I do not have postpartum depression. I have postpartum ennui.

It’s been almost seven weeks with two little ones. Its been almost six months since I’ve worked. It’s been I don’t know how long since I’ve worn anything but yoga pants. Life is grand.

You want to know how grand? Here’s how grand:

On a day, which is every day

7am: Get out of bed, put on yoga pants and a shirt that doesn’t obviously look like pajamas so I can go out in public. Put in breast pump.

7:15am: Get toddler ready for daycare, get baby up. Assemble bottle to feed baby while dealing with toddler. Drink coffee.

8:15am: Drop toddler off at daycare–good riddance (more on that later), come home.

8:30am – 4pm: Drink coffee, feed baby, do laundry, do dishes, watch trash tv, tidy up, deep clean random things that I come across that need it. Organize random things that I come across that need it. Prioritize said things over napping. Tell myself I’ll take a nap as soon as all of these books have been dusted and put in alphabetical order. Then, find another home project and never nap. Feed baby, feed baby, feed baby.

4:30pm-7pm: Pick up toddler, deal with Hurricane Toddler while cooking dinner and feeding cranky newborn. Usually around this time, husband gets home to help. Put toddler to bed, pour glass of wine.

7pm-8:30pm: Try to drink one glass of wine while feeding and dealing with cranky newborn. Put newborn to bed.

8:31pm: Go to bed myself in order to stand the best chance of getting one three hour stretch of sleep.

Midnight – 7am: Get up every 90 minutes to feed/soothe newborn.

Reading this back it sounds worse to me than it is. It’s manageable, but meh.

I knew having kids would be hard. In fact, I thought it would be harder. I mean, I expected to be an exhausted, strung out, sobbing, fat, mood-swingy mess. And while I am more tired, and slightly more fat. In general, I’m doing pretty okay.


I miss having a hobby I could be passionate about, or having a reason to put on real clothes. I miss having friends and family close by. I miss having exciting things to look forward to.

My toddler is adorable, but he is at an age where defiance is his primary personality trait. And my newborn, who is thankfully pretty chill in general, is going through a peak fussiness period or growth spurt, or is just not going to be chill ever again, who knows. In a broad sense, I look forward to watching them change and grow up (ahem… sleep through the night), but I miss having selfish indulgent things–like buying an outfit for a fancy event, or doing a show, or even seeing a show.

Nothing about having children ever sounded appealing to me, which is why I never wanted children until I met my now husband. I think subconsciously I recognized that he is the only person I’ve ever been with that would be worthy/ up to the challenge of raising a child. Even now it’s hard to articulate why its worth it, other than despite everything I’ve written here, it most certainly is.

I just refuse to be someone that defines myself, principally, as a mom. That doesn’t mean I don’t prioritize my children, it just means that there are other facets of me that I’ve always had, that I still have that deserve attention and cultivation and nurturing, as well. I’ve seen too many women subsumed by motherhood. I am in the thick of it right now, but my career hiatus is not forever, my creative urges are just finding new outlets that suit my disjointed schedule, and I’m maximizing the smallest opportunities to be glamorous (with a jade face roller, for instance).

I honestly think that I’ve managed to avoid a lot of the postpartum emotional strain by not being a martyr, by not trying to do everything perfectly at the expense of my own preservation. I’ve always put the oxygen mask on myself first, so to speak. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the bad-ass, carefree days of my old life.

Just not enough to actually take a nap.

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