Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Coming up for air

Awhile back, I opened up and wrote about my struggles with post partum depression.  I felt so touched by all of your support and feedback, and it really lifted me up to know so many out there could sympathize with what I was feeling. 
I am feeling better.  I take it day by day, but I am.  However, I have my moments.  I'm probably too hard on myself.  It was only just six months ago when Aubrey was born, but I'm the kind of person who expects a miracle overnight.  I should be fine by now, right?  How much longer does this go on?  When will I stop feeling that immense sadness wash over me at times?  When can I consistently concentrate at work?  When will I stop feeling so bad about myself?
Just putting this out there, but if there are any of you who have an answer to this...do share.
The truth is, I'm struggling.  I'm having an extremely hard time juggling the work-life balance.  I'm a mother, but I am also the director of an organization.  I'm the boss.  The buck stops here.  And not only am I the director of an organization, but one that is going through an extreme funding crisis.  And it's legal work, which is in and of itself, inherently stressful.  I'm somewhat of a newlywed.  I have this new life to take care of and nurture, someone who depends on me for everything in this world.  I have just come out of a high risk pregnancy, ten scary months of "what ifs."  And I'm struggling.   
I don't like admitting that.  Because I am super woman, right?  I should be doing it all
But I can't. 
This past weekend, it was just me and Aubrey.  T was on a work trip, and these work trips he has to go on are super intense.  I can go days without getting to speak to him, only through text.  My brother came down and kept me company on Saturday, but Sunday was hard.  Aubrey was particularly fussy, and I had work I had brought home with me.  I always have work to bring home with me.  I chose not to do said work because I had other stuff to do, as well - laundry, cooking, preparing lunches for the week...washing bottles, constantly changing Aubrey.  (Not sure if this is a solid food thing, but the kid poops a lot now.  A LOT.)  And constantly moving her from sitting with me, to the bouncy seat, to a blanket on the floor, to her play mat, because she gets bored quickly.  By the end of the day, as I gathered through text messaging T that I wasn't going to get to speak to him, I just wanted to cry.  In fact, I did. 
Our vacation was my break, but that is now over and gone, no time off in the near future.  I feel so guilty if I bring work home with me because I should be nurturing my relationship with T and spending time with Aubrey.  But if I don't bring work home, I'm stressed during the day.  And I don't have time for my Mary Kay business.  Or my friends.  Or my family.  I feel like I'm letting everyone down, and more importantly, I feel like I'm letting myself down.  I am the hardest person to please, you know. 
I still have those moments where I will be working away and all of a sudden something triggers it - that sadness.  And then I'm done.  Some days I feel like I'm just a walking zombie getting through my day.  We'll get home from Columbus, and I wonder how I managed to drive us home. 
And I am still receiving some treatment for all of this, but honestly, I thought the post partum was only supposed to last a short time.  Once those hormones leveled off, right?  It should be quicker than this, right? 
Sorry for my ramblings...but this sure was cathartic.


  1. Alaina, they don't know enough about PPD to know who gets it, why, or what the average length is. The two most important things are 1) that you and your doctor see it 2) that you are being treated for it.

    You had a lot on your plate during your pregnancy with your health. Now you have a lot on your plate with everything else. I wish I had an easy answer for you but I don't. It's easy for me to sit here and tell you that you may have to cut back somewhere. The issue for you is that you don't want to cut back anywhere, am I right? To be honest, I think you know what you need to do but you have to find the gumption to do it because it isn't what you want.

    Again, I can sympathize with the active child. (Aka, "gets bored quickly"). Active children are a challenge, and oh so fun! (I am being facetious and serious. The active child really is a fun child but can be frustrating too). I can also sympathize with you about not getting to "touch base" with your husband at the end of the day. It is perfectly OK that you cried. I would have too.

    I encourage you to try to leave work at work. I know in your field it may be difficult. But the more you can make your home a sanctuary the better it will be for you and for the family.

    I will continue to pray for you. God's speed Doll.

    Lily-Thinking Thoughts

  2. Aw I so feel you. Doubting yourself as a mother, wife, boss and overall person is normal. I hate to break it to you but those hormones take longer than 6 months to figure themselves out. Dining an answer isn't easy it will be a lot of trial and error. When I had PPA with Caleb I found when I starte having an anxiety attack writing down what I was doing, thinking, and feeling helped a lot. I was able to go back and review and learned some of my triggers. Some I could take care of myself and others were feelings I was going to have to overcome somehow.

    First realize that by acknowledging your ppd and seeking help IS doing a lot and shows you are a good caring mom. In the best of circumstances motherhood is hard. You've read my ramblings and this is my 3rd baby not my first! When I felt inadequate at work and home I realized I had to set up rules for myself. Gone were the days where I could work 12 hour days, being work home and skip out on things to play with my friends. I told myself if I wanted to win at work I had to go back to the basics. Being present and productive. While at work I'm 100% about work. Same thing at home. When I am at home I am a wife and mother and that's my priority. I give to my child and when he was asleep I would spend some time with my hubs. I learned I can't be great at both at the same time. But I could if I realized I had to split my time.

    Bottom line: NO ONE can do it all. It's an impossibility. But you can be the best you can be in the moment. IFC once read a quote on pinterest that said something to the effect of we compare our behind the scenes to someone's stage performance and wonder why we fail? The hardest time is the first year- you are half way there!!! Hang in there an be proud of the fame you are building that will be your legacy:)

  3. It's day by day. Always day by day. And when T comes home, Give him Audrey and get the hell out of Dodge. Even if only to go somewhere for a drink or to the library to rear or just a walk to clear your mind.
    When there's too much going on, especially right after baby, you will get overwhelmed. Easily.
    Be okay with this and learn to call your mom or whoever you trust to come rescue you sometimes.
    Super Mom doesn't exist. TRUST ME on this. Forgive that the house isn't clean. Forget that laundry is piling up. Just deal with the diapers and food for you and Audrey on those days when it's the two of you. And when T gets home, get yourself a break!
    I used to bring work home with me all the time. After Sprite was born, I immediately left it at the office, KNOWING I would never get to it. And why would I want to give myself that guilt trip if I don't? Have some time on your hands? Do something you WANT to do!
    It will get better as she becomes more independent. Then you won't want to let her go. (Trust me on this too. My baby is starting Kindergarten next Wednesday. Sniff..)

  4. I just realized that I said Audrey in the above thing. Can I blame Auto Correct on this? Even as I read it, I thought, no, there's a b! Not a d!

  5. Hugs! You have so much going on, girl! That added stress can slow down recovery time. It took me over a year to feel like myself again (and by then I was pregnant again!) and that was without added pressure. Make sure you are taking care of yourself! You may want to consider cutting back somewhere - even for just a bit. Figure out where your priorities lie with work and home obligations and get yourself healthy. Live with no regrets!


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