Social media has provided a platform for women to share their postpartum experience, giving the new mother a sense of community and companionship in what can be an isolating time. Those first few months after giving birth can be bleak and talking about it helps. But ladies, what if we tried and looked at this experience from a different point of view?
Remember summers as a kid, hanging out with your best friend all day every day, staying up late, eating lots of snacks, never getting dressed, and falling asleep next to each other only to wake up and do it all over again the next day? This is the postpartum party! For this brief period in time you can return to the days of your youth when you weren’t worried about the shape of your body or your credit score.
Yes, your vagina is blown out, your nipples are burning, and you no longer recognize yourself, so relish in this opportunity to post up on the couch and take a vacation from the outside world. Don’t worry, it will still be there when you choose to emerge. When your baby’s marathon nursing sessions start to wear you down and you become nostalgic for your former life as an independent woman, ask yourself if you really miss the traffic, your boss, or your halfhearted attempts at meal prepping every Sunday night. Maybe you do and that’s okay! All of the above and more are waiting for you right outside your door, because while it may feel like your world has stopped, for everyone else, it’s business as usual. Trader Joe’s will always have a spot in line for you and your co-workers will still be complaining. When I experienced the sheer magic of giving birth to another human combined with the relief of not having to go to work, it created a state of euphoria so incredible, no words can describe it.
The postpartum party forces us to s l o w down, which can be uncomfortable at first. However, when we choose to stop fighting it we can find beauty in the stillness. When we let go of the endless list of things we need to hurry up and get back to, we can settle in and get to know this new little being who has chosen to be with us. Only in stillness can our deepest fears and dreams rise to the surface to be acknowledged and reflected upon. Postpartum is like summer in sixth grade, you start out a girl and return to school a new person- shaved legs, bangs, and some shimmer on your eyelids- you’ve been transformed.
Losing yourself in this space where time doesn’t exist doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s not forever, just for now. So kickback, enjoy the party, and just be.
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