“WHEN ARE THINGS GOING BACK TO NORMAL?”

When we have a baby, things change. And we wonder when things are going back to normal. The bad news is: never. The good news is: never.

Read below for a little story that makes you think about the second “never”.

Read Hoekzema et al 2017, Erika Barba-Müller et al., 2019, Hoekzema et al., 2020 for the neuroscience of mother’s brains changes.


“Doctor, I have found The One. He is handsome, clever, he is caring, he totally gets me... we even have the same taste when it comes to ice cream.”

“This is fantastic! I am so glad for you!”

“Yes! It’s really the best thing that could happen to me! I always wanted to find The One. I mean... I loved my life before... but it always felt like there could be more to it... now I feel fulfilled! We might even go on holiday together this summer. He is up for joining me on that treck I had planned!!”

“Sounds fun”

“Yes. Absolutely.”

“...”

“I am just thinking... when are things going back to normal?”

“Excuse me?”

“No... it’s just... I love him, don’t get me wrong. My life makes so much more sense now that he is around. It feels like I have a purpose. I wake up in the morning and I know exactly why it is worth getting out of bed.

The thing is... when is this going to be over?”

“Is there something you don’t like about it?”

“No no no... I love it. I love it all. The dinners together, the walks, the movies. It’s great.

It’s just... I mean... i don’t feel like me anymore. And I wonder when that is going to come back”

“What would make you feel like you?”

“Well... I don’t know... yes! I have an example. I used to sing myself to sleep. I loved that! No way I can do that anymore. I mean... Don’t get me wrong! I love the chats and the sex before falling asleep... it’s just. I would be so nice to have that intimacy with myself too.”

“I bet you could have a chat with him and see if you can just sing every now and then...?”

“Yeah... come to think of it... maybe it is not really about that... it’s more... you know... I don’t even care about how I dress anymore. I used to be so on top of it... and now, as long as something looks pretty on me... I mean, he is always so impressed with the way I look that I have gotten a little lazy on the styles and trends. I feel almost too comfortable...that is not me”

“I see. So you would like to feel a stronger drive...”


“Yes that kick that propels you, that gets you to go the extra mile”

“Mmmhhh”

“Just in the way you dress I mean. I do get to go the extra mile for him every now and then. And that feels awesome! Like that time I surprised him outside of his workplace! You should have seen his face! He really was not expecting that! We went to the beach afterwards and saw the sunset together. ’

“So maybe you just found a new way of pushing yourself. It might feel different and it might take a while to get used to it... but you do seem to stretch yourself. That is great news and the sign of a very healthy relationship.”

“Yes... it’s just... everything turns around him. I am happier than I ever was, but it’s all because of him. And to be honest... I am more tired than I ever was ... you know... all that chatting and all that sex... you do get less hours of sleep in a night.”


“So you don’t like to depend on him...”

“Yes... and I mean. He also depends on me. He would be devastated if we did not go see the sunset at least once a month now. I mean, I do love to go... it’s just. It can’t go on for ever. Where is my freedom?”

“Maybe you’ll grow tired of sunsets... or maybe he will. You will figure it out. Maybe you could just enjoy the sunsets while you enjoy them?”

“No but seriously. When will I become the old me?”

“Well... all those sunsets, those chats and that sex... they might have changed you. Maybe the old you has become the new you? ”


“Are you telling me it’s never going back to normal?”


“Things never go back to normal. Every thing you experience will come with you for the rest of the journey. A tree never “ungrows”. With all the sun, with all the rain it gets, it grows taller.

And even when things seem the same, if you look closer... they never are. The water in the flowing river today is not the same you saw yesterday*, the bed of the river is a little deeper ... or maybe a little less deep, if more sands as accumulated at the bottom.”


“And yet it’s the same river”

“..."

“So the old me has gone forever”

“Not quite. She has given birth to the new you”.

”On those stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters flow.” Heraclitus



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