You remember that feeling when you were 13 and life was really hard and no one knew what you were going through? The way you cried yourself to sleep at night because life was so hard and you were the only one that has ever felt this way?
Being a mom with PPD is pretty similar to this.
When you are going through it you are convinced you are the only one that has ever felt these feelings. You have convinced yourself that you can't tell anyone else because they'll just think you're crazy and judge you and want nothing to do with you anymore. You revert back to that 13 year old that thinks everything is just you and no one else could ever understand you; you're so complex.
Well, you're wrong. You are so, so, so, so wrong.
I met up with some of the ladies from my local mom's group again tonight, and I sat there listening to these women I realized: they're normal, it's the rest of you that are messed up.
These women complained. They had hardships. They were tired. Their kids didn't nap or had just puked on their clothes right after getting dressed, refused to go to bed, spilled snacks in their cars and they had laundry sitting in the basket for over a week because they just didn't have the time to get to it. Sound familiar? Yeah, that's because we've all been there. Now, if you have PPD/PPA, these things are extreme. These things are showstoppers. You physically cannot put that laundry away or clean the car. A nap is too hard because your anxiety is too high and who cares if the kid wears the same outfit for three days at a time as long as they're clean and happy.
But these women....these women are my heroes. Being a parent is not a job. It's your life. You won't get the time to take a nap or clean or organize your CD collection in alphabetical order, but what you will get is the opportunity to watch someone grow and learn and become a real little person. You will have the chance to connect with others who, believe it or not, actually know what you're going through. Maybe you don't have PPD/PPA. Lucky you. But you will have a hard day. You will question a decision you made or an answer you gave your child. Was it the right one? But alas, you now have women in your life who understand you. They have been where you are, and they are not going to judge you. Embrace them. Embrace the other mom's. They don't need to hear about what baby detergent you use and you don't need to ask them their secrets to getting their baby to sleep through the night. Just let it happen. Let yourself be in the company of others who know how it feels. Tell your 13 year-old-self to F off. This is your time. And it's okay. Know that this moment is yours and it's okay.