I’m a stay-at-home mom to a 6 year old and a 3 year old. That’s as of February 2021 anyway…they keep growing and getting older! Which is amazing, by the way. I’m the mom who counts down the days to when they start wiping their own asses…going to school…getting their own snacks…getting freaking jobs…moving the heck out. They’re my life and I love them to pieces, and I very much look forward to doing “older kid” and “grown up” things with them instead of just being their servant and caretaker. Being the help gets old and mama needs a damn break.
I’m sure “I’ll miss this when they’re older,” as they say, but I also think that sounds like complete and utter bullshit right now. I don’t miss any of the previous stages of motherhood or their childhood, and I don’t intend to start anytime soon. They’re awesome little people and I love watching them change, learn, and grow. I’m more excited for the present and the future than I am reminiscent about the past.
I struggled with post-partum depression after I had my son, though I didn’t realize it until he was nearly 2 years old. I know that seems odd, but I just figured I was experiencing typical, normal “new mom” feelings and issues – I didn’t know any better or have anything to compare what I was going through against, so I just carried on. I fell deeper and darker as time went on and my depression manifested as RAGE. I’ve never had much for patience, and always had somewhat of a temper, but those both escalated drastically after I had my son and as I settled into my new title as “mom”.
I started taking Zoloft (Sertraline HCl) just before my son’s 2nd birthday, and stopped taking it cold turkey when I was about 10 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I haven’t taken antidepressants since then, but I’ve considered it a few times.
After my daughter was born my mental state nosedived while I adjusted to life as the primary caregiver to a demanding, difficult 3 year old and a newborn. By the time she was 3 months I had been so low for so long, and I decided to start a fitness journey in hopes it would help me start feeling a little like myself again. Focusing on healthy movement and nutrition helped my mental health BIG TIME and I didn’t feel the need for medication until about 2 years later when fitness didn’t seem to be “cutting it” anymore.
I ended up scheduling my first therapy appointment rather than going straight for an anti-depressant, and saw my therapist bi-weekly for about a year (I recently graduated, thank you very much). It was beneficial in a lot of ways, and I’m glad I did it. I’m still (always!) a work in progress, make mistakes, and am ashamed of my behavior and reactions from time to time.
I’m human. Accepting that is difficult, because so often I feel like I need to be on top of everything all the time – motherhood, fitness, housework, relationships, self-development, scheduling, meal planning, making occasions and celebrations extra special…the list goes on. But, we’re all doing our best. I may not be a Stepford “Pinterest” mom, but I am still a good mom. And if you’ve got kids, you’re a good mom, too. I promise. <3