A Superhero Never Gives Up

Recently, a consignment shop moved into the space next to the space G’s play class is in. G loves going in there after class to look at the toys. That’s fine with me because I like going in there to shop for clothes for the boys!

Since L was born, Hubby has been taking G to class most of the time. Sometimes they’ve gone into the consignment store to look around before class starts. The other week Hubby told me about a $2 bottle drying rack they had for sale. I told him to go ahead and get it if it was still there on Saturday. He came home with that, and a little something extra for G:

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G only got this because he started walking out of the store with it.

G loves it, though I find it slightly annoying. But as I was cleaning up from dinner on Saturday night, G pressed a button and Grover said something that stuck out at me:

A superhero never gives up!

My mind immediately pictured the superhero cape our team leader made for the children who participated in the Climb Out of the Darkness walk. In glittery puffy paint, she had written: My mom is a superhero. I thought it was cute. But, honestly, I didn’t fully understand why I was a superhero. I didn’t feel like one. But Grover made me understood.

I feel I’ve been extremely proactive in getting myself proper mental health care this time around. I’m not letting it win. I’m going to do what I can to get better, so I can be a better mom to my kids and a better wife to my husband.

Like a superhero, I’m not giving up.

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What I Don’t Want to Hear as a New Parent

Now that I’ve had L, I’m getting a better idea of what I find helpful and not helpful to say to a parent with a new baby. Having been dealing with learning how to care for a baby in addition to postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, I have realized that when I’ve begun to vent or bring up certain frustrations, I’m really trying to open up about how I am feeling mentally and emotionally. I’m looking for understanding, not dismissal, which is what I think some of these lines do. I’ve started wondering if other moms are trying to do the same when they mention having a hard time with this parenting gig. I’d love to know if this is true for you as it is for me.

There have been I’ve been told (repeatedly) that I don’t want to hear as a new mom, especially one who has been struggling with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. Some of them are:

This is what you wanted

Yes, I did want a baby. Yes, I wanted to be a mom. However, I didn’t want (or expect) to feel a wide range of intense emotions, many of them negative. I need to know that not every mom falls in love with her baby right away, or that I wanting to throw my baby out a window, or imagining us being in a car accident, or feelings of complete joy and then resentment within a minute are normal. I need to know you also find parenting challenging. I need to know it’s okay to not like being a parent all the time.

You and your baby are alive and healthy and that’s what matters (re: birthing experience)

I’ve been trying to understand why this line irks me. I mean, other than the obvious being upset things didn’t go your way. I think I’ve figured it out. How a woman is supposed to give birth is pretty much ingrained into her mind from a very young age: you grow a baby in your tummy and push it out. Details are added as you get older. You learn about epidurals and how great they are, you learn that some women may need a c-section and some want to give birth drug free. I’m guessing for the majority of women they have envisioned pushing a baby the size of a watermelon out of a hole the size of a bagel for at least a decade before getting that chance.

However, typical birth classes don’t fully prepare you for birth. Because of this, many women are caught off guard by hiccups along the way and her experience could be traumatic because of it. Many birthing classes gloss over the “what if” scenarios. They don’t go into detail on emergency C-sections or what to expect if your baby has to stay in the NICU (or that even full term babies can wind up there). They don’t prepare you for how to cope with the contractions should that epidural you’d always dreamed of not work. They don’t explain what happens, exactly, during a c-section. When things take an unexpected turn parents can find these situations traumatic. That should never be dismissed because these situations can increase the chances for perinatal mood disorders down the road, which can affect the entire family. What a person finds traumatic varies from person to person. You might have been okay with your emergency c-section; however, your friend may not be. At the end of the day, mom and baby are alive and healthy. Physically. That doesn’t mean the parents are healthy mentally and emotionally.

So, yes, the birth experience does matter.

 Sleep when the baby sleeps

I roll my eyes every time someone tells me this (except for my therapist; I do this mentally when she tells me to do this, though luckily she understands this isn’t usually a reality for me). This is easier said than done and isn’t always possible, which is a shame because adequate sleep actually helps my depression and anxiety. Lack of sleep actually makes my anxiety worse and, unfortunately for me, I’m home with an infant and a toddler. When one sleeps the other is awake — nearly 24 hours a day.

 Enjoy them when they are this small. It goes by so fast!

I didn’t realize how much this hurts until I saw it written on a friend’s face.book page when she mentioned feeling frustrated with her newborn. I find this is something you realize in hindsight. You blink and your baby is 1 and you realize these people are right. But when you’re in the trenches of parenting a new baby, it can be hard to enjoy the creature you created, especially when you aren’t happy yourself. When my PPD with G was at its worst, I wasn’t enjoying anything, especially my baby. During that first year, especially the first six months, time seemed to go by slowly. It’s a lot easier to enjoy your baby when they are happy and you are happy. It does go by fast, but being told I need to enjoy it when I’m not can make me feel guilty. I do feel guilty when I think about G’s first year. Having someone tell me to enjoy this infant stage tends to remind me that I didn’t enjoy G’s, and I should have. I’d rather express how time has flown and then tell me you totally agree.

 

I get that people who offer up this advice are just trying to be kind, helpful. These lines seem so innocent. I certainly didn’t think much of them until I started my TTC/pregnancy/parenting journey. I’ve learned you never know what a person is thinking or feeling about their situation, or what their entire situation is.

What about you? Has anyone tried giving you words of wisdom that irked you as a new parent?

Pics for Mom, Say Cheese! Week 13

I’ve seen a few Mom, Say Cheese! photographs on Instagram, which makes me so excited! I’ve enjoyed looking at the photos that have been posted there and in other bloggers’ posts. The link-up is up and running through Sunday, but you can use #MomSayCheese any time you post a picture of you and your little(s) online :)

This week’s pictures are from last week and today. Last week was a bit rough so I didn’t have as much time to blog as I would have liked — but I’m taking pictures!

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It’s rare I get a decent picture of the three of us


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I’m still not awake, but he won’t let me nap. Also? His hair!!

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He’s awake. I’m not.

 

 

 

 

Mom, Say Cheese! Week 13

Mom Say Cheese Blog Link UpIf you’re anything like me, you’re constantly taking pictures of your kids and possibly your kids with your partner, but the number of pictures of your kids and you are few and far between.

I started the Mom, Say Cheese! Photo Challenge in hopes that mothers would get out from behind the camera and into pictures with their children more often. I’d love for moms everywhere to challenge themselves to at least one picture a week that includes them and their children.

If you’re a blogger and happen to include said picture(s) in a blog post, feel free to link up below by using the linky form or pasting your link in the comment sections. I’d love to see what you’ve been up to!

And don’t forget, you can always post your pictures on other forms of social media using hashtag #MomSayCheese!

The Mom, Say Cheese! Photo Challenge is pretty simple:

  • Have fun!
  • Take a picture of yourself and your kid(s). Or get someone else to do it for you.
  • Be creative. Your faces don’t have to be in the pictures.
  • Link up below (Link-up will be open every Thursday thru Saturday). I’d love for you to link back to this post to help spread the word, though it’s not necessary
  • Share your pictures on other social media with #MomSayCheese throughout the week!