I’ve gone back and forth about sharing my experience with Postpartum Depression. I’ve started writing it many times. Today, I’m ready to share this point that turned my life around. Because the thing that broke me temporarily, is the thing that has begun to heal me for a lifetime.
I always chuckled a little when the doctors would ask me about the baby blues. I was too happy of a person to be effected by that. But after my second son was born, after I had gone back to work, after I was well past the point (I thought) women would start having these feelings, it happened to me.
It had been just over two months. Our son (we found out later) had reflux. He didn’t sleep through the night or much during the day and he was very difficult to sooth. There were nights I held him all night long. During the day, I was still trying to do everything I had done before. I felt like I was drowning in diapers, spit up, bottles and baths. As hard as I tried to keep up, to do it all, I couldn’t. My temper got bigger and my emotions got stronger. I felt inept. I felt frustrated. I felt overwhelmed. I felt like a terrible mother. I knew something wasn’t right.
Although it was a short period of time, it was a long, hard road. I won’t talk much about the time between when I realized I had depression and when I realized the gift I’d been given because that period of time isn’t important to my story. I will say that I had a phenomenal support system and an amazing counselor.
It didn’t come to me all at once, but true realization of what I had learned came out of my mouth, almost as a revelation, during my final counseling session. “Super Mom” had been the phrase I kept getting hung up on. It was what I had been trying to be. It’s what I still wanted to be for my children. But as I sat there, I realized that being “super mom” meant something much different to me than what it once did.
Super mom wasn’t having a spotless house, a flawless appearance, and a picture perfect family with no faults.
Super mom meant taking care of yourself – after all, if you’re not at your best, how can you be your best for them? Super mom was worrying more about the child who was handing you a book to read than the pile of laundry or the dishes in the sink – after all, what is your child going to remember, that you waited a day or two to fold the laundry or that you spent time with him? Being super mom meant knowing that it was okay to feel overwhelmed, to need some “mommy-time”, to be imperfect – after all, no one is perfect. Being super mom meant allowing yourself to take off that cape and be human – after all, you are merely human. Being super mom meant simply loving your children and loving yourself and allowing that to be enough.
Because, you’re enough.
I’m enough. I’m a work in progress, but I’m enough. I see that now.