I so often like to write as if everything is sunshine and rainbows. Look at me, being crazy busy and making it all work! Look at me – if I’m doing it, you can too! I like my writing to be a source of positivity and inspiration. I am always trying to find the positive spin on everything I’m going through.
But the truth? The truth is that I’ve been having a hard time. Things have just been hard lately.
I knew having a second baby would change things but had no idea just how much. We’re so much busier. I’m so much more tired. I forgot just how exhausting breastfeeding can be and just how much I loathe pumping. I forgot what it’s like to be woken up night after night and then get up and go to work the next day.
It feels like I never get more than 15 or 30 minutes to myself. Someone always needs me. Ella needs me to feed her, or rock her, or change her. She’s such a momma’s girl and looks for me constantly – sometimes I’m the only one who can calm her down, regardless of if she’s hungry. Abbie needs some love and attention from her momma, and it’s so hard not being able to give her as much as I used to. She wants me to play with her, to paint with her, to snuggle and watch movies with her. I want to give her more time but I just don’t have it. I feel incredibly guilty about that – she’s looking for me and needing me and I can’t do it all. Chris needs me – he needs me to be his rock and sounding board, he needs me to do my half in keeping our family running. He also needs me to be his wife, to be the same woman he fell in love with all those years ago. I have a hard time finding that person some days. I struggle to remember where she went, what she liked to do, and the things that were uniquely her. That girl is in here somewhere.
Work needs me, and coming back to work has been incredibly stressful. I came back to work into a bit of a mess – things not being finished while I was out and having to cover an additional position shortly after I came back. And then there’s the pumping – I pump 4 times a day, every day. That means leaving my desk and struggling to get through my workload. It means bringing my computer with me while I pump to attempt to get it all done. I feel like I spend my days at work either at my desk or in the mom’s room. I haven’t taken an actual lunch break since I’ve been back since there’s just no time. And pumping? It started out okay but lately, Ella’s been eating more than I pump. After working so hard to keep my supply up, it’s incredibly discouraging. At the same time, the thought of not pumping anymore is so appealing even though I know I’ll pump as long as I can. I truly have a love/hate relationship with the breast pump and hate that I can’t just nurse her all the time.
Sometimes I want a few minutes to just sit and be alone. Sometimes, well most times, I don’t want to be touched. I feel like someone is always trying to touch me and I just want to not be touched for a little while. I miss alone time. I miss going to bed and knowing I’ll sleep through the night. I miss having time to write.
As much as it hurts to admit it, some days I am incredibly lonely. I fear I will hurt Chris’ feelings by saying that, but it’s true. He is an amazing husband, but it just isn’t the same as a girlfriend. None of my close friends live near me, and there’s no time to make more. I miss having friends nearby. I long for the day that I can go over to a friend’s house on a random Tuesday night just for a hug and a talk. My mom is constantly busy with work or my sisters, and haven’t had any time with just her alone in ages. I miss having girl time.
I have moments where I am incredibly happy and content – I have an amazing husband and two amazing, healthy girls. I have moments where I worry about anything and everything, where I wonder if things are ever going to get easier. I have moments where I wonder if I have postpartum depression, and moments I’m sure I couldn’t. In short, life has been challenging for me in the past few months, in ways I never imagined.
I feel guilty all the time. Guilty that I have to (and want to) work and can’t be with my girls. Guilt that they drive me crazy sometimes and if Ella cries on the commute home again I might scream. Guilt that Abbie wants to run and play outside with neighborhood kids and I’m too stressed about her being in the parking lot and the cars to enjoy watching her play. Guilt that Chris and I get so little time together. Guilt that so much of my time is taking up with breastfeeding and pumping. Guilt that I want some time to myself, guilt that I spend too much money, guilt that I can’t take care of my body and lost the weight I’ve been trying to for years. Guilt that I don’t have any time or desire to exercise right now. Guilt that I can’t keep up at work right now no matter how hard I try. Guilt that I am working so hard at keeping everything together that I don’t really know where I land anymore.
So yeah. Things have been a bit hard lately, but I have always been honest here. I’m working through it the best I can. I’m trying to sleep more. I’m trying to connect with my family more. I’m desperately hoping for some time with girlfriends in the near future. I may try to find a counselor or a doctor to talk to. I may try to find a temple to get the spirituality I’ve been missing. I don’t know. I don’t know what my next steps are other than to keep going and try to be better. To try to get out of this hard place I’m in. To try to get back to being myself.