We moved into our new home a few months later. Guess who did the unpacking? Yup, me. I needed to keep myself busy when I wasn’t busy with our son. I always felt like I had to keep going, never resting. I became a stay at home mom. It felt like a no-brainer. I always hated office jobs and the idea of being with my little guy all day sounded great. R just started his new job and things were beginning to feel more stable.
It was around this time that the first monster in my life – Postpartum Depression (PPD) – made a very strong appearance. Or maybe it had been there all along? It’s hard to say. All I remember was being unbelievably angry all the time. I felt like a pot boiling over with rage. Most of my rage was unfortunately directed at my son. “It’s his fault I have this demon inside of me. It’s his fault I am broken.” These were the thoughts I had and it built up so much resentment for him. I lashed out at him and snapped over every minor trivial thing that a baby could do – threw something, hit me, cried. If he yelled at me, I would yell back. I would yell until my face was red, my cheeks flushed and I was seeing stars. Most of the time, I didn’t know why I was mad. I just knew I had to get this pain out and he was the cause.
I would yell until my face was red, my cheeks flushed and I was seeing stars.
At the time, I had no friends. We had just moved here and I just had a baby so the idea of getting out there and making new friends was the last item on my to-do list. I am an introvert with anxiety so the idea of mom-dating was daunting. Yet during this super hard time, I made a few mom friends, joined classes with my son and frequented playgrounds and library times looking for other moms who were like me. I felt like I was failing, struggling and the only one who couldn’t get this mom thing figured out.
Luckily, I met one mom who I really clicked with and she reminded me that my struggle is not a unique experience. Everything that was happening with me was happening with her. I realized a few things:
- its okay to not want to be with your child every moment of every day
- It’s okay to miss your old pre-baby life.
- It’s okay to walk around Target with no real shopping list.
- It’s okay to take a shower.
- It’s okay to let the baby cry.
- A fed baby is the best baby.
- All first time moms feel like failures.
- No one knows exactly what they’re doing all the time.
Despite being out of the house and socializing, exercise, healthy eating habits and generally good sleep, I was still a ticking time bomb of anger. I snapped at everyone but mostly my son and husband. I pretended everything was okay with my inlaws but secretly (at least I thought at the time) I was hiding all of my pain from them. I wanted everyone to think I had it all together.
I didn’t know why I was sad, why I was mad and what was happening to me.
I had a lot of crying spells. A lot of time was spent crying on the floor of my closet. I didn’t know why I was sad, why I was mad and what was happening to me. At this point, my son was over a year old and it didn’t feel like PPD anymore.