This Momz Needs A Time Out

📖Story Time…📖

December 29, 2018

Today was a bit of a rough day.

It wasn’t a bad day, per se, but it was definitely rough.

3AM

🚽I had gotten up to pee for like the millionth time, and Vinny was up playing with his new Leapfrog talking Scout puppy he got from his “Old Man (my Dad)” for Christmas. I could hear it cycling through its various phrases and nursery rhymes, picturing Vinny grinning each time it responded as he pressed its paw. I decided to just go back to bed and wait to see if Vinny would just fall back asleep. I drifted in and out. 💤

4:30AM

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plz.

🔊Over the monitor I could still hear, “I’m feeling…happy!” “Let’s play together!” “🎶Old McDonald Had a Farm…🎶” I had to go in and take the dog from him so he’d go to sleep. He was not pleased with that, but after Dad came up to help soothe him he went to sleep. 😴

I, however, did not, despite my very best efforts.

7AM And On

🌞The beginning of the day went fine. We had breakfast, played, went for a walk at the Mall and played at the indoor playground. He tried to run out of the play area, so I had to herd him back in, to which he responded with the beginnings of a tantrum. 😪😪 In order to avoid a category 5 meltdown, we unfortunately had to take our leave. It was more or less his nap time at that point, anyway.

💤Naptime itself was fine, as it typically is (#blessed🙏). When he woke up, he was pleasant. It looked like all he needed was a little more shut-eye! 😌

Then it was dinnertime…

🦖🦕He refused to eat his dinosaur chicken nuggets 🙅‍♂️😤 (yes, I broke down and gave him chicken nuggets…but at least they were made with cage-free chicken and weren’t loaded with additives and whatnot, so the box said 🤷‍♀️). I fought him for what felt like an hour. Then finally I melted some cheese on top them, and he ate them. 🧀🙄

🧙‍♂️The rest of the evening (aka the witching hour, the period of time after dinner leading up to bedtime when he’s at his peak potential for crankiness) was spent trying to do things he knows he’s not supposed to, and having a fit when he was told to stop.

I might have lost my temper a couple of times… 😫😤🤬

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#theanthem

When he went to reach for one of the (admittedly) poorly placed Christmas decorations we still had out for the fiftieth time that day, that was when I snapped. I grabbed his arm, and he turned to look at me.

“I. Said. NO!!” I shouted, my voice cracking upwards five octaves. I glared at him, pulling him away from the object he was trying to meddle with.

“What is wrong with you?” I hated the words as they left my mouth, but couldn’t stop them…I knew it was my fault for leaving that stupid thing there. He had more or less left it alone before, but I really should have known better. 😓😓😓

And then he just looked at me and said, “Mumma, Mumma,” and hugged onto me.

😔What kind of monster am I? 

🍼About this time was the time for his evening milk, which I supplement with probiotic, DHA, and vitamin D in, so I like for him to drink all of it. Of course on this particular day, he refused to drink the last two ounces. 🙅‍♂️😤

This infuriated me.

I brought him up to bed in an angry huff. When we got into his room, just as I was about to place him in his crib, he clung to me, again said, “Mumma, Mumma,” and began kissing on me. He just kept nuzzling and hugging and kissing my face, leaning back to look at me and saying, “Mumma…”

I looked at my child, whose large brown eyes glistened in the low pastel light of his humidifier. I could see him smiling sweetly at me, his face the complete opposite of a mirror image of the ugly angry troll face I more than likely wore. 👹👺

💔I broke down and started sobbing, clutching him to my chest, and he just kept on loving me. I rocked him back and forth until I could get it together, kissed his forehead, gave him his pacifier, white noise giraffe, his “babies (two teddy bears),” and his Leapfrog dog…turned to off mode, of course.

🌅Tomorrow would be a new day, I thought. And indeed it was, as is every day.


