Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Diagrams make better sense sometimes.

I have been thinking lately about what exactly postpartum depression is.
I don't know how hard every other woman in the world finds the journey of early motherhood; I know it is something that others find difficult, some breaking down in our society from all of the pressure to do everything, be everything- and the innate desire to do just that for our children.

I have been having a lot of day dreams and desires for independence. I have felt like running away, chasing any sort of reality that is less scary to me, something that will feel free. It has been horrible feeling this way! I have these incredible little boys who look at me with such love and adoration, and TRUST! and here I am, thinking these things. Trying to make wholesome home-made food, trying to breastfeed, spending all of my breaks at work pumping milk for them to drink while I'm away, washing their clothes, keeping them safe, and meanwhile trying to make a living and have a marriage. Sure, it's a lot- but I tell myself, people do much more all the time, who am I to complain?

But here's the thing- I think its this tough I Can Do It attitude that creates a sort of postpartum depression. Because the reality is, you can try and you can do your best, but we are all just human and what matters the most is to have your heart and mind available for those children, that is all they really need. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, trying to find an answer that will heal my mind a little bit.

So, I came up with this diagram to describe what it has been like, this journey from woman to mother. I'm aiming for the green trajectory, but I'm going to stop putting pressure on myself, if I stay blue for a while that's OK too.


Kim O. said...

Being a mother is so hard! I have a very hard time being a working mother. Too many hats to wear: wife, mom, worker, cook, housekeeper, etc. I love to do things well, but am too busy to do anything very well these days. And it makes me feel...defeated. Hang in there.

Monica said...

After my first baby, I was so full of post-pardum blues - but hadn't identified it - that when we went on our first outing to Barnes and Noble, and I opened Vicki Iovine's book (Girlfriends Guide to the First Year of Motherhood) to the chapter about baby blues, I began crying right there in the store. I wasn't the only mother going crazy post-becoming-a-mommy!

You're right - unrealistic expectations set us up for failure.