Our sweet Spencer girl has been the greatest blessing that we never knew how much we truly needed. Leading up to my delivery I constantly struggled with the overwhelming sense of guilt for Khloe. How could I love another like I do her? How could I divide myself in half? They really mean it when they tell you your heart will double in size and if you’re going through those exact feelings currently, rest assured they will pass the moment you see your sweet baby.
I will be the first person to tell anyone that two kids is really freakin hard. Especially if anyone has a husband like mine who’s work calls him away almost always. I always am the one who has it together, or a more cliche term, a supermom. Let me just tell you that Spencer smacked me with a big “HA-HA” reminder that I am in fact, no such thing. Hell, she’s 9 weeks old and I still don’t have it all together. We’re fed, bathed and clothed (most of the time) and we’re alive, and to be honest, that is good enough for me these days.
When you’re pregnant you deal with an overwhelming amount of hormones and changes, but what no one really talks about is the hormonal adjustment that comes after you deliver. With Khloe, about a week postpartum I found myself crying at the dinner table for no apparent reason and when I asked my doctor what was wrong with me he simply replied, “baby blues” and even him uttering those words brought me to tears. Everything in life was perfect, how could I even be sad? Shortly after that those feelings subsided and all was good. Fast forward two and a half years to the birth of Spencer. At week 4 I still found myself overwhelmingly sad. I could not feel myself no matter how hard I tried.
Gabe got called away to work about two weeks prior to delivery and was unable to stay home and commute. He has been with the same company for almost 5 years so that is nothing out of the norm for me, in fact the distance works really well for our marriage where as for some it would have the opposite affect. Hence my super mom reference before, I don’t really have an option because I have to pull the weight for the both of us, which I’m absolutely okay with. He is a great man and gives us the best life he possibly could. Anyways, I often found myself crying after he would leave for work. That was one of my very first indications to myself that something just was off with me because normally I’m shoving the guy out the door. I thought I could just be exhausted, maybe hormonal, who knows. I was just off.
One day I woke up and decided I was going to hit the gym. I called our local fit body boot camp and started the very next day. On top of that, I found a cycle bar in Fresno called “RIDE54” and have been doing spin at least three times a week. I thought if I couldn’t get myself together mentally I would give myself an outlet to just distress every day. I have been going religiously since then and I feel amazing physically and am down past my pre pregnancy weight!
Although exercise has been great for me mentally and physically, I still didn’t feel 100% until one day I realized that I had no idea when the last time I did something nice for myself was. I have been stuck in permanent mom mode for longer than I can remember. I had no idea when the last time was that I bought myself some new clothes or shoes or even just got a haircut. I looked over and told my husband that I was starting a “look good feel good movement” and he laughed like, “what does that even mean?” What it meant was I was going to start taking care of myself. Instead of wearing yoga pants I went and bought pants and shorts that fit me. Instead of throwing my hair up in a bun, I went and got it colored so I could feel good about styling it. Instead of not wearing any makeup EVER, I went out and got new makeup and my eyelashes done. I started putting myself first for once. My kids have enough cute clothes for the time being, it was time for mama to look nice.
I decided to make an appointment with my doctor to talk about my extended blues and the words he muttered shortly after my explanation of my feelings were postpartum depression. He asked me then what I wanted to do. How was I even supposed to know the answer to that question? Did I need counseling? I didn’t think so because I had no idea why exactly I was even sad, or “depressed” as he called it. Ultimately he placed me on a very low (I mean very low) does of some medication because I am solely by myself with our girls and sent me on my way. I cried the whole way home. I am not THAT mom and I am not THAT person, or so I thought. But let me just tell you I was wrong.
What I have learned through this postpartum journey of mine is that you cannot predict what is going to happen in life. Do I want to be depressed? Absolutely not. I still cringe at the simple mention of the words and even have a hard time saying them myself like it’s Voldemort or something, ridiculous I know. But what I have learned most importantly is that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. We constantly get stuck in the robotic cycle of life and raising kids and it is absolutely draining on a person. Contrary to popular belief, being a mother is hard work especially nowadays. There is so much criticism and hatred that I have been weary of being my true self around other mothers for the fear of rejection or scrutiny. It’s a tough gig that we do and it’s not as easy as some people write it off as. So if you’re reading this and you can relate to any of the feelings listed above just know that honey you are not the only one! But most importantly take care of yourself, please. Buy that top that you’ve been eyeing at target for the past couple of weeks and I promise something so simple as that, will make all the difference in the world. I’m still on my look good feel good movement.. who wants to join me?