Postpartum Depression or Bad Week?

When I created this blog, I told myself that I would write on a weekly basis. I also told myself that if I have the writing bug, I wouldn’t suppress the feeling. I would write as much as my heart desired. Well… It has definitely been longer than a week since I last posted some material. Why, you ask? Because motherhood beat me allllll the way down for the past two weeks. I have struggled getting tasks accomplished, I have cried multiple times, I’ve felt overwhelmed, inadequate, confused and just completely DONE with being a mother.

As I stated before, I have a six-year-old daughter and recently gave birth to another baby girl. I told myself that I wouldn’t assume that being a new mom this time around would be a walk in the park, but in the back of my mind I still believed that everything would be natural for me. I was completely wrong. Six years is a huge gap between children AND my girls are so different from one another. I find myself handling certain situations with ease, and others not knowing what the heck to do. It is in those very moments that I become very insecure in my ability to be a great mother to my children.

There are two things that I’ve learned about myself this time around with being a new mom. First, I am my toughest critic. Two, I compare myself to women I don’t even know WAY too often. My expectations for myself as a mother the second time around were too high. I told myself “you should be able to distinguish what each cry is for by now, this isn’t your first time.” “Look at this mom, she has 3 kids and is finding a way to get to the playground, gymnastics, breastfeed, cook, and more.” My mind was plagued with everything that I wasn’t doing right. Slowly but surely I began to break down and become weak. Let me add that I’m also a zombie most days because I solely breastfeed a demanding 2-month-old child. I found myself not dealing well when she cried. I couldn’t decipher whether my child no longer wanted my breast or if she was sick when she would snatch away and scream her lungs out. I didn’t understand why she would wake up in a tantrum after peacefully falling asleep. I didn’t understand why I had to hold her or baby wrap her in order to get things done around the house. I couldn’t handle my oldest child telling me she was still hungry after having two snacks and a full meal, while the youngest was screaming for more milk. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. I was losing it.

I called my husband and told him I needed him. I didn’t know what was going on with me. I didn’t know if I was just having a bad week or if I was suffering from postpartum depression. You are told about the symptoms, asked questions at every postpartum check up and well child visit, but do you really know when you have postpartum blues? Whats the difference between the two? Everyone tells you not to be embarrassed if you are suffering from it, but to be honest I was both terrified and embarrassed. The first time around I had just turned 21 and graduated from college. I had no job,no car, no credit (which is considered bad credit), wasn’t married, and still lived with my mom. If I had it now, why didn’t I have it then? Now I’ve just turned 28, married, got my own place, got my own car, decent credit, and I don’t have a job by choice. It just didn’t make sense.

In my conversation with my husband, he truly uplifted me. I expressed to him that I didn’t think I was fit to be a mother of three since I couldn’t handle two. We said that we would try at least one more time for a boy, and I began to believe that was a bad idea. His words…”don’t base your mothering skills or your future on this moment. It’s just a bad moment. It doesn’t mean you have postpartum depression, and if you do we will work through it.” My husband is a truck driver and works 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. When I tell you he came home and saved the day. He came home, took a shower and asked what he could do to help. He cooked fried chicken (he NEVER cooks, and I didn’t know he could actually cook something on the stove lol), washed dishes and more. And when my night seemed like it couldn’t get any worse, I spilled over 3 oz of freshly pumped breast milk. Husband came through so fast, told me to walk away and cleaned it all up. Whoever said “don’t cry over spilled milk” should be smacked! I don’t know what is worse, labor pain or the pain from spilled breast milk.

All in all, what I really needed was some serious sleep and a little more help. Sleep deprivation is so real and something that us moms really need to look out for. Lack of sleep makes being a mother extremely hard. You lack patience and you feel like there’s not enough time in the day to get anything done in addition to the nagging of your older child and the screaming of your infant. Not to mention you still have to be an amazing wife!

Shout out to all you amazing stay-at-home moms and wives and hard-working moms and wives! You are doing your best QUEEN and that is all you can do. Stop doubting yourself and take it one day at a time. At the end of the day, your children and husband will have to “cry it out” at some point in order for you to have at least 5 minutes to gather yourself. Remember, if you’re not okay, your family will not be okay.