I don’t deserve this child. He drives me crazy lately, but some days I really feel I do not deserve him…

😔😪I’ve been in a funk lately. I’ve had work deadlines looming with daunting projects I’ve yet to piece together, 📑📩⌚ deadlines I’ve missed completely that luckily I’ve gotten extensions on, 😰😰😰 family and social issues,  😓😬😔a house that’s an absolute mess that I can’t seem to keep up with,  🧺🧹🗑🧼🍽🧽 a bedroom that at my 35 week milestone finally had a newborn station set up, 🚼🧸🤱 and the aforementioned bedroom still needs to be Marie Kondo’d TF out of, 📦🛏👚👕 and of course a hormonal roller coaster that rivals the worst of all of my years of PMS since age 12. 😣😡🥺😬😪🤬😂🤣😫🤯

I know none of this is any excuse. But I just can’t seem to get it together some days…


Where am I going with this?

🤱👩‍👦👩‍👧I see a lot of Moms in my life and on social media that seem inseparable from their children. They talk about how they cannot be without their babies even for a day, how they’re incomplete without them, and how they’re their whole entire reason for existing, etc, etc…

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#cantrelate

😍🥰Don’t get me wrong, it’s sweet to see how loving they are with each other and how they enrich each others’ lives. I have absolutely no judgement towards these Moms. I legitimately admire them and their relationships with their babies. 💯👍💖

I just personally don’t feel the same way. 🤷‍♀️ Not to say that I don’t absolutely love my sons, they are still very much my world and my focus, I just have about a few days tops of being around my oldest son round the clock before I feel like I might need to be committed. 😵😵😵

Furthermore, I wouldn’t say that my son is my sole purpose for living. And obviously I know this is a figure of speech. But even so, I still don’t feel completely fulfilled just being a Mom and honestly get a little depressed when I go a few days in a row doing #justmomthings.

And because of that, I wonder what must be wrong with me.

😤😤😤Why do I lose my cool so easily? Why do I want, no, “need” to escape if it’s just been me and my son for a couple of days? Why do I feel so easily “trapped?”

🤳😘#️⃣I know I shouldn’t let Insta Moms and my FB Mom friends make me feel “less.” I know a lot of times (most of the time, approx. 99 percent), people embellish their lives for social media. We’re all guilty of it. And I also know that comparison is the thief of joy. But it’s so hard sometimes not to compare myself to other moms when I feel like I’m doing something wrong every day. 😥


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#selfcare

☕🧘‍♀️Aside from needing my “MOM-ents” for self care (and we all need them), I also feel most “myself” when I have time to “work” on my freelance writing and blogging.

But when there’s a shifty toddler running around trying to get into everything, and who can’t be contained in a “baby corral” for more than about half an hour, it’s hard to focus, let alone conduct interviews or do proper research or whatever needs my attention to get an assignment or post done. 😬😵

Furthermore, if it’s just been us for a while, I start to lose my mind a little. Like I mentioned, my threshold for being at home (even after going out each day) alone with my son is about 3-4 days before I need an “escape (at the point in the story above, I think we were going on day 4. 😨)”

And you know what? I’m starting to realize that that’s OKAY. 💯

🙏I’m very lucky in that I have parents and in-laws who are generally able to take my son off my hands once a week. And I’ve found when I get a break, I can recharge, and it helps fill my Mom cup so that I can pour the best of me into my son for another 3-4 days.

Because when it gets past that threshold…I become a Mommy monster. 👹👺🐲🧟‍♀️

I feel guilty asking for help. I hate admitting that I need help. I hate the thought of putting people out. I hate the thought of depending on anyone for anything…

But I’ve been told multiple times to get over it.

I am blessed to have people in my life who love my son and want to spend some time with him. I need to know that it’s okay to let him get a change of scenery and get socialized, while I do what I need to do to be my best self, for him.

It’s true when they say that it takes a village to raise a child. And I have a very, very good village. 🙏💗💯


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Any Moms “Ridin Solo (jay-SON De-RU-Looo),” You Got this! #ilovethisstupidgame #bestworkouts

I realize that not every Mom has the luxury I do, but I do feel that it’s a necessity (more so for some than others, maybe) to get time to yourself to be the best parent you can be to your child(ren). Whether that’s going to work, the gym, or just getting errands done alone, we all need a little space once in a while.

