The title of this post completely sums up the rollercoaster that is motherhood & being a parent, in general! 2017 held many changes for us as a family – Hannah turned 3 and a month later we welcomed Eden to the family.
Here’s the thing – being a parent to two, is SO different. It’s hard to describe.
Initially, I felt like a champion mom – Eden was born via C-section with no hiccups, she was healthy and I had a quick recovery and to top it off we were busy with a renovation of our kitchen. I literally came home from hospital as the last lick of paint was going on downstairs. As I retreated to our room upstairs, I felt proud, Hannah had welcomed her sister with warm affection and breastfeeding was going well. I felt so much joy and pride.
Reality soon set in, when I was left alone with a toddler and a newborn baby and I don’t think I could’ve predicted the amount of guilt I would feel, as Hannah ate bread for supper while watching cartoons, so I could feed Eden and get her down to sleep. Everything, even the joy of being a mom to a new baby, was shrouded in a sense of sadness and feeling out of control. Then there was the disappointment and despair I would feel when I couldn’t understand what Eden wanted – I was a mom before, surely I should know what to do?!?
Little did I know that there was something else going on in my body, too. When Eden was about 12 weeks old I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. It took a lot of motivation for me to actually go see the doctor. It was weeks of stress and anxiety and not coping with general mom stuff, like a crying baby and a tantrum-throwing toddler. When I look back, I think the warning signs were there, but the anxiety I felt and the times that I had struggled, I had fobbed off as not handling the transition to two kids very well.
There was one day when Dave left for work that I cried and I could not stop. I couldn’t control it. I just felt so sad and like such a failure. He eventually came home early and encouraged me to get out of the house, so I booked a pedicure, dried my tears and had some me-time. My sweet, patient husband encouraged me to see our GP, which I was quite offended by. I didn’t think something was that wrong, but at the same time, that day had been anything but rosy. I then saw an instagram post by a blogger, Sarah from mascaraandmimosas.com about her struggle with postpartum depression and I decided to send her a message and ask how she had coped. She had a similar experience to me – her husband encouraged her to see someone and she was also not too keen initially. Turns out, it was just what she needed. That was the confirmation I needed to seek help. I am so grateful to Sarah for her response to my message and the amazingness of how being open on a social platform really helped me in this journey.
It’s so important to be open and speak about what’s REALLY going on. I felt so much peace and a sense of relief once I knew what I was facing and that I could take medication that would help me. For now, I know this is a season in my life, it will take time and I am grateful for it – there are times in life to test and grow us, and I can appreciate that. I love my girls so much and I wouldn’t change it at all.
The only thing I can say is that my hands and my heart are full – my hands are full, juggling all the things involved with being a mom of two and my heart is overflowing with love and gratitude for these two precious lives!
I’d love to hear your honest mom stories – post using the hashtag #honestmotherhood to get involved and share!