I'm finally at the stage where my young children are a little bit older. They're still "young" (one is in diapers, and the other starts Grade 1 this year), but we've gotten past the "I-depend-on-you-all-day-every-day" phase.
We've also chosen to stop at two kids. Maybe you're in the same boat - you've made the permanent decision to protect yourself from more bambinos (the ol' snip-snip) or you use an alternative method of birth control and lots of prayer.
I imagined getting to this point in my life and feeling great - no more newborns sucking the nutrients out of my body, no more serious sleep deprivation, and the energy to exercise and eat well.
But now I've discovered I have Mommy Disease, a crippling illness that affects thousands of mothers each year (and maybe dads too, although I can't really speak for the man in my life).
Signs and Symptoms
- Low iron: you're running on fumes. Someone explained it to me like this - if you were to go shopping in your body for iron, the grocery store shelves would be empty. There's no supply!
- Low B12 or magnesium or Vitamin D: whatever vitamin or mineral it is, it's low. You're popping enough pills to rival a 75 year-old woman.
- Lack of energy: seriously, how did we survive the newborn years? Waking up every hour at night and I STILL managed to feed and clothe the children. Now I'm lucky if I can walk down the block without getting winded.
- Memory problems: remember pregnancy-brain or Mommy-brain? How long does this last? The other night it took me 10 minutes to remember the name of my cousin.
- Lack of concentration: raise your hand if you've stared at your computer screen a good 10 minutes before you suddenly realized you weren't doing any actual work.
- Chronic stress: doctor and dentist appts, visits to emerg for a spill at the park, the stomach flu, night terrors, potty training, your yearly performance review at work, money troubles, lack of sex, your car breaks down, the dog is sick....need I go on?
Other rare symptoms may include chest pains, hair falling out, heart palpitations and excessive sweating.
The cure? I haven't found one yet. Becoming an alcoholic is one option. So is running away to Hawaii. But my husband claims that those options are not "smart decisions." Whatever.
So right now I'm in brainstorming mode, and reaching out to other diseased moms.
What's your cure?