I didn’t always buy into the clichés about women being emotional roller coasters due to pregnancy or postpartum hormones. After all, I was still myself during my pregnancies, albeit with a shorter temper and a fuzzier memory. Really, I thought the stereotype was one more way for people to joke about a woman’s mental state without exploring the real reason for her hurt feelings or emotional outburst. A pregnant woman’s PMS, if you will.
But after my second child was born, I couldn’t deny that I had become what I previously thought was merely a sitcom-created mothering myth: a postpartum crier.
Of course, it’s hard when you’re getting up several times a night with an infant (plus an early-rising preschooler) but really, did I need to cry about everything? Certainly, there were overwhelming, real reasons I cried. But I’m not talking about the “why is no one sleeping,” “have I ruined my life,” “what is the greater meaning of dedicating myself to a child who is only going to hate me in 10 years and never call me in 20” kind of existential parenting crises. I’m talking about the silly, unnecessary, definitely hormone-related reasons I’ve cried or gotten teary since having a new baby. Here are just a few of those reasons…
1. When my husband told me I needed to throw away the package of hot dogs after I left them out of the refrigerator all day long.
2. Describing the epilogue for Knuffle Bunny Free. (In my defense, the epilogue is beautiful and sad in a Cat’s-In-The-Cradle way and made my husband cry the first time he read it.)
3. Reading an online article about a cat that had run away from home. (Hell, reading pretty much any article about parenting, children or animals.)
4. Watching the Google commercial where the tween overcomes glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. (Hell, watching pretty much any Google commercial. Or any sappy commercial.)
5. When I went to buy an iced coffee and realized the $5 I put in my pocket specifically for that purpose was gone.
6. When the baby laughed while I changed him. (The cuteness was overwhelming.)
7. When my preschooler told me I wasn’t allowed to play with him.
8. Because I missed watching “In The Papers” on NY1 (a segment in which the anchor literally tells you what is in the papers. Before I got addicted to it, I thoroughly made fun of this concept).
9. When I woke up.
10. When the guy at the deli put too much mustard on my sandwich, thus ruining the sandwich. RUINING IT!
11. Watching the video where the baby cries at her mother’s singing. (Hell, watching pretty much any online video about children. Or animals. Or anything sappy, inspiring, or heartwarming. OK, fine, any online video about anything.)
12. No reason at all.
13. Looking at my son’s drawing.
14. Thinking about the song “Landslide.” (In my defense, that is a really good song. And sad. And beautiful. Oh God, here I go again.)
15. When I picked my son up at school.
16. When my son got a bad haircut.
17. When I didn’t like my hair color (which is the exact same color that I have been dyeing my hair for the past 12 years).
18. Because my DVR didn’t record Project Runway: All Stars (which is both terrible and available online).
19. When the cat barfed under the bed.
20. While watching the Mrs. Krabappel dedication on The Simpsons after the voice actress died.
21. Hearing that Amy Robach had breast cancer and that Robin Roberts came out. (Note: while cancer is sad and coming out is laudable, I don’t watch Good Morning America nor do I have any specific love for these particular ladies.)
22. Thinking about my son’s love for his favorite stuffed animal.
23. When I poured salt into my iced tea instead of sugar. (Ok, that legitimately sucked.)
24. When I accidentally deleted an episode of my son’s former favorite TV show, Jack’s Big Music Show, which is no longer aired on Nick Jr. nor is it available online or on DVD so that was THE LAST TIME I WILL EVER SEE IT. (For those curious, it was “Jack’s Super Swell Sing-Along” which is the best episode of the series and even if my son didn’t love it anymore, I still did, dammit.)
25. When I realized I didn’t wash my slipper socks, meaning I had to walk around the cold apartment in regular socks like a HEATHEN.
26. Thinking about how lucky I am.