I’ve been sitting on this one for weeks and weeks. At first I didn’t really know how to make sense of this recurring feeling. Once I did, I wasn’t really sure how to write about it without sounding ungrateful or all, “woe is me” about it. I’m still not sure I know how, so I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope you know me well enough by now to know that while it is a discouraging feeling to have at times, I am very in tune with the fact that the root and circumstance of the problem (I really don’t think I can even call it that?) is actually quite a blessing.
Sometimes, I just want my body back. No, not my high school or college body (although that would be nice too). I just want my body back to me. Just to me. Not to share with anyone else, for just a little bit of time. Just to me.
It’s been the most bizarre feeling to navigate because it completely contradicts some of my very favorite things in life.
I absolutely yearn for and love physical affection and cuddle time with my daughter. The way her little arms wrap around my neck. The nine different positions she lays on me in and is blissfully content. The way her tiny fingers find twirling my hair to be the most comforting thing she knows. I can’t get enough of her chest against mine.
I absolutely love being pregnant. There is nothing like the privilege of carrying and growing a precious life inside you that was made from nothing but unconditional love. I love the honor it is to be responsible for making the right choices for this beautiful little human that will make our family complete. Despite the aches, pains, and less than flattering changes your body can go through, I feel nothing but joy knowing I am capable of creating such a miraculous thing to add to our world.
I absolutely love breastfeeding. It’s not for all women, but I loved being able to feed and nourish my daughter. Knowing that for that bit of time, my body was able to give her everything she needed to grow big and strong. I savored that bonding time and the way it strengthened our relationship. Its one of the many things I look forward to being able to do again with our son.
I absolutely love physical affection and intimacy with my husband. The way I am the perfect size little spoon curled up in his masculine arms. The way he plays with my hair and scratches my back knowing it is my biggest soother. I love the quick little touches he gives throughout the day that so clearly say, “Hang in there. I love you, and I’m here”. And I’ll spare you the steamy details, but oh, do I love the intimacy.
I long for and thrive off physical contact with those I love dearly, yet its those very things that can often overwhelm me to a point of emotional distress. I vividly remember one morning in the kitchen sobbing, wondering what was wrong with me. For awhile I thought I was being a little overly dramatic, like I was subconsciously trying to make something out of nothing. But when I stopped to really think about all that is involved in a day in terms of physical demands, I began to realize that being a mom and wife takes much, much more than just the intellectual and emotional.
Most days it feels like everyone else in my family (including baby boy in belly) is needing something from my body, and at the end of the day, there’s nothing left for me.
Sometimes, I just want my body back.
Sometimes I just want a moment where Tayler isn’t climbing all over my stomach, squishing my already rearranged organs and roughhousing with her baby brother. Honestly, it kind of hurts.
Sometimes I just want to go through a day without her continuously playing with my hair. Not that its anything fancy, but when I’m able to steal five minutes to put it up in a kinda cute way, I’d like it to stay that way for more than one hour.
Sometimes I just want to drink coffee when I need a pick me up without having to worry about how much caffeine I’m consuming.
Sometimes I just want to drink an extra dirty martini when I need a pick me up without having to worry about how much alcohol I’m consuming.
Sometimes I just want to be able to cook a decent meal that takes more than ten minutes without having a little one pulling on me to hold her the whole time.
Sometimes I just want to be able to go to bed without the guilt of thinking, “Shit. How has it already been a few days since we’ve had sex? I should really make the time for it right now. But I am so. dog. tired”.
Sometimes I just want to be able to wake up in the morning without the guilt of thinking, “I have a half an hour before Tayler wakes up. It’d be a perfect time to catch up on some intimacy time, but god the thought of enjoying my decaf and catching up on the DVR in peace sounds so heavenly”.
Sometimes I just want to be able to go for a run without worrying about my heart rate or how quickly I’ll need to stop for a restroom break.
Sometimes I just want my weight to stay in one place, my boobs to stay the same size and shape (preferably pregnant boob size), and be able to wear the same wardrobe for awhile.
And I remember so clearly being in the middle of breastfeeding, wondering if I’d ever get my body back for more than two hours at a time without having to lift my shirt up.
My dad always used to say that the way you can tell the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is in the way they recharge their batteries, not by the way they interact with others. Maybe this is the introvert in me desperately crying out for more time to recharge my batteries – alone. Or maybe its a common feeling shared by many moms and wives. I’m not sure whether its the former or latter, or maybe its a mix of both, but what I am sure of is that I’m more in tune with recognizing that slowly rising need to be alone to reboot. It picks up momentum quickly, and I’m more aware of my own physical requirements that must be met sometimes before I can continue to meet the physical needs of others.
And sometimes, that means taking my body back.