A few weeks back I wrote a post about balance and how I attempt to juggle the many different aspects of my life. My life can sometimes seem like a big balancing act and in the last few weeks that is what it has been – more of an “act” than reality.
I’m almost 35 weeks pregnant, I work full time, and I have an almost 3 year old son. I try to exercise, cook and eat healthy, and keep our house in order. I’ve had a burst of energy in the last few weeks so I’ve been cleaning out closets, going out at night for dinner with friends, and even took a post partum doula training course this past weekend. Let’s also add that the last few weeks at work have been really busy, trying to get things in before year-end. No wonder I’ve been exhausted!
I’ve been in denial regarding the extent of my tiredness and the emotional upheaval I’ve been feeling inside. When people ask me how I feel (as they tend to ask quite often to a pregnant woman), I say I feel good and leave it at that. I leave out the severe round ligament pain I’ve been feeling for the last few weeks that make it nearly impossible to roll over in bed, the tiredness I feel each night and the insomnia I experience at 3am, leading to more tiredness each morning. I don’t mention the anxiety I’m starting to feel about having a newborn to take care of while also balancing the constant needs of a rambunctious 3 year old. No one really wants to hear those things when they ask a pregnant woman how she feels.
Attempting to be supermom near the end of my third trimester really hasn’t done me any good. I’ve been pretending that it’s no problem keeping the house in order, with laundry done, the dishwasher loaded and emptied each night and having healthy food in the house and on the table every day.
I should have noticed the warning sign I had last week. I developed a bad eye twitch which was making me very nervous. I managed to convince myself that I was developing pregnancy induced Bell’s Palsy, or pre-eclampsia, or perhaps both. When I spoke to my midwife and discovered I had no other symptoms of either syndrome, I calmed myself down and realized that my twitch was likely a result of being overtired. Or you could say it was a symptom of supermom syndrome.
I also had a reality check yesterday when we had a prenatal visit with our labor doula yesterday, and when she asked how I was feeling, I burst into tears and remained weepy for the extent of our appointment. I’ve been stretched too thin during the last few weeks. I don’t have anyone to blame other than myself – my husband certainly doesn’t care if I don’t wipe the kitchen counters one night and it doesn’t matter to my son whether or not we make the beds each morning. My newborn won’t care if the garage is organized or not. And my friends certainly will forgive me if I skip a girls’ night out. I put the supermom and superwoman pressure on myself.
So I’ve decided to cut myself some slack over the next 5 weeks or so, before baby is arrives. The house doesn’t have to be perfect. Non-urgent projects at work can wait. We can order take out occasionally. Dylan can watch Toy Story 2 so I get an hour and a half of peace. I will take up my mother in law’s offer to bring us some food and watch Dylan one afternoon. Laundry can pile up for a few days. I can get into bed at 8pm at night. I can even burst into tears now and then and not feel like a crazy hormonal person.
Have any of you been plagued by the supermom syndrome lately?