After Leighton was born, my lingering pregnancy symptoms waned at different times. For example, I know the very second my "supersmell" wore off. It was three weeks ago. Ryan had eaten some garlic and onion pita chips and I managed to carry on a conversation with him without gagging and making him gargle promptly with Listerine. Earlier in my pregnancy, I could tell what Ryan had eaten for the previous two days, in order of consumption, just by speaking with him. At this moment, even Cool Ranch Doritos don't really bother me much. Supersmell ... gone.
Then there’s napping. I'm just not good at it. I could nap when I was pregnant, but that ended the moment Leighton was born. If I fall asleep during the day, even for a minute, I wake up disoriented with heart palpitations. Yes. For me, napping and anxiety go hand in hand. I suppose I feel like I would miss out on something, were I to nap. I know it's strange. I fight sleep as hard as Leighton. (Sometimes, when I try to put her down she blinks, one eye at a time, as a signal to me that she's not going down without a fight.) She doesn't want to miss a second of the action. I get that. I am exhausted right now, yet I choose to spend my few precious moments of free time today writing instead.
I don't miss the supersmell and napping qualities of pregnant life, but the recent departure of the nesting instinct has me bumming. My nesting instinct kicked in precisely one year ago. Three-hundred and sixty-five days later ... poof. It's gone, and my nest is suffering the consequences. BUMMER.
While I was pregnant with Leighton (and up until yesterday) our home was museum quality - tidy, accessorized and stocked with food, shampoo, diaper cream, band-aids, batteries, anchovie paste... You name it. We had it. I've been having a tough week and it finally occurred to me that I'm struggling because I am no longer hormonally propelled into action at the site of a stray crumb or rogue iPod that escaped it's cubby in the charging station. Nor can I remember to buy dental floss, ketchup or coffee creamer.
The best part of my nesting urge was my unrelenting drive to be organized. I was so focused on making our home a cozy base of family operation I could seemingly operate at the level of "superwoman". Okay, I could be romanticizing it a bit. Maybe I was "superwoman" because I never woke up hungover, or because I was able to nap during the day for the first time in my life since I was Leighton's age. Whatever the reason, I was getting shit done and getting it done in a super clean house. I loooooved it. I thought it would last forever. SIGH.
The amount of wine I consume now is inversely proportional to how much I care about whether the laundry gets put away before I go to bed or if the dishwasher gets emptied ... well ... at all or if I get to bed early enough to like myself in the morning or if Lue gets groomed properly with any real frequency. My post-delivery, nesting instict helped me fly above this mortal proportionality problem to achieve domestic bliss even after a glass or two of syrah. SIGH.
I am decidedly not Jenny-on-the spot with laundry anymore. At this very moment, my feet are propped up on a rhombus tote (explanation for another post) full of unfolded (but clean) laundry and a huge pile of unassembled (but clean) fuzzi bunz (also for another post). I threw away some towels today because they smelled like mildew from being left in the washer overnight. Ick. (I didn't really throw them away. I am donating them to PAWS - same effect.) Moreover, I am disturbingly fine with using the dishwasher as a cabinet all of the sudden, I am back to my old ways of staying up way too late, and, poor little Lue is sporting a shag and raccoon claws. B.L. (before Leighton) Luella would not have been "neglected" (Lue's word, not mine) in this way.
It's time to stop mourning and move on, as I plan to get much done this weekend. I will make my "to do" list and execute it with vigor. As I bid a final farewell to my beloved nesting instinct, I imagine I will once again be “superwoman” enjoying a clean house and an organized life. It's funny to think that I would consider having another baby in an attempt to get back there.