There are resources available for Moms who have to go it alone for one reason or the other. This website lists aid for single Moms by state, including resources for childcare grants and scholarships for Mamas to be able to work and get things done.

Contacting local churches, YMCA’s, and other nonprofit organizations could also be great way to find free or low-cost childcare.

For example, if your form of self-care is an hour to sweat it out on the treadmill, a lot of YMCA’s offer in-house childcare while you workout with a membership, and they can often help with fees if you are struggling financially.

These are just a couple of examples, and I’m sure there’s other resources out there, but where there’s a will, there’s a way! Don’t lose hope if you’re flying Han Solo in the journey of motherhood.

🗣If you’re just feeling lonely or like you need an ear, try joining some online Moms Groups for solidarity and further tips. I’m a member of at least 5 of them on Facebook.

Remember–You. Are. Not. Alone. 💯🤗


So, at the risk of this post being too long, (I’ll most likely have a follow up to this coming soon, though, about my SAHM Guilt), I’ll end it right here, knowing that me taking care of myself is just one of my ways of taking care of my baby.

And it’s okay that we’re not attached at the hip. We’re attached at the heart. 👩‍👦💞🥰

I’ve also started a “Home Nursery School” for him which has been helping with my previous feelings of monotony, and it’s brought us a little bit closer. Seeing him excited to learn and grow really helps me see how much of a blessing it is that I get to devote this time to him. But I’ll have a post on that in the near future!

💬How many of you feel like you need a break? How many of you can’t be separated from your little loves? Either way, you’re all excellent Mamas doing your best. 💪💪💪

Thanks for reading, my Gals! 😘😘

👀If you’re new here, and this content or any of my upcoming content interests you, make sure you add your email and follow so you don’t miss any updates! 😁😁 And if you’re already following, thank you and bless your heart and soul! 🙏🥰🤗

📋Upcoming Content: My (Stay-At-Home) Mom Guilt, My Son’s “Home-Nursery-School Curriculum,” and My Bedside Nursery Corner (Second Baby)

Posts from my phone: Mean Mom Thoughts 😤🤬💭

((This is a phone post so it’s not gonna be particularly fancy with gifs and memes I’m sorry 😐 but I’m at least able to use emojis from phone posts, so w00t! 💯💖😂🤷🏻‍♀️))

So clearly I didn’t end up posting the next week, or even the week after my last post. But, this is better than going 4+ months without posting anything, right? 😅 I’m getting there, you guys!

The next post will actually be about how to repurpose old formula tins. Not that you couldn’t use your perfectly capable imaginations or look to Pinterest for ideas, but maybe, just maybe, I have some ideas that they don’t 😉

Anyway, being at home all of the time with my son is a blessing. It really is. Having said that though, after a while being a full time SAHM admittedly has kind of, well, sucked from time to time.

I’ve been having a rough go of it lately, for reasons I’ll get into later…but during these trying times, My patience has become paper thin. Actually, is there a substance thinner than paper?

My son has been going through his one year leap, too, and as a result he has been testier than usual. And on the particularly bad days, I’ve found myself thinking “mean thoughts.”

To be clear, these are not harmful nor destructive thoughts, just kind of, well, mean. I feel like I’m not the only one who’s thought similarly, though, so I’m here to share them with you!

Here are some Mean Mom Thoughts I’ve had and what they mean!


💭Advice to women whose husbands ask you to about trying to start a family: You know how when you were a kid and you asked your parents for a puppy, kitten, what have you, and you promised to take care of them, feed them, clean up after them, etc? And how many of you actually held up your end of the bargain when you eventually got your beloved furry companion?

💭This is like that. Like your parents and your dog, you will end up doing all of the hard work while your husband enjoys the fun parts like snuggling and playing, etc. It’s a bum deal. Proceed with caution.

