This is a question I ask myself daily. I even say it out loud for myself to hear. Most women who suffer from depression probably do the same thing. It is a way of recognizing the mental state that we are in.
Some days are worse than others. I can happily say that I have more good days than bad now. I can acknowledge when I am having an emotional moment, when the tears fall and I am so overwhelmed by everything in life.
There was a time when the bad days were more consistent than the good days. For mothers who are currently in the midst of the long haul of bad days, I know its unbearable, that you are miserable and hurting. The words of family and friends are not helping (even if they are trying).
I think the hardest part for me was knowing that I should feel happy. I didn’t want to feel bad but I did. I knew my daughter was my biggest blessing but instead of the blissful happiness I should have felt, I felt utter despair.
Everyday was a battle. Hearing the thoughts in my mind and convincing myself that those thoughts were not who I really am. DO NOT give up on yourself. You are not just fighting for yourself, you are fighting this depression for you’re child too.
Find something that will help you relieve stress. Hiking, running, punching a punching bag, starting a journal or try to help others who suffer. These are all things that I have done to help combat my emotions. You should find what works for you. It is not a cure all, but it is certainly a starting point.
Some one once told me to give myself time to get ready in the morning. I thought, ” oh ya that will help” well to my surprise it helped somewhat. I felt more refreshed and more prepared to start my day.
Find time to do the things you did before having the baby. You can do this even if you have you’re child with you. Did you actively take walks? Take the baby with you and feel that crisp morning air. Were you an avid reader? Read while she is sleeping. Did you workout? Safely put the baby in a pack and play and do that work out. The important thing is to create a new normal for yourself.
People think you should change you’re life completely once you have a child. News flash, you can still be you. Don’t lose yourself in the idea that you are a mother now and that is the only thing you can be. No! You are a mother first, but you still get to own who you are.
The baby will adapt to the life that you choose to make for you’re family. Do not exclude the baby from the daily errands that you need to take care of. The more that you have you’re child with you, the more that you will want them with you.
I thought after going back to work that my daughter was better off being cared for by family. That was the post partum talking. At first going back to work made me feel normal. Then it made me feel horrible. I knew I was giving into depression and regretted the time I was missing with my daughter. I decided to move to part time and started spending much more time with my daughter. That is when it finally clicked for me.
After spending more time with my daughter, watching her learn and develope new skills, I couldn’t get enough time with her. She is my world, and I am hers. I have adapted to her needs and wants and she has adapted to letting me clean my house, run errands, and going for walks.
It is hard to see now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. There are better days to come. I can’t promise you a time frame of when you will feel better, but I can promise you that when you finally get passed the uncontrollable thoughts and the devastating emotions, you will be the happiest you have ever been. You will know how strong you were to have made it through. You will be proud of the mother that you are. You will cherish every moment with you’re child. (Yes, even the hectic days will be cherished.) Believe in yourself and the love you have for you’re child. You are all in my thoughts and I am here if you ever need a stranger to just listen to how you feel.
A mom who knows you’re struggle