First, the title of this post is not a reference to alcohol. LOL. Rather, let's have a discussion about PPD and other post-baby hardships. I'm not sure how it was for all the moms out there. Sometimes I think we feel like we can't admit if things were really hard. I know for me, I've already fallen prey to that need to act like everything is just going great. As you can see with my sleep stuff, it's not necessarily going great. I've gotten messages and comments from several people about my nap training. First - "training" is sort-of a strong word for what I've been doing. I've really just been trying to put her down in her crib for naps. Mainly because I just couldn't deal with holding her for 5-6 hours of naps everyday. And there are reasons for that. And I would like to be candid with you about those reasons.
For those who know me in real life, you'll know that I've always been one of those people that has to be going, going, going. In January 2007, I started back to school to get my BA in Elementary Education. I also continued to work full time. I was also a wife, friend, daughter, etc. So between work, school, social and family responsibilities, I was a busy girl. But it worked for me. I continued this year-round - with summer classes in the summers - from January 2007 until last semester. I cut my hours back a little bit at work in the very end, but that was made up for by my increase in school responsibilities. Therefore from January 2007 until December 2009, I was going, going, going. I had plans to continue this after having Isis. I thought I would just start my student teaching on January 27 - after having Isis on January 2 - and just keep going. I also thought that if for some reason I didn't start my student teaching, I would go back to work after 6-8 weeks.
Well, neither of these things happened. I suddenly found myself a stay-at-home mom. This was something I never had planned on for myself. Not because I didn't want to spend time with my child or because I didn't respect stay-at-home moms, but rather because I know myself and I knew that staying at home would potentially and literally be very depressing for me. This has turned out to be true. But it's partially my own fault and it's partially because of several other things. For one thing, it's cold outside and it keeps snowing a lot! As a result, I have spent a couple of solid Monday through Friday weeks at home without leaving. Most of that time being at home with just Isis - and as most of you probably know with newborns - she isn't awake a lot and when she is, she isn't super interactive. So I'm left with my own thoughts, fears, worries, etc. I just sit there and over-analyze and over-think everything.
This resulted in a minor emotional breakdown yesterday. I felt lonely. I felt like I wasn't a good mom. I felt like I wasn't a good wife. I felt like I wasn't contributing to my family. I felt like no one wanted to hang out with me now that I have a baby. I felt bad that I didn't want to hold her for 5-6 hours a day. I love cuddling with her. I would love to hold her for one of her naps everyday just because I know that she won't be that little for that long and I won't always be able to hold her for naps. But sitting still on my couch while she sleeps on my chest for 5-6 hours gets very emotionally tiring for me. And you can think what you want about that, but that's how it is. I need to be moving around. I need to be doing something. I need to be productive. And at the end of the day, I think one of the best things I will have to offer Isis is ME. And ME is someone who needs to be doing stuff. If I'm home all day while Lewis is at work, then when he gets home, I want the dishes to be done and the laundry finished and dinner cooking, etc. I feel like it's my job and I will enjoy doing it. But I can't do it if she's sleeping on me all the time.
On the flip side, I also need to get out of my house. Sometimes I just need a break. And going out and doing things - even WITH Isis - would be a break! I don't want to be away from her, I just want to be out of the house. I finally talked to some people about this and found a couple of ways to get out of my house, so that'll be good. I also love when I have visitors, but the ones who were so eager to come at the very beginning have backed off as Isis gets older. I don't think they're backing off because they aren't interested. I just think that people have lives & things to do during the day. And I need to find my stuff to do. But still, if anyone wants to come visit & watch a movie or just sit & talk - let me know! But I think I may start going to Jazzercise with Diana and she also goes to the public library for story time with her girls, so me & Isis may join her for that. I also have been invited to go hang out at Laurel's house because she stays home with her girls & she can talk to me about mom stuff & maybe help me with some stuff with Isis!
So basic gist of my post - I may or may not have PPD - I actually am not sure it's that as much as it's just a cabin fever kind of thing. But I can already tell that moms are under a lot of pressure. I feel pressure to be a good mom and to do the "right" things, but I've found that the "right" thing varies depending on the mother and the child. I feel pressure to contribute to my family and it's really hard for me that my contribution is not monetary, but Lewis has been really encouraging and made it clear that my contribution is just as valuable. And I'll be working when I finish my student teaching, so I won't always be staying home all the time like this. I need to enjoy this time with Isis. With the second (& hopefully 3rd) child, I won't be able to stay home so long with them. So I'm going to ease up on some of my stress about naps with Isis, but I'm going to continue to try to get her to sleep in places other than in my arms and I think it's okay that I need to do that. I'm also going to try to get out of the house. If anyone has suggestions - let me know! I really want to do something like MUMS at Southland, but I know that I can't do that this year and I don't know of any other groups like that.
And more than that, I'm going to try to be clear and candid with the people who care about me so that they know if and when I need help. After opening up to some people yesterday, I've found that there are people everywhere who want to help.