You may have noticed I’ve been unusually quiet and antisocial this year, especially as I tend to be an over-sharer and outgoing person. The thing is no one ever told me the second year of being a parent is harder than the first... or maybe it isn't for most people. Its not that Bram was more difficult, it was that being a Mom changed me in ways I didn't expect.
The first year was an amazing blur, yes it was challenging, but I was in awe of finally being a mother. After dreaming of the day I would get to hold my own child for years, finally that dream came true I was totally and completely absorbed in motherhood that first year. I attended mom group meet ups of various types each and every week. I joined nearly 100 “mom groups” on facebook. You could say I was “obsessed” with being a mother. And being a mom after infertility I wanted to put that past behind me, make mom friends like normal moms do, this is the dream life for someone in my situation right?
I had signed Bram up for various classes, he hated every single one of them. He was never comfortable in large group settings, especially in new places. Either he cried while I tried to encourage him the entire time (no fun), or we sat in the back nursing and watching the other kids laugh and have a good time (also not fun). Which made me stress and think the worst thoughts. Well after more than a year of this I was exhausted. Then through a chain of various events (politics, discontinued a medication, work overload, an illness) I sunk into depression. Something I’ve never had to personally deal with before and it took me far too long to realize what was happening. thankfully my always amazing Husband was there to support me, and I sought help and can say I am in a much better place now.
What changed though is that I just didn’t have the energy or desire to stress about such pointless things anymore. If Bram doesn't have fun, I don't have fun, and if I didn’t have fun, he could feel that and would reciprocate, so we stopped going. We stopped having play dates in public, we stopped going to swim lessons, music classes, birthday parties. We became very intentional with the way we spent our familial energy and time. Maybe it seems like I became a hermit and maybe I did for a bit, but we were happier and that’s what matters. We still have friends, we still go out, Bram still socializes, but I stopped saying yes to every invite, I stopped feeling like we had to do everything when I knew it would cause stress. I even deactivated Facebook for almost 2 months.
Our life was shifting, we were (finally) realizing what’s important in life and it didn’t matter what others thought of us. We started a journey toward Intentional Minimalism which begin with purging “stuff” from our lives that didn’t bring us joy or have meaningful value including tangible junk, people that drained our enjoy without giving us any, tasks that weren't necessary, saying no to events and invites, re-evaluating our values, and pretty much everything in our lives. It’s a completely different mindset than we’ve had before and I do think it will be our path to true happiness. (soo not as cult as it sounds! lol)
The next step was for me to figure out who I was now. Before becoming a mother I was very active in the Infertility and MRKH world.... now as a Mother how does that all fit into my new world? Can it? I think it can, and this week I'll be sharing HOW I think I am managing to do it.
Part 2- Finding Purpose and Healing
Now that our triangle family is complete, follow along as we live our "life after infertility." Our travels, our joys, our laughter & our sorrows of parenting.
Chrissy is a...
full time corporate world working somewhat crunchy mom, a loving wife, an MRKH Warrior, Infertility Advocate, support group leader & a bad ass breastfeeder. In her fleeting spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling, walking her pooch, sewing and watching funny or sappy TV shows.