I am not setting out to insult any one, to start a fight, to say that the “Mommy Funk” is a real thing or not. After all, I am just one person. My experience is different from yours, and I make no claims to understand your situation or relate it to mine.
The idea is all over the place. There are books on how to be a happy mom…I get emails about parenting that include the term…I get a few parenting magazines that also discuss the phrase.
For those of you who may not know, the “Mommy Funk” is the idea that once a woman has a child or children, she puts so much into caring for them that she neglects herself….and this leads to unhappiness.
She neglects her appearance. No make-up, infrequent hair cuts, no new clothes to fit our post-pregnancy bodies…which somehow, even at the same weights that we were previously at, no longer fit into those old clothes (and NO, I am not back to my pre-pregnancy weight…but I am currently at a weight that spent some time at two years before I got pregnant…and as a pack rat, I still have the clothes…and NO they do not fit…stupid hips).
She neglects her health. No exercise and not enough sleep.
She neglects her social life. No outings with friends, no “girls nights,” no long phone conversations, no after work “happy hours.”
She neglects her mental health. No personal time. Guilt about everything (the apparently famous “Mommy guilt”).
So what do I think?
First of all, let me give you an example of ME:
I once saw a magazine article that talked about the freedom of “going bare.” Not in the way that one might think, although I suppose there is a type of freedom in that also. ☺ Teehee. But in the respect of actually…gasp….leaving the house without make-up on. I know. I KNOW. I’ll wait while you peel yourself up off of the floor.
Have you recovered yet?
The article went on to state that one could feel liberated by “going bare”….their definition of which was leaving the house only wearing mascara, lip gloss, and light touch of blush.
I’m sorry. Leaving the house with NO make-up on means mascara, lip gloss, and blush?
Um. So what do I do each day? Leave the house with some soul-sucking impossible NEGATIVE amount of make-up on? How do I survive? Do people mistake me for something other than a woman? Some alien creature who is actually currently comfortable in showing the world my own….gulp…skin? Horrors.
Does that set a good base line for you? As I stated at the beginning of this post, I’m not here to judge anyone. I CLEARLY don’t run my life in the normal way that a popular women’s magazine would have me function. So take or leave what I say…but use the above example to understand what kind of woman I am…where I am coming from….mmmkay?
Has becoming a Mommy altered my appearance?
You betcha. My hips are bigger. My tummy is softer. Heck, a lot of me is softer. My old clothes no longer fit. I need to buy new clothes, but for now, I’m enjoying getting waaaay too much use out the maternity clothes that people told me I would never get my money’s worth out of. Take that you Doubters! ☺ I don’t wear make-up most days, but the again, I never have. I do have a snazzy new hair cut.
Has becoming a Mommy altered my health?
Well, there is that whole gestational hypertension thing that is still sort of hanging around. My blood pressure isn’t quite back to where it was pre-pregnancy. It is sort of on the higher end of normal. This is most likely due to the fact that I haven’t been exercising like I did before I became a Mommy. Is my sleep altered? Yeah. Am I tired? Yeah. Am I drinking more coffee? Yeah….is that helping my blood pressure? Nope.
Has becoming a Mommy altered my social life?
Nope. Moving to NC altered my social life. Drastically. And not for the better. I couldn’t convince anybody from Michigan to move with us. I tried. No takers.
Has becoming a Mommy altered my mental health?
Not really. I’ve always had a guilty conscience and been a worrier. Now I just have a tiny person’s life on which to focus it. As for “me” time, it is something that I’ve always pushed off. Now I just have a better reason to push it off. I still manage a bubble bath every so often, and I still manage to read books in the evenings some times. Overall, not too much different.
I strongly dislike the term “Mommy funk” actually. It sort of implies that the overall changes to my life have not been positive. It seems, in my humble opinion, to focus too much on the wrong things in life. Yes, appearance can be important. Yes, health and mental health and social life are definitely important. Yes, those things have been altered in some way or another.
But have you met my darling daughter with her infectious giggles and amazing personality?
Is life different than it was before I had Nora? Yes. Were some of those changes unexpected? Yes. Are some things much much harder? Yes. Will anything prepare you for those changes? I don’t think so.
But all of life is a learning experience. Changes in life, particularly big changes, require time and adjustment periods. 10 ½ months in, we are most certainly still figuring things out. We will be for the rest of our lives.
“Mommy guilt”? Absolutely. That is probably a post all on its own. Maybe along with “Mommy worry”
“Mommy body”? Yeah. My hips seem to have their own orbit these days. ☺ (Just kidding. Sort of)
“Mommy love”…”Mommy happiness”….”Mommy excitement”…”Mommy satisfaction”….”Mommy pride”…those are more of things I’m feeling these days. ☺
“Mommy funk”? No. Not for me.