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10 Things That Still Aren’t Back to Normal at 6 Months Postpartum

Photograph by Twenty20

There has been no “bounce” in my "bouncing back after baby." This transition into motherhood has been as slow as dripping molasses, a tortoise’s gait, or the internet speed of 1995.

I make daily progress in finding the new me, only to take a few steps back the following week. I remember my old life while relishing this new one with my new little person. This is a sweet albeit sometimes frustrating time because so many things have yet to return back to normal.

I'm just not one of those moms who bounces back fast. I take my time. Partly because that's what my body needs after birth and partly because I'm so sleep-deprived that anything outside of the bare necessities seems daunting. If my motherhood style had a logo, it would most definitely be a turtle. No bouncing kangaroo in this house!

Even at 6 months postpartum, when everyone seems to have forgotten that I pushed a human out of my body a mere 20-something weeks ago, my life is far from what it used to be.

These are the 10 things I wish would normalize sooner than later:

1. My Boobs

These milk machines have been on call 24/7 for many moons—and suns. Everything revolves around these boobs and the baby who keeps them in balance. My bra exists for function alone (remember when undergarments were a fashionable accessory?) and if Lansinoh wanted to send me a case of nursing pads, I’d probably have a happiness meltdown.

2. My Brain

These days, I forget everything. Or I mix things up. My mental capacity is shot. Sometimes it’s laughable, sometimes it’s embarrassing, sometimes it’s infuriating. My Type-A self cannot handle the loss of brain mass brought on by motherhood.

3. My Sex Life

Where are all the mamas with negative libido? I tell you, these postpartum hormones are no joke!

4. My Friendships

It takes a real solid gal to stick around after kids. More times than I can count, I’ve muttered, “I’m just so sorry. Am I crazy? I’m crazy, right?” My best girl usually nods in agreement. Thankfully, it’s the kind of affirmation that says, “I love your crazy, and I’m crazy with you, so it’s all good.”

If my motherhood style had a logo, it would most definitely be a turtle.

5. My Home

Every nook and cranny has been taken over my little humans. If it's not a burp cloth on the counter, it's big brother's superhero expertly balanced next to my dying succulents on the bookshelf. I pick up all day long but when my husband comes home each evening, I swear it looks worse than when he left.

6. My Appetite

During my pregnancy, I craved all things cinnamon. Now, I crave anything that has calories. Postpartum makes me so H-U-N-G-R-Y.

7. My Hair

I don’t even know where to begin! Initially, my postpartum hair was a luscious mess of goddess curls. Then it started falling out. Now it can’t decide if it’s oily or dry. I’m heading in for my first haircut since baby — yes, I finally found a block in my calendar and a sitter in order to do that — and I feel for my hairdresser because I’m putting in an order for magic.

8. My Career

I used to live for work. It was my high. Now, it’s just not that way. I still have a passion for what I do, but it’s fueled by my family. Kids sure know how to whip priorities into line, don’t they?

9. My Shoe Size

If anyone is size 8, I have a closet full of amazing shoes for you! Apparently, my feet morphed in both length and width during my third trimester and have no intention of returning to their normal size. Such a shame.

10. My Sleep Schedule

I’m writing this at 1 a.m. and you’re probably reading this while nursing at 3 a.m. (or some other ungodly hour), am I right? You totally get me. And I get you. Sleeping at night is a total joke. It’s more like, how many cat naps in a 24-hour time segment does it take to survive?

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