Post-Partum Spock. It’s a thing.
Also, a Star Trek reference.
But, at any rate, it’s a thing. The hormones do make you crazy and you bawl through every single Parenthood episode each week, but they also leave little room for you to get emotional about other things. I’m pretty certain this is unrelated to my current pregnancy, because if I look back on the last 2 years, I recognize that things that I used to get really invested in emotionally, I don’t anymore.
It boils down to this: I don’t have time for that. And, in the moments, I don’t realize that is what is happening. In the moments where I should probably be giving things more of my emotional energy, I skip over it, and don’t think twice. But then, someone says “hey, you really didn’t give me the time of day on that one,” and I’m like “oh…well, that’s probably because I didn’t feel like I had time for that.”
It sounds pretty awful.
But, when you are caring for a child, and all of your emotional energy is going into loving that little person, it is hard to find room for emotion outside of that. It’s likely why many men say that their wives don’t pay attention to them after having babies. It’s likely why as women we have to be intentional about giving our partners some love and affection. It’s also probably why many will say that their friendships changed when their best started having children. It isn’t that we stopped caring; it is that we really just don’t have the emotional time for it unless we intentionally make it a priority. Again, I know it sounds terrible.
I’m like Mr. Spock.
I’m not really. I’m a pretty passionate and caring person, actually. But, much of my passion and care is focused on a little person who demands much of my emotional energy. She needs to be hugged, and loved. She needs me to kiss all of her ouchies several times a day. She wants to sit on my lap all the time, even when I am peeing.
It is a demanding job. So, when a friend calls to chat, and they don’t flat out tell me that they need me, I don’t pick up on it. I’m shut down to it; not because I don’t want to genuinely be a good friend, but because I’m not looking for it. Now, if they tell me “Hey! Be more human!” I’m like “Whoa. Yes. I can do that.”
I have more to give. I’m not saying that I’m spent…
I’m just saying that my emotional radar isn’t as fine tuned as it used to be.
As mothers, I think we are often labeled as “hormonal” post-partum, which is true, but not in the way that you would assume. We may cry over spilled breast milk, or start weeping whenever we talk about the possibility of Julia and Joel breaking up (sorry, spoiler) but, in places where we should be appropriately emotional and INVESTED…we may no longer have the in and out access that we did before.
We are doing our best.
I really am doing my best. And, I’m just trying to be me, as authentically as possible, and that may mean that I sometimes come off as cold. I am sorry. I think it is just the post-partum Spock. I want to be human and fully there, but I may also be tired, and just want to keep things light. Life is too exhausting to do it deep every time.
That said, if I do this to you, it’ll save a lot of time and miscommunication if you just tell me. It’s more likely that I care a great deal, I’ve just determined unconsciously that I don’t have the time. It’s self-preservation at it’s finest.
(This is what was happening while I was writing this post. Creeping behind me all sneaky-like)