Dealing with Postpartum Depression
I have 3 boys – my youngest is almost 4 months old. With my first, I had a little bit of the baby blues, but it wasn’t anything too terrible. With my second, it was the same way. I had family around to help me, I healed up quickly after childbirth, and I lost my “baby fat” in a short amount of time and with relative ease.
However, with my third child, it took me a lot longer to heal, I still haven’t lost the “baby fat,” and I started to suffer from postpartum depression. I didn’t realize that I was going through it (entirely) until I went to my 6 week checkup (at 14 weeks after childbirth).
I was stressed out because I couldn’t keep my house cleaned as much as I wanted to, I struggled to get dinner on the table by a decent time, I felt like a failure as a mom and a wife (all the while having no idea what I was doing wrong). I tended to yell at my older boys more quickly and didn’t want to leave the house – trying to put off the huge event it had become to just go to the grocery store. The days flew by so quickly – I felt like I had accomplished nothing during the day when dinner time came around.
My midwife said my expectations of myself were too high. I had 3 kids and was a busy mom. Sometimes the laundry wouldn’t get done or I might have to order takeout because I didn’t have time to cook a meal. She said I needed to get out more and go to the playgroups. I needed the socialization with other moms. I also needed to realize that I was caring for 3 young children, one of which I nurse every 2 hours or so. Plus I change twice as many dirty diapers as before, which also takes up time. I need to realize that the laundry is going to be never ending because I am washing and drying clothes for 5 people in our house.
I decided it was time for a change. When we had to go to the grocery store (and yes, I take all 3 kids with me), it was only a trip to one store per day, instead of 2 or 3 different stores in a day’s time. I would take my kids to the playgroup the women have at church and socialize with other moms. I would open the blinds first thing in the morning and let the morning light shine in (yes there is still light that comes in when it’s overcast). I would talk to a mentor when I was struggling with the kids or personal issues.
Doing these things has helped me to overcome my short bout with postpartum depression. Being a mom is a hard job, but I am thankful I can do it. It takes a lot of practice, energy, and love. It is the best job I’ve ever had!