An Unclean Woman

Getting back to normal as quickly as possible after having a baby is the goal of most moms these days. Getting back into those jeans, exercising, and regular routines. Of course, few take into account that the normal we knew before the baby was born is never going to be our normal again. (And the new normal takes about 6 months to feel normal!)

For my first 3 babies, I tried the American way. It usually wound up with an insanely messy house, meals not being prepared, and angry and stressed Mommy and an impatient Daddy. And poor babies who didn't know what was going on. My third baby also wound up so sick for the first 8 months that I had trouble thinking straight from lack of sleep and worry. I was sick too, but that's a whole long story about my own lack of education.

So for Noemi, I wondered if there was another way. And of course, there is God's way. God's way for after childbirth is in Leviticus 12. Women were considered "unclean" after birth for 7 days with a son and 14 days with a girl. The feminist in all of us will rear its head up at that! Unclean? How dare He?
But, I looked into what "unclean" meant for practical purposes for the Jewish woman. It meant she couldn't prepare food and do housework for her family because she would make them unclean. It also meant visitors stayed away and those who did come to take care of her had to be careful to wash properly before and after touching the woman.

Basically, a new mom was just to sit around for those days taking care of her newborn. Well, that doesn't really sound so bad, does it? (It actually sounds really good for a woman who has just given birth.) After those days, a woman had 33 days with her son, or 66 days with her daughter to avoid crowds and stay low before she was able to offer sacrifices at the sanctuary for her uncleanliness.
Again, this all sounds great to me! How does it pan out in real life, though? Well, it definitely takes some community. I have my Mom and my sister to help me, but not everyone has that. It's a good trade though for friends to offer. My husband stayed home with us the first week, taking care of everything but the baby. And some of our church members have brought us meals.

It's almost been 3 weeks now, and I've only been out of the house for a couple of doctor appointments and to vote (I didn't get the absentee voter paperwork in soon enough). I haven't felt pressure to get back into regular clothes, nor have I felt guilty for wearing yoga pants and pajamas. When Jeremy went back to work, I started keeping up with the laundry, and doing some homeschooling, but I still haven't made my way back into the kitchen entirely. I'll make easy meals for the kids and me, and I have them clean up. (I even asked my Mom to get me frozen chicken nuggets!) It's been good. But it's also taken some sacrifice.

My Mom has done so much for us, and Jeremy's workload around the house has doubled. My sister has also helped with taking care of the kids. I'm so grateful that I can spend this time protected. But it's also meant that I missed going places. I'm missing things like school with the kids, and soccer; I'm also going to miss a baby shower with a lot of friends I don't get to often see. And Jeremy's grandfather passed away last week. Jeremy went to the funeral, but the kids and I missed that as well.

As for the baby, she has done really well. She's gained weight more quickly than my others, had no troubles with nursing, and adjusted her sleep schedule within a couple of nights. She's an easy baby. I think this time has been good for her too. The other kids have needed the quiet too. They are ready for more normal schedules now, but with the time change in addition to everything, we've all needed more rest and sleep. I haven't had any huge, hormonal meltdowns, just a small one after Jeremy got back from his trip.

I'm not saying that this one thing will save Noemi from ever getting sick. The things we do can't save us, but I do want to do life His way in the best ways that I can. It's just my way of trying to acknowledge that He knows what He's talking about.

Anybody else tried this? What do you think?


  1. I always enjoy your sweet posts. I agree that the Creaotor of our bodies know what's best for those bodies. Congratulations to you all for the new addition in your family that God has bless ya'll with.

    1. What a sweet compliment! Thank you Annie, for reading and for the congrats!


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