There’s a lot of unspoken things about motherhood before the decision is made to have a child. Yes, more topics and discussions have come out, and people are more “woke” here in 2020, but even now with me having my second baby, I am still experiencing things I never imagined I would be going through.
Instagram and other social media forms have gotten folks hypnotized. All that is pretty much documented is the cute, small, delicate, squishy faces of babies and a beautifully round, oiled up belly during pregnancy. But what about what comes after?….What’s next?
As I am sure you’ve read, I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old, so two boys in extremely different stages. And I too were in extremely different stages and circumstances in my life once I gave birth to them. The only similarity between my experiences with my boys is that I experienced postpartum depression (PPD) with both. One more than the other, but definitely both.
When I had Ezra, PPD was mentioned, or skimmed over, but it was not in the spotlight. It was still kind of frowned upon, and brushed off as you had ‘issues’ and were just complaining.
PPD comes in different stages & different waves, and feelings, but no case is of less importance than the other. Its also so many different emotions that can trigger it. So bare with us , men, it’s more common than you think. It’s not just issues or being crazy. And the only thing that can be of any help is support and understanding. Whether it be from your other half or from family and friends. The more support, the better.
I think one of the hardest points in my depression was just the thought of something so precious and beautiful, and me looking at him and having a sense of complete and utter emptiness. Even my words written down cannot fully explain it. Its like I would be there physically, but my insides had vanished, no thoughts, no feelings, no love, no nothing.
& God! the financial stress of it all makes it 1000x worse. All the thoughts of all the problems in the world seem to rest on your shoulders. Its a sense of a small, black hole that is dug deeper and deeper with every worry and every problem. I remember something so small like my shirt falling off of the hanger would trigger me and I would flip out. So I can understand what it looks like on the outside, like ” what did that hanger do to you?”
I even feel like I turned my back on my husband, although he did everything he could. But the most stressful part is that he would never understand. If I am going to be completely honest, though, I couldn’t ask him to. My thoughts are not his thoughts, my emotions aren’t his, and we handle things differently.
I do, however, thank God that he has helped me through that. The feeling of not being able to provide the best environment for your children is the worst and most helpless of feelings. The only thing we can do is take it day by day, and pray for the next one.
If I am going to be entirely honest, Im not fully there and over my experience with PPD but my mind is getting stronger with time. SO, I say all this to say:
Keep pushing Mama! You’re not alone in whatever stage of life you are in at this moment. You don’t love your child any less. And trust me, that other mom you see in Target who seems to have it all together, is probably crying in her car as the thought of the other mom she saw is going through her head.
& to the support systems of people going through postpartum, your being there doesn’t go unnoticed, you just can’t ask someone who’s thoughts aren’t the best to reciprocate the love, so again, just time.
Take it easy, take a breath, and find peace in the key point that you are doing the best that you can.