Tuesday, August 31, 2004

on post partum depression

i believe that i have had some bouts with depression throughout my life, but never felt the need to do anything about it. i'm a basically happy person, and have always seemed to be able to pull out of the dark spots in what seems to be a reasonable amount of time. personally, i think those dips in attitude are perfectly normal.

recently, i've been totally aware of feeling down and tired and just fried in every sense of the word. when 'they' say that parenthood is the toughest job you'll ever love, 'they' aren't lying. i get frustrated with being completely and utterly behind in every aspect of life, and it gets me down and angry and on the verge of tears. incredible anxiety about the cost of daycare, health insurance and everything else that goes along with having a(nother) baby don't help. a few weeks ago, i thought i might need to do something about it and seek some counseling (not meds as i am still breastfeeding), but managed to get out of the funk and get on with things before i did anything about it (i'm behind in everything, right?). i've still had some dips here and there, but feel like life is getting along and i can handle it most of the time. when the heat and humidity are finally gone, it will probably be even easier, as that kind of weather has made brian and i so cranky that we've snapped at each other.

i keep telling myself, that i need to let some stuff go. dirty dishes will wait. so will a dirty house. eating pasta 3 mights in a row because i've forgotten to defrost any meat and haven't had the time to go grocery shopping is not the end of the world. i don't have to be the perfect super mom who can work a full day, then cook a gourmet meal and bathe the kids with a smile on her face. that's just too hard an image to live up to and i don't know that anyone can manage that for very long. my happiness, maintaining a positive attitude, and giving my girls a loving and stress free home are the most important things in the world. but sometimes doing the bare minimum required to get there just seems to sap all the energy i have until i have absolutely nothing left for brian, let alone myself.

i am a big fan of dooce, as a lot of people are. she's probably most famous for losing her job because of her weblog, but recently she has had a series of posts about being hospitalized in a psych ward over the weekend for depression and anxiety. she has always suffered from depression, and the hormonal rollercoaster that happens after birthing a baby has not done anything to improve her situation. since i am post-partum myself, reading these posts have moved me immensely. she has been most brave and strong when she thought she was her weakest. even tho i have never met her, i think she is an incredible woman and her husband and daughter are so very lucky to have her.

mazel tov heather, jon and leta.


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