learning how to take yoga off the mat, and just breathe when things get frustrating: Let it go. Drop a thought. Acknowledge that feeling, then move on. See the mess, then tackle what you can… or don’t.

I expected the mess. At least a little. What I didn’t expect was how much I would enjoy the excuse not to have it all cleaned up all the time.

Featured Image Credit: Liza

5 thoughts on “Motherhood is Messy

  1. The post baby body…oh yes. I will say however, that even if you get back to your prepregnancy weight, don’t be upset if your prebaby clothes don’t fit or don’t fit in the same way. Your body has to change drastically to accomplish the biggest to-do list ever required to build a person from scratch so your hips might be broader, your ribcage my be a different shape and your boobs may be in a different place.

    • Ashley on

      I’m not super upset about the post baby body I have. I’m not even trying to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight to be totally honest. It’s just something new to get used to!

  2. It is definitely hard to come to terms with your post-pregnancy body. Elizabeth is 14 months old, and it’s only been in the last 2 months that I’ve started to feel like this body actually belongs to me.

    • Ashley on

      Things no one tells you: Exactly how LOOOOOONG the postpartum period really is.

      • It’s true!! I wonder if we would have different expectations if we lived in a country that placed a more . . . tangible value on being a mother.

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