Pregnancy just kicked my butt. It’s still kicking my butt.
I always wondered how one handled being pregnant — the morning sickness, poor sleep, aches, and swelling — while also managing a toddler. I knew these women were amazing.
I feel like I want to sleep. My motivation and energy levels are below sea level.
And on top of feeling like a crumpled, greasy paper bag from Five Guys, I feel sorry that I don’t have the energy to pump up my business, produce paintings, roll around with my toddler, or even look at the food I’m to make him three times a day (because man, that boy can EAT).
I’m sorry I let you watch tv, which only makes you cranky later.
I’m sorry I’ve resorted to a pre-made meal delivery service instead of cooking fresh food each day.
I’m sorry I’ve kept you on two naps for much longer instead of allowing you to progress to one.
I’m sorry I’ve been lying on the couch under a blanket while you’ve been playing with Legos on the floor.
I have loved our cuddle time, reading endless stories, and clapping when you piece together a puzzle.
I love that you can play independently while I do a bit of wallowing.
I love that you are patient about eating out in restaurants because I can’t muster the energy to cook.
I love that you call out for Dada in the mornings so I don’t have to get up as quickly.
I know a time will come when I can spread out and paint for hours on end. I know in my heart that time is not now. Even as my head guilts me for not hustling to my fullest.
This is why, for me, as for so many other moms I’ve spoken to, practicing living in the moment, considering the big picture, and doing what makes my heart and gut happy NOW, has become of utmost importance.
And if I’m being honest, it’s a daily struggle in my mind. I always choose rest because I physically don’t have it in me to put in work, so it’s not like a struggle to decide what to do. It’s a struggle to overcome the guilt I feel for not doing things that I don’t have the energy to do. I know it’s only up to me and no one else to recognize and honor what my body and soul needs, so I have to give myself permission because no one else will.
Even if that means jumping off social media for a week (or 10). Even if that means I make less money, I take a nap, I ask for help.
I don’t see those as failures because life is more — it is all-encompassing — and what we see online are just snippets into someone’s reality that is actually quite a bit more whole.
I see choosing my intuition, my health and what makes me happy in any given moment as a win. I see moving slowly as a win. I GET to move slowly. Instead of berating myself for having no energy, I’m going to mellow in slow energy. It’s luxurious really, to move from a place of deep-seated, intuitive need and understanding. I’m trying to move back, away from myself, to see everything from 10,000 feet.
But even though I understand this, it’s hard to see what feels like everyone else making strides and moving fast. I still get caught in the net of daily minutiae, comparison, “shoulds”; and I just try again to untangle myself and step back, even if I have to do that 10 times a day.
I can’t say I’ve reconciled it all in my mind and my heart. Maybe I never will. I’m just trying to move one step at a time and listen to body each day, trusting the time for fast energy will return.
Hannah Lowe Corman is a painter and yoga teacher in NYC inspired by nature, movement and meditation. She has a young son, and she is working on figuring out this whole new mom/entrepreneur lifestyle, which is overwhelming. Follow her on Instagram and on Facebook. Make sure to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being considered for one of her 2019 painting commissions.
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