I’m lucky to have never suffered from postpartum depression but I am currently drowning in Mom Guilt.
I always have had this need to do everything myself and not ask for help. When, and if, I do ask for help, I feel incredibly guilty about it and worry that the person whose help I ask for may be judging me for being weak and incompetent.
It took me YEARS to finally ask MrZ for help carpooling LilZ to school and/or sporting events. I felt like if I asked him for help he would think, “Jeezus…motherhood too much for you? Can’t handle it? Maybe if you didn’t watch so much damn TV you’d have more time to manage carpool.”
Doesn’t that TOTALLY sound like something he’d say? HELL NO. I’m just certifiably insane.
And don’t get me started about how guilty I felt my entire pregnancy for having to ask MrZ to help with things I wasn’t allowed to do, like change the kitty litter. I felt like such an awful wife and dreaded a situation where MrZ would think, “Jeezus…she’s acting like a freakin’ cripple with the making me carry boxes to the attic…” which of course, is INSANE. Why would a rational, intelligent woman like myself (quit laughing) think such ludicrous things? Who the hell knows, but I did. You have no idea how many pregnancy breakdowns I had for needing MrZ’s help with things like heavy lifting. Of course he NEVER has a problem helping and is always glad that I ask, but it would send me into a spiral where I convinced myself he thought I sucked as a wife and a Mom.
See? AM KRAZZEE.
Now – fast forward to TODAY. I am a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) for the next 9 or so weeks. It is my mindset that since MrZ has to work all day, and I am the lucky one who gets to be with NikkiZ, I should make sure that he has NO other responsibilities when he gets home besides hanging out with her. I have taken over ALL chores and housework where there were some things we used to share. I also don’t feel like he should have to get up with her at night since he has to work during the day. The logic is, I can take a nap during the day and he can’t. However, I’m so busy trying to get shit done, that I do NOT nap during the day.
Do you see where this is going?
Yes. I am physically killing myself. When NikkiZ naps (like now) I take time to get shit done. I do laundry, I clean the garage, I change the kitty litter (shit, that needs to be done) but I do NOT nap. Unfortunately – after nights on end of little sleep, I am making myself more and more exhausted as the days go by.
But do I ask for help? HELL NO. And when I do ask for little things? I then go off and beg MrZ to reassure me that he doesn’t think I’m a bad mom or wife for needing help.
SEE? TOTALLY FREAKING BATSHIT KRAZZEE.
Well, last night? I had the headache from HELL that ibuprofen would NOT cure. I had dozed off for a bit during Bones while NikkiZ was sleeping. But, she woke up after House and stayed up until Midnight. As did I. Then, she woke up VERY fussy at 3am. I fed her and got her calmed down by about 4am when I realized I was in BAD shape and could not continue to stay up with her without jeopardizing her well being.
So I woke up MrZ.
Of course he jumped up and was completely fine about taking over NikkiZ duty. But, what did I do 100 times before I fell back to sleep? And what did I do all morning after I woke up? And what am I still doing in my head right now? Trying to JUSTIFY WHY I had to ask for his help.
“I’m sorry I woke you up, you know I wouldn’t have if I didn’t really need it.”
“I had only had 3 hours sleep and was still recovering from a headache.”
“I haven’t slept well in 3 weeks.”
“I at least calmed her down so she was in a good mood for you.”
“I was just SO TIRED.”
I kept apologizing to him and kept justifying my exhaustion to him. And did I need to do ANY of that? NO. He is more than willing to help, and actually LIKES to help, but there is a part of me that feels like if I am not taking it all on my own shoulders, than I’m a failure. If I need his help? Then I’m not a good wife. If I’m too tired to care for my daughter? Then I’m not a good mom. And I still, today, feel REALLY REALLY REALLY guilty for waking MrZ up at 4am to care for his daughter while I slept. Seriously, I feel REALLY guilty.
So. Freakin’. Krazzee.
This is why MrZ deserves a medal of honor to be married to me.