((It should be noted that my husband is 💯 percent the real deal when it comes to sharing the burden. He’s proactive and sympathetic, and I don’t know what I did to deserve him. I try to give him his well-deserved time off, too, although he claims helping out with our son is time off to him. Honestly, he is amazing. #dadsdontbabysit 🙌🏻))

💭*child is wild’n out for absolutely no good reason*

💭*googles if it’s harmful to the body to give night time cold medicine to someone who doesn’t have a cold*

((I would NEVER, of course, but sometimes…))

💭Husband: Idk I think it would be nice to have 5 or 6 kids…

💭Me: Well I’ll tell you what, they’re gonna be our live-in cleaning staff otherwise why would you do that to yourself? That’s the only reason people had that many kids back in the day, it’s the only logical explanation.

((Let it be known, I have nothing but admiration for people with 4+ kids. Seriously, more power to you! And I get the whole more to love mindset, but honestly, I’m walking the delicate tightrope of patience and sanity with just one, I cannot imagine what state I’d be in (mentally and maybe even geographically at some point…) if it were a bad day with three times the crazy I have now. God bless Moms of lots! 💪🏻))

💭*Baby begins his waking klaxon call upstairs 2 minutes before anticipated to wake up time.*

💭*Me, completely invested in a Netflix binge ignoring sink full of dishes and a pile of laundry with a two mile summit at the bottom of the staircase*

💭Nah, d00d, he’s just talking in his sleep he’s fine. Carry on.

((Sure enough he usually isn’t just talking in his sleep and I do get myself up to tend to him. What becomes of the dishes and laundry is a story for another day…))

💭*Grandparent asks if they can take the child for the day at the end of the week*

💭y3333e333eee333ee3333333eee333eee33t.

((We all need a break once in a while. Even the ones who are inseparable from their progeny at some point, I imagine, must need some space to b r e a t h e. Every Mom needs a MOMent to herself, for her health. I don’t feel too bad about this one. What’s that they say about empty cups?))


And for the sake of this being too long, I will end it here. I may or may not have a sequel to this, though. Most likely, yes.

Formula can story first, I promise!! 😜

But long story short, we all have “Mean thoughts” as moms sometimes. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our little ones, nor does it mean we are actually mean moms. It means we are human, we are tired, and we are coping.

Hang in there, Mom. I see you. And I know you see me, too.

Thanks for reading, my gals! Now let’s see if I can make another post within a month! 😂🤣

The Power of the Dark Side: How I almost let Antenatal and Postpartum Depression Force-Choke me to Death.

((I’m sorry to say that this post isn’t going to have any witty memes or pictures, and it will contain some dark descriptions of some dark stuff…))

6 months, 100mg Sertraline, and several ongoing visits with my therapist later, I wonder if this is still lingering postpartum, or if this is just a permanent state of being.

Don’t get me wrong, I have far many more good days than bad days nowadays. It’s just that when they’re bad days…well, I get through.

Like many people, I have lived with depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. So it didn’t come as much surprise that I would experience postpartum depression. In fact, I expected as much. I knew that at some point I would need a little help after birth, and I just kind of accepted it as par for the course, and I’d just cross that bridge when I came to it.

But nobody warned me about antenatal depression…

Antenatal depression, or prenatal depression, is a clinical depression experienced during pregnancy. Normal clinical depression is caused by changes in brain chemistry, which causes the feelings of sadness, anxiousness, hopelessness, etc. Hormone changes during pregnancy also affect brain chemistry, and can exacerbate existing issues.

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), around 14-23% of women struggle with some symptoms of depression during pregnancy. Often times, this depression is neither diagnosed nor treated properly as most people believe that these feelings are just a part of pregnancy-related emotional turbulence.

That, and the still-existing stigma of postpartum depression make a lot of moms want to keep quiet about their feelings, afraid of being judged or that if they seek help it means that they are inadequate mothers. This can create very dangerous, and very tragic circumstances.

