More Thoughts About Resting

For the record, I didn’t even change out of my pajamas from Friday night until Monday morning.  So I guess I’m doing an OK job of resting!

In thinking about what I wrote on Saturday about resting, I think it could easily be interpreted as me saying [in an annoyingly whiny voice], “Oh poor me, I have to rest.  I have all this help around so I’m not even doing anything but I want to.  Woe is me.”  Or, it could be interpreted as me saying that I need to do the things I want to do because they’re not being done, either at all or to my satisfaction.

Neither of those things are true!

I am exceedingly grateful that Nik is able to be home for three weeks on paternity leave and that Nik’s mom, Tina, was able to be with us every day until Mark was 10 days old.  I know that having this much help post-partum is an unfortunately-rare luxury for many (if not most) women.  So really, me saying, “I want to do the dishes” is a luxurious thing to be able to say because I don’t have to do the dishes.  (I did load the dishwasher last night though, an accomplishment of which I am very proud! :))

Rather, what I was trying (and am still trying) to figure out with what I wrote on Saturday is why it’s so hard for me to rest.  Why do I feel this compulsion to work when I know (and believe) that resting is the best thing for me to do?  I probably should separate sewing (for me, my creative outlet) from other more mundane tasks such as housework and cooking/baking.  Ultimately though, I think it all comes down to the same root cause, which is how I measure my self-worth.  What am I doing, every day, to make myself feel worthwhile?  Why is making milk and nurturing my newborn and my two-year-old not enough?  Why do I feel the need to also accomplish other things?  Is this a positive or negative thing, to feel this way?  I’m not sure.

Actually, since I wrote that blog post, I really haven’t felt the urge to sew or do anything else.  So perhaps, just writing down and acknowledging my desires was permission enough for me to keep resting.  Ellie currently has a cold and was sick last week too.  Our sleep has been more fragmented than it would already have been and I continue to need a good nap every day.  I’m looking forward to the day when I don’t nod off if I hold still for a few minutes.

So, for now, I’m just planning all my future sewing projects in my head, nursing a voracious newborn, nursing a 2-year-old who needs me just as much, feeling grateful every time I hear Nik cleaning up the kitchen (among the many other things he’s doing), and learning to be content where God has placed me.

This entry was posted in Ellie, Mark, parenting, reflecting. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to More Thoughts About Resting

  1. Mom says:

    Your blog reminded me of Aunt Zona’s situation right now. Both of you needing rest to heal, with helpers to fill in the needs in life, but still with a restlessness to be “doing”. Funny, how hard it is to rest. Positive or negative? I don’t know, but I have a feeling it could be either, depending on what’s going on inside!

  2. Tory says:

    When I was early postpartum with Charlie, I was anxious to get back to “normal” life. I was never a huge fan of being pregnant, so I was excited to get back to daily living without hauling a pregnant belly around. A few hours after Charlie was born, I felt like “hey, I’m a veteran mom. I had a totally normal healthy birth, I’m not recovering from surgery or other interventions many women go through, and I should be back to normal activities within a few hours, go me!” A week later, after a trip to the zoo with my husband, mother in law, and both kids, I sat down and realized I was EXHAUSTED and hurt in all sorts of odd places. It took my mother in law reminding me that I had just given birth for me to realize that maybe there is something to this “rest” thing. If I ever have another baby, I’ll try to find a balance somewhere in between super-mom and not-showering-for-a-week (which was more my approach with Eleanor). Rest is good, but it also feels good to have some of the rythyms of family life in place.

    A lot of women are anxious to get back into their pre-pregnancy clothes as soon as possible. That’s never been something I worried much about, but maybe “getting back to doing the dishes and making dinner” is our version of that.

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