Shell-shocked. That’s pretty much how I’d describe how I felt as a new mum. I made it through childbirth alive, but my body was barely recognisable.
I hadn’t slept for more than an hour at a time in weeks, and I was still figuring out how to latch my newborn on without being completely topless (for real; I wasn’t sure how I’d ever leave the house). I was just trying to make it from one day to the next, and learning how to brush my teeth or eat a sandwich with a newborn glued to me.
Goals and aspirations? What kind of parent did I want to be? I had no freaking idea. All I wanted was a shower, a hot meal, and someone to wipe down my kitchen benches.
All I wanted was to know that I'd make it through this thing with an ounce of my former self intact. All I wanted was the assurance I was going to be able to take care of this tiny human and not totally screw him (or myself) up.
Yes, there were plenty of people who would listen to my feelings. There were kind souls who came and did my laundry, brought me meals, and simply said, "You're doing great."
But when people would try to make chit-chat with me, they'd almost invariably end up asking the most annoying, anxiety-producing questions on earth.
These questions get asked so often, it's almost as if there's a script. They might seem harmless and innocent, and I know the people who ask them mean well, but for a new, vulnerable, worried mum, they're anything but.