My Story

As I mentioned before, I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for a while, the worst of which being from late high school through the middle of college. I had severe suicidal ideation, and would write suicide notes and plans daily, detailing how ugly and useless I was and how I didn’t deserve to live and how I might kill myself if I’d had the guts, mainly through running away and throwing myself off of the tallest building I could come across. I thank God that He gave me my friends and my husband, because if not for them, I don’t know where (or if) I’d be…

I was in a bit of a rough place to begin with when we were “trying” to conceive. I was enduring regular panic attacks and thoughts of self harm, but was working through them with a therapist, and my coping mechanisms had come a long way.

When I got pregnant sooner than expected, I was initially ecstatic, immediately turning to Pinterest for early pregnancy tips and reveal ideas. But, this excitement seemed to fade as soon as it came.

Towards my third trimester, these symptoms worsened. I was irritable and despondent during the day, and suffered severe insomnia at night (insomnia is a common occurrence in the third trimester, granted).

I would lay sobbing silently into my pillow to not wake my husband. I had become highly skilled in crying in secret over the years, and the thought of burdening my already overwhelmed husband made me hate myself.

During these restless nights, I found my thoughts darkening more and more. I remember one night visualizing myself walking to the bathroom, turning on my shower, and just standing in the water. I fantasized taking my shaving razor and slitting up and down my arms, shoulders, and back, letting myself bleed out into the running water until I could finally pass out and get a little bit of relief from my running thoughts. Thoughts that would tempt me to jump out a window and save my unborn son the misery of being born into a dying world, worst of all enduring it with a useless shell of a human being of a mother.

This was just one of many examples of terrible thoughts I’d had during these dark times. I would only reluctantly open up to my husband about these feelings, but only after being “badgered” by him, but I would continue to lay awake almost every night, crying angry, self-loathing tears as my son kicked and jabbed in protest.

Loss

My grandmother had passed away late into my second trimester. On Good Friday, of all days.

I could write an entire separate blog post on how incredible of a human being my grandmother was. I don’t think there’s even a way to condense into a paragraph just how inspiring, selfless, determined, strong, loving, accepting, firm, fun, and overall wonderful this woman was…and how much of a gaping, vacuous hole her passing has left in my family…

I hadn’t seen her in over a year at that point, as she had moved thousands of miles away several months before I conceived. She had finally been able to retire after nearly 50 years in the workforce, and she was going to finally enjoy the happy, worry-free life she had always deserved…

So when I got that call in January that she had lung cancer, and that call in April that it had taken her life…I just couldn’t accept either.

I was in denial for so long, and I’d be lying if I still wasn’t, to some extent. I would cry to myself on a daily and nightly basis, wondering why God had not taken me instead of my beloved grandmother, who had finally just started to be able to live her best life.

I’d look around at the world without my grandmother and began to notice then more than ever how terminally ill the world seemed. Climate change, corruption in politics, evil, hatred…the world as I’d known it had ended, and it seemed the world at large soon would be, too. How could I be so selfish, bringing an innocent life into this wretched, dying world?

Postpartum

While the prospect of dying in childbirth had initially petrified me, I began secretly hoping, wishing for it. If my son must be born, then at least he could be brought up by his loving father, family, and surrogate aunties and uncles. I would leave him in their capable hands to help him navigate this poisoned planet, and to bring him up to make as much of a difference as possible for good in the world.

Well, sure enough, his birth went perfectly. Peaceful, yet empowering. He came into the world like a lamb and would grow like a mighty lion.

I had a fleeting moment of optimism as I recovered in the hospital as I was bombarded by questionnaire after questionnaire regarding my mental health. I was more or less honest, but promised that I would be okay.

Maybe, just maybe, I could do this on my own.

Home Again

Things started off okay, more or less, until nearly a week back at home. I began feeling miserable again, even worse than before.

I would look at my postpartum body through tears of rage, furious that I had “let myself” “get like this.” I was livid with myself for not getting sick “enough” during pregnancy, and began hating myself thinking back on all of the times I had indulged.

I saw my raw, still very much healing post-birth form as that of a grotesque monster, my emotions as signals of an incompetent and incapable parent,  and decided that I needed to be punished.

