A funny thing happened on the way out of the maternity ward; I seemed to misplace my social skills.
I’ve always considered myself an extroverted introvert (sounds strange I know – you have to be one to know one though) but ever since we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world my ability socialise with ease has vanished. Maybe it was the extreme fatigue, the heavy dose of post c-section drugs, or perhaps the fact my hormones had staged a coup and were currently holding me hostage from rationality (or likely a combination of all three!) but whatever the reason, since leaving hospital I’ve found myself happy to play the role of the recluse.
The realisation only really dawned on me on Friday, when I fronted up to my first Playgroup since Lady ZaZa was born. I hadn’t been around that many people, all clamouring (albeit nicely!) for my attention, eager to see the little lady and pass on their lovely messages of congratulations. But half an hour in, after the swell of well wishes receded, it was all I could do no to lock myself in the toy cupboard and hide for the remainder of the time there. Not only was I finding it tough speaking to the largest group of people I’d been amongst in over 2 months, but I felt like I’d forgotten how to make small talk – either that or I was just too exhausted to try.
And while with those nearest and dearest to me I’ve not encountered any self imposed anti social behaviour, I’m aware I have been slipping in other areas. Such as the long list of phone calls I need to make, the thought of which has been too taxing to do. Likewise even with electronic communication. I’m great at reading an email or text, but not so at replying – or at least in a timely manner. Even my neighbour remarked, after having not seen or heard from me for well over a month “oh, so you haven’t moved house then?”
The good news is as of today I figure I must be slowly slipping out of this social funk. At Mothers Group (the 3rd one I have forced myself to attend) I found myself actually enjoying it and chatting with relative ease to complete strangers. Maybe knowing they are in the same foggy haze as me makes it easier to connect somehow…
So if you are reading this and I owe you a phone call/email/text/play date/general get together consider this my formal apology. Know I am not being purposefully anti-social and that slowly but surely, this self imposed solitude is melting away. Normal social transmission will hopefully resume soon!