Good morning and Happy June! Can you believe how fast this year is going by? It seems like time has sped up exponentially since I had children, but then, many things have changed since becoming a mom– my weight and body shape, my freedom, my schedule, and my sleep.
Perhaps the most changeable feature of motherhood, for me and for many, is my mood. While I’ve always been a moody chick, prone to anxiety and depression, becoming a mother increased every feature of my emotional state manifold.
There are days I feel I am watching life from the bottom of the ocean, things just seem so low and heavy. And other days it feels like there is a bird cage of wild parrots in my chest, flapping and screeching with nervous energy. Moments of joy– true, sweet bliss– can be few and far between, but when they do happen they are a luminous pearl that makes the rest of the struggle dull in comparison.
Maybe it’s hormones shifting like tectonic plates from pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and marching towards menopause. Or maybe it is the realization that all of a sudden I have these little scraps of myself flailing around in the world, and I’m trying to keep them gathered together so they might not unravel, and someday become an amazing quilt of a person.
Maybe you get it. Maybe it is confusing for you too.
Jennifer from Chopping Potatoes gets it, and she is the feature of my SHOUT Out today.
One of the amazing and validating thing about blogging is that it allows readers and writers to connect with one another in supportive and empathetic ways. Jennifer’s blog is a beacon of light and hope for moms, as she writes about the challenges of motherhood, and especially about maternal depression.
During the month of May, Jennifer posted daily about the many different aspects of maternal depression and anxiety. I found this endeavor to be ambitious and tittsey (BTW, “tittsey” is a word I coined to be the feminine equivalent of “ballsy.”) She herself experienced and got through postpartum depression, and writes about her journey to peel back the veil of stigma over maternal depression in all of its forms.
Like Jennifer, I had postpartum depression, and saying it was the worst, most confusing and god-awful time in my life does nothing to describe the bleak sensation of feeling inept to care for my baby and family, the fear that I’d ruined my life by becoming a mom, and the frustration and humiliation I felt for not relishing what was supposed to be the most magical time in my life. It is still hard for me to talk about, hence many posts I’ve written allude to that time in my life after my first child was born, but never discuss it head on.
Over at Chopping Potatoes, Jennifer confronts these issues with grace and hope in a way that lets women know they are not alone, and things will get better. She offers avenues for getting professional help, and shines a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether or not you have experienced postpartum anxiety and depression, you will find a little something to champion your mother-soul over at her blog. I hope you will check her out!
Thank you Jennifer for having the guts to tackle such a difficult subject. I think you rock! (And we will make that blog meet-up happen someday. . . )