I had little to no appetite as it was, but when I did feel like eating I would only allow myself limited portions, in hopes that nursing my son would cause me to shed excess weight faster. I knew that producing breastmilk required extra calories, but I figured as long as I allowed myself the 500 “extra” that it would go to making the milk and I would wither away and look “decent” again, while still being able to give my husband’s son that precious, precious breastmilk he so needed and deserved.

Needless to say, my supply dwindled, and I had to supplement my son at barely 2 weeks.

This fueled my self-loathing.

There were days when I didn’t even feel like my son was mine. I would look at him, in the arms of my friends and family, and just see him as some alien being. Some type of benign parasite that was once sapping energy from within me, that needed to be painfully ejected from the most delicate part of my anatomy, and that now demanded nutrients from another painful, delicate part of my anatomy. I would go through the motions involuntarily wondering when his true parents would come from whatever planet they were from to take him away.

Looking back, maybe my hatred for myself made it hard for me to attach myself to something that was half of me…

Spiral

I began to start planning my suicide. I began looking into life insurance policies, to see if my son and the rest of my family could further benefit from my death, how many ibuprofen it would take to kill a 190 pound woman, and crafting the will for whatever it was of value that I had to give away, and how it would all be dispersed.

As it turns out, life insurance won’t cover suicide, it’s more difficult to overdose from ibuprofen than I’d thought, and I didn’t have much to offer, aside from my wedding and engagement ring that I had willed to my son.
My husband eventually found out what I was doing, and talked me off of the ledge, so to speak. Eventually, I had to come clean to my doctors and let them know what I was feeling, and my worst fear had come true–I was prescribed sertraline for post partum depression, and had to see a Psychiatrist for further evaluation.
“But I’m breastfeeding…” I explained to my OB in my zombified state. Or rather, I was struggling to.

He explained to me that zoloft is one of the safest medications for nursing, and I later found that you can even donate breastmilk if you’re taking zoloft.
It was a bumpy few weeks between increasing doses and working through feelings with my therapist and the psychiatrist, and finally reaching out to my friends and opening up to my husband, but eventually I got through the worst of it.

Life Goes On

Today wasn’t the greatest day. I had some scary thoughts. But I’m not a slave to them, and I won’t be force-choked out by them anymore.

I will fight back. The Force is strong with this one.

I can see the road to happiness from where I am, and the woods don’t seem as deep.
Postpartum Depression is a real and scary thing, as is prenatal depression. Although not as heavy as in the past, the stigma is still very much there.

We feel like bad mothers for being depressed. We feel a pressure to forget about ourselves and pour our whole depleted energy into a small being we may not even feel that same overwhelming love that we see televised and written about everywhere, and wonder what is wrong with us. Self care is a thing of the past, we think, so we suffer in silence.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” I have seen this quote everywhere. I would sometimes rephrase it to myself, “You can’t nurse from an empty breast.”

I realized after I had gotten help that by not taking care of myself, I was affecting my ability to really care for my son. My suffering caused me to drastically lose supply, and make it difficult to feel attached to the thing that attached himself to my sore, bleeding, cracked nipples, desperately trying to pull nutrients from the drooping speedbags that hung from my chest.

I eventually had to exclusively formula feed because my PPD had warped me so much that I sabotaged my vision of exclusively breastfeeding until my son was a year old.

Once I was beginning to come to, I went from Post-Partum Depression to involuntary weaning depression. He is still thriving, and I will always believe that fed is best, but I had failed my son in my eyes. But more on that later…
What I want to say through all of this is, is that if you are suffering, you are not alone. It is nothing to be ashamed of. I know that you want to take care of your baby, but your baby needs you to take care of yourself. Your baby needs their mama, above all else. Please reach out to your loved ones, and your doctors. It’s hard at first, but it gets better. You can do this.

If you need help, but aren’t sure how to go about getting it, this website may be of help.
Thanks for reading! Tune in next time for a more light-hearted post on ways to repurpose formula cans and scoops!

Until then, thank you so much for reading, my Gals! Talk soon!