i like to keep things on this blog and social media light and positive but not all my days are as bright as they may seem. i'm a generally happy person and life is good but as i've discovered in the past couple of months, there is such a thing as postpartum depression. i haven't experienced anything incredibly severe, i would never want to discredit another woman's experience with severe postpartum depression by comparing my mild symptoms but there are rough days. in the past couple of months there have been weeks when i was unable to enjoy almost anything. everything felt difficult and i just felt blue. i was constantly down and annoyed about everything. the days felt long and hard. i was confused as to why i was feeling this way. motherhood felt like a burden and all my other responsibilities just felt like too much.
it wasn't until i talked to my sister and we realized we both had been experiencing the same feelings. she is six months postpartum. finally i decided to check into postpartum depression. i thought that postpartum depression was only experienced in the early months of being postpartum. turns out it's possible any time within the first year. gaining this information was surprisingly helpful. once i understood what i was experiencing the weight of my confusion was lifted.
i still have days that are down but understanding what i'm experiencing and ways to manage it has made a world of difference. jason has been so understanding and helpful. he was of course concerned and confused himself and having him work so hard to continuously lift me up has been such a blessing. the biggest take away i have from all this has been the importance of having someone to talk to. ever since my sister came out to visit last week i have had nothing but good days.
i think there is an unfair pressure on women and mothers that we always have to have everything together. no one has it all together so let's stop pretending. women need the support of other women.
the other day i was at the park with wesley and i couldn't help but overhear the conversation of a group of women sitting in the grass while they watched their kids run through the park without a care. i hate to criticize them but i was surprised by their sneaky judgmental comments towards each other. their conversation centered around the numerics of their blog traffic, comparing organic foods they feed their children, and which photographer to go with for their christmas cards. while these topics of conversation are innocent the way they were speaking to each other was not. comparisons flew through the whole conversation and judgmental comments about what each mother was doing wrong were frequent. there was a moment in the conversation when a mother admitted she had experienced postpartum depression and the response she got from the other mothers was that she must have not been getting enough sleep, which lead to a conversation about who's children have never had a problem sleeping all through the night. all she was looking for was a little support from some fellow mama's, not a competition of who is blessed with the most angelic baby who allows his mother the most sleep.
please mom's, give each other a break. stop comparing brands and instead give each other a pat on the back and an understanding smile. whether your child struts around in a brand new bugaboo and freshly picked mocs, or everything he wears and strolls around in is second hand, it doesn't make a lick of difference to him. he'll have the same view of the world from his fourth generation stroller and he can roll in the grass in his hand-me-down clothes just as well as his new ones. and women who experience postpartum depression don't love their kids any less then those who have never had a postpartum struggle. i wish that this post would be enough to make that kind of a difference but instead i'll just make this my goal. less judgment - more support.