I should’ve assumed that depression would come in cycles, since everything else in life comes in cycles. Especially as a female, we are affected by cycles every month. I realized that I’m probably in another depressive slump right now just a little bit ago when I identified that I was thinking about suicide as a way out of being a mom. I cannot say honestly that I am loving being a mom. I was reading through some articles on Aha! Parenting and the first thing that jumped out at me: “Welcome to Planet Parenthood, where the sleep is scarce but the love will blow you away. How does it feel to be party to a miracle? Bringing a baby into the world is a sacred act. No less sacred is the work ahead, where you and your baby, together, create an intimate relationship that will become the foundation of his emotional health for the rest of his life.” I am not blown away. I didn’t feel like giving birth was a sacred act. It felt like a chore. A chore that I agreed to when I chose to not have an abortion. And now, I just feel trapped. Trapped and alone and unappreciated. Oh, and I haven’t been taking my placenta pills for over a week now. Silly me, I thought I had grown out of it. I even went so far as to remove it from the navigation on my blog and to remove references describing my blog as being about PPD like it was when I first started. Here’s to wishful thinking? :)
Postpartum depression is extra hard because I can’t ever go back to the “normal” that was my life before. I need to figure out and learn a new normal. A new normal that revolves around making sure that this new thing that I passed through my vagina is cared for. I didn’t go through all that work, all that labor, all that pain just to throw it away. But honestly, I’m getting so sick of doing this 24/7. I need a break. It doesn’t help that Mr. Partner has been really really negative about pretty much everything for a long time now. I try all day to be extra positive around him to try to help him out of it, but when he finally starts to act positive by the end of the week I’m all negative because I’ve been processing his negativity all week so it makes him negative again. It’s a really really irritating cycle that I wish we could just break out of.
It also really bugs when Mr. Partner says things like “oh look, my mom is holding Little Bean so you can get a break.” So I told him: “no, you are supposed to be my break.” It’s even harder when his parents ask me how the job search is going. It’s going really fucking shitty, if you’ll allow my cursing. I don’t feel like I can leave the house on the days that Mr. Partner doesn’t work because he’ll just sit there while Little Bean cries without making any effort to do anything. How can I trust leaving the house when I don’t feel like I can trust Little Bean’s care provider? No one understands when I tell them that I’m trying to make a job out of blogging because I put in all of this work and care and I stress about making sure I stay on a schedule, but I don’t get paid. They think it’s silly… and I do understand why. I would think it’s silly too under any other circumstances.
So I’m basically stressed to the hilt, and I get no breaks from my job of taking care of Little Bean. And this job is totally and completely inescapable… in some ways I feel like it’s just as silly as blogging. I put in all this work and I get no payoff. The only thing that’s noticed is that the house isn’t clean, that the bottles have been sitting out unsterilized, that the laundry is wrinkly. If I could give on piece of advice to new dads out there, it would be this: take time to thank your new mom for taking such good care of your little one. Thank her for the small things that she does around the house, because they’re infinitely harder than they were before. Recognize that she’s trying to fold your laundry instead of taking a shower sometimes because she knows that it’ll help reduce your stress. It might just be the thing that saves your relationship: just a little bit of appreciation.
I’m going to go take a placenta pill now. Whee…