I’m not sure if it’s the sleep deprivation or the loss of blood, but something about having a baby can alter aspects of your personality.
I am known to be a rather organised person. Some might say anal, but they have probably just been reading too much Freud. I am the person with the lists, the person who organises the Secret Santa each year for Mothers’ group, I am the coordinator at Playgroup, I keep the house stocked up with toilet paper and pretty much know where everything is from Hubby’s iPod earphones (under the pile of mail) to the Bombshell’s favourite Barbie doll (wedged in the cushion of the couch) to the Curly Mop’s dummy (hidden behind the fruit bowl).
Before Baldy Baby was born in late February, I ensured that I had bought and wrapped all birthday and other presents necessary up until Mothers’ Day. They even had little sticky notes on them reminding me what they were. I arranged online shopping so that we wouldn't run out of groceries while I was in hospital. I wrote detailed instructions for the grandmothers on how to get the older girls to pre-primary and daycare, and even took a picture of the Bombshell’s lunchbox so that Hubby would know what he needed to pack each day (complete with little arrows and suggestions).
So now that Baldy Baby is two weeks old, why can't I make the most simple decision? It literally took me five minutes this morning to decide what to have for breakfast. Do I wash the sheets or the towels? Are they really that dirty? Do I actually care? [No]. Do I feed the baby or change her? Do I go back to bed or sit down at the computer? (ahhh the dilemmas of the a modern day blogger)....
I think part of the problem stems from your stay in hospital, where you quite literally relinquish control of all aspects of your life to the nurses. You no longer have any control over your body, your baby or your bodily functions. Hell, they even tell you when you need to poop. Trying to sleep? Too bad, it’s time to take your blood pressure again. Visitors about to cuddle the baby? Too bad, it’s time for her to be weighed and measured again. The in-laws are popping by to see you? Too bad, whip your knickers down - it’s time to check the Caesar wound.
Your most challenging decision is which box to tick on the menu each day – do you want Weetbix or porridge? Ham sandwiches or fish pie?
For a week you are as helpless as your new baby, and as soon as the irritation leaves and you begin to enjoy the lack of responsibility, you are sent home, back into your former life.
'Muuuum, where's my library bag?'
'Muuum, cwacka, cwacka? Cwoc milk? Cwoc milk?'
'Muuum, can I have a rainbow-Dora-Barbie-zombie-fighting-ScoobyDoo party for my birthday this year?'
'Where are my headphones?'
Previous to the birth I would have had a rather strong opinion on all of these things, or at least an answer. Now, I close my eyes and just don't care.
Run out of toilet paper? Drip dry.
Run out of fruit for morning tea? Send the leftover pasta. They won't know it was us.
Homework has sat untouched in the Bombshell's backpack for a week? Take it out, crunch it up a bit and they might think we had a go.
In short, the birth of a baby makes women want to be men: all care and no responsibility.
I have lived like the other half for a week or so, and I LIKED it.
In the interest of full disclosure, I really should mention that the other reason I have lost the inability to make decisions is because Hubby has stepped up and become a superhero over the past couple of weeks. He has taken care of everything, from ponytails to playdates, so all I have had to do it sit in my chair and feed the baby. He has spoiled me totally, and I am very grateful.
But that part of me (the list part, the part that does the shopping and the washing, and cares if the girls have eaten protein and vegetables), if not completely and utterly dead, is at least temporarily disabled.
And I'm not sure if I want it back.