In the days since my revelation regarding my battle with postpartum depression, I have been absolutely amazed at the number of people who have come forward with words of encouragement, thanking me for bringing into the spotlight something that others have suffered with in silence, but the best part?
Honest messages regarding early parenting and infancy.
“It’s hard fucking work. The lack of sleep is brutal.”
“When people ask how I like parenthood, I say, do you want the right answer or the real answer?”
“The crying drove me fucking insane. I used to say FUUUUUCK at the same time. No. It wasn’t effective, but I felt better.”
“I didn’t even bond with my baby for at least a month or two. I was too busy trying to stay awake.”
“I wish I would have gotten in touch with my doctor.”
“I didn’t say anything about how I was feeling. I should have talked about it.”
These are just a few of the things that were shared with me.
Yes. This early infancy IS hard fucking work. I don’t think I had an idyllic vision in my head prior to delivery, but I sure didn’t remember it being THIS difficult. Wait. Yeah. I remember. I guess I just chose to block it out somehow.
All this being said, I think there is something to be said for complete and total honesty when it comes to parenting. Do we all love our children? Of course. Do we all love being a parent all the time? Probably not. Do we all love each stage and phase of child development?
I’m speaking for myself here.
I’m not a huge fan of the immediate infant phase. Yes. My daughter is beyond adorable. My son was also very cute. I am quite certain this cuteness is a direct causal Darwinian effect. They are cute so we don’t harm them. This one fact keeps our population humming along.
I am honest when I say that I am best-suited for childrearing when children are about four to six months old and beyond. Babies go from simple pooping, peeing, crying factories to actual interactive human beings. It’s this interaction and longer stretches of quiet calm that I long for at this early phase of Baby J’s infancy. I’m not wishing away time. I’m simply looking forward to a time that I know I will be better-equipped to deal with. To each their own. If you love the newborn phase, good for you.
Stop by. I’ll put you to work.
I have always been honest about how I felt about the newborn phase. It shouldn’t come to any surprise to those who know me well that I’m not very keen on it at all. I’m not embarrassed to feel this way. I own it. I admit it. I move on and look forward to the next phase. I might not be the most maternal person in the world, but I love my children.
But, one thing I cannot stand are those who LIE about parenthood.
Please. Don’t try to paint some glorious picture of how perfect and wonderful your ENTIRE postpartum experience has been thus far. I’m going to think one of two things: You’re high. You’re in denial. Or both. Nobody has a PERFECT postpartum experience. I don’t care who you are or what you’re claiming. And in case no one else will tell you, no other moms want to hang out with you, making us feel inferior and less than able to hang on during this crazy rollercoaster ride called postpartum and infancy.
This is a hard fucking job, and honestly right now we just don’t need someone sprinkling some bullshit glitter and rainbows in front of our heavy-lidded eyes.
It’s ok. We don’t believe you anyway.
I find it refreshing and honest when other moms tell me the TRUTH. I love it when they joke about their flabby bodies, bleeding for weeks after delivery, forgetting what fucking day it is, walking around their house with their boobs hanging out until it’s time for another feeding, reliving the tears and crying jags they had with their inconsolable newborns, and yes even depression.
I’ve come to the realization that more moms than probably care to admit were feeling a bit more than the ‘baby blues’ during their immediate postpartum experience. For whatever reason, they chose to keep silent.
Many people, some friends and family, some strangers via Twitter have reached out and thanked me for being honest and speaking up about postpartum depression. I never intended to be any sort of spokesperson, but hey, I’m happy to shed some light on a condition that has been allowed to fester in the darkest corners of new mom’s minds.
We love our children. We love ourselves. We know that what we are feeling isn’t normal, but hey, as soon as you have a baby, what the fuck IS normal? Our bodies have completely changed, our hormones resemble a zigzag line, ever-changing, crying one moment, laughing the next, making us wonder if those closest to us will consider committing us to the nearest psych facility. It’s rough. It’s sleepless. It’s emotionally taxing. It’s challenging to a relationship. It’s work. It’s not easy.
Hear that, fakers and liars?
It’s not easy. But, yes. It’s worth it. So worth it. Even in the fog of my depression and blues, I can look down at my sleeping infant daughter and cry the happiest tears, smiling as I realize how much her father and I wanted her. She is so loved. She is the perfect reflection of a love between two people.
And I never forget this.
Now, where did I put my Zoloft?