Setting the record straight, this has been a hard few months. I felt the entire spectrum of emotions, I had moments of extreme joy and bliss and moments of pure exhaustion and unease, moments where I question everything in my life and moments where I feel exactly where I should be. Suffice it to say, it has been quite the rollercoaster ride.
I did not suffer from PPD, but I admit that my hormones were playing games with me and there were times when I didn’t know what to do with myself or my life. I finally feel like I am coming out of the haze of newborn land and found my footing as a mother of two.There are so many blog posts that went unpublished voicing my strife. Looking back over the past few months, I realize how much I truly struggled and felt alone in the early days of being a mom of two. I am writing this, not in a way of saying I know everything (because I totally do not), but I am writing this as a reminder to myself and perhaps other moms who feel that they do not have a total handle on their lives.
Rereading the drafts of unpublished posts, I realize that I was doing the absolute best that I could and was in total survival mode. In the early days with Walker, I took both boys (with the help of my good girlfriend) to the zoo, aquarium and parks and tried to do everything above and beyond the call of motherhood. Looking back, I think I was trying to prove to myself that I could do this and I was a capable, good mother–but I realize on the inside I was just trying to keep my head above water. When Walker was only 6 weeks old, I started seeing a therapist. I needed help to get out of the “funk” I was in–well that “funk” is called hormones mixed with a newborn (who happened to have colic and seemed to hate the world/sleep). Frankly, not feeling yourself is completely normal in the early days of motherhood! I thought that I was above feeling bad and that I should feel like my normal happy self and not let anything (even a new baby) hinder my happiness. If I succumb to the fact that I was struggling, I thought I would be viewed as weak and totally out of my element as a new mom. Well that’s the thing–when you are in the haze from a lack of sleep, a complete family dynamic shift mixed with hormonal changes, you need to show yourself grace. It is so important to understand that you are doing everything you can to survive. That you do not need to go on walks with a double stroller up the hills of Atlanta, you do not need to drag both kids downtown with the crowds of people to see the lions at the zoo or the dolphins at the aquarium, you do not need to take your oldest child to the park everyday–you just need to survive. Truthfully, survival meant distracting myself from the fact that I had a HUGE change in my life and our family dynamic.
I wish that my therapist would have told me–you just had a huge change in your life, nothing is going to be perfect right now–just hang on and it will get better. I wish I didn’t accuse my husband of not being a good dad/husband as he was in survival mode along side of me and doing his best (sorry, honey!). I wish I showed myself grace above all and let myself experience the pain and confusion that came with having a new child. I feel like I need to know all the answers and be happy all of the time…when in actuality it is okay to not feel happy 100 percent of the time and it is okay to be run down and barely hanging on–that is part of life.So while this too may go unpublished, it feels good to finally admit to myself that I struggle and I am not in control of everything, and that it is okay to feel lost or alone–and that above all I am a strong woman that will always be okay.