Let’s talk about yesterday. The girls and I spent the afternoon in two parks, when we came home I snuck in a little screen time so I could get things done, then we all climbed into bed and sang songs they’re learning in school, read books and ate snacks. Simple. Yet this is the most present I have felt in a long time.
Earlier this week I opened up to Nat on the Twiniversity podcast about postpartum depression. For me, it wasn’t that I was sad or upset or wanted to hurt myself or others - it was more subtle - and thus harder to detect. I’ll save my story for the podcast release, but essentially I didn’t feel present with anyone. There was always SOMETHING that had to be done and I couldn’t stop DOING things. This led to burnout, illness and a lack of connection with everyone around me.
Why am I sharing this? Because I think it’s ridiculous that when someone hears the word “depression” they assume you’re an unfit parent and are going crazy. No my friends, the chemicals in your brain and body should be treated with care just like any other organ medical professionals treat. As with any change in the body, there is a wide spectrum of symptoms, signs and treatments.
My biggest takeaway from what I experienced is that if at any point you don’t feel like yourself and little things overwhelm you - tell someone you trust. For me, it was opening up to my circle of friends who encouraged me to see a doctor that knew me and that I trusted. This made all the difference and she put me on a treatment plan that made an immediate impact in my life.
I’ll give you a quick example. Most people who know me know that I like a clean and orderly house. But it got to the point that I was literally cleaning up after people at parties. Fast forward to my healing process. In December, I had 18 preschoolers and their parents coming over to celebrate the girl’s 3rd birthday. I had planned to do an outdoor obstacle course and activities, but there was just one problem. It was raining. So, we ended up having 18 preschoolers running through our house for a few hours. And I just soaked it up. There was no cleaning, no fretting, no chip refills - I just was there. And you know what? Everything was fine. One of our dearest friends even noticed that I had finally embraced the chaos and he was so happy to see me come so far.
That’s it. It’s that simple. And while I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions - mainly because I’m stubborn and if I want to do something I don’t need a new year to do it - and also because I hate depriving myself of carbs and sugar because YOLO - moving forward I am committed to simplicity. No fancy, magical playdates or experiences. Just good ole fashioned 1980’s parenting.
I’m grateful for my friends who lifted me up in a scary time in my life. I’m grateful for my OB who knew me and put me on the path to healing. I’m grateful for the Twiniversity community for being advocates for twin mommas. And I’m grateful for my family - because they are such a beautiful gift, even though they are feisty and challenging.
So this year, if you need someone to talk to, please reach out to a friend. Heck, you can even call me. This is a judgement free zone and I’m determined to break down stigmas around mental health, one blog post at a time.