My mom lives in BC… I am my own caregiver.
Turns out he meant my husband. But my husband wasn’t home taking care of me, he was at work making up for the money I was losing as I rested and recuperated. He was at work after being up in the morning and single-handedly getting them up and ready, fed, and driven to two separate schools 45 minutes from home. The night before he worked til 2am. He left just after bathing and feeding the kids and getting them in bed. So I didn’t even expect him to take care of me.
But who, then? I’d spent the week with the kids in my arms. Helping them blow their noses. Dosing elderberry syrup and raw honey. I prayed that their illness would leave and I would gladly take their place. My prayers were answered.
This illness came at such an interesting time. This week my yoga classes had been themed around the first chakra. What is support and basic needs. One’s connection to family and tribe. In my post and prenatal yoga classes, this brought up discussions of support. Who is your support? Your tribe? I heard many stories from women who in the postpartum period, had relatives close by to help. None of them seemed to take this for granted.
It’s a subject that is so important to me, especially in my work as a postpartum doula and postnatal yoga teacher. Too many new moms, myself included, wind up utterly exhausted and even on medication because they just can no longer cope with what it is to be alone. Lacking support. Not enough community. No village. But more and more, it seems, the women I’m speaking to are finding support. They have a mother in law move in, or they learn the value of hiring a postpartum doula or mother’s helper.
When I found myself, feeling comatose after a week of these sort of questions, I felt a bit of despair. My kids were finally well enough to go to school and I was alone and in pain in a dark, empty house. I don’t have any family in Montreal. I felt like I had no one to take care of me. I’m a big, girl but sometimes I want someone to rub my back and make me some tea.
So I reached out. I did the thing that many of the women in my classes also say is hard for them. It’s so hard for me. But I asked for help. I texted two friends. Two angels I am blessed to call my friends. They have their own families and very busy lives, but they each brought me delicious soup. I felt a lot less alone, and I felt the love they put into making the soup.
When my husband got home, he was of course busy with the kids. I felt well enough to sit at the table with them. Then we watched a movie. We lay in bed together as he read the Big Friendly Giant until they fell asleep. And then again, I did something I don’t ever really do. I asked my husband to take care of me. He was still running around the house trying to deal with the chaos of me being out of commission. But when I asked, he came to me. Put socks on my feet, brought me warm water to drink, and talked to me until I fell asleep, too.