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I didn't think it would be this hard!!


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If you would have asked me three years ago if I thought it would be hard to be a stay at home mom, I would have said NO!! But I also wasn't struggling with depression, anxiety and lonliness, along with being a mom and no job, nothing really to get up for in the morning (except my son). As I got closer to giving birth fear began to set in of how was I going to raise my son without being like my bio parents? How was I going to stay positive and be there for my son in any way he would need. Then after I gave birth everything went down hill fast.

The birth itself was a surprise as I ended up having an emergency C section, which of course not what I was planning on. So that was difficult, then my bio mom never came to see her first grandson. When we got home after four days in the hospital we came home to a quite house, with no visitors. So on top of dealing with a newborn, and healing from a c-section I had to still take care of the house and my husband and myself. Things were rough from the get go, but I fully expected that they would get better. I felt totally disconnected from reality for such a long time, I just functioned in crisis mode. So when I went in for my six week checkup and was put on an AD I was pleased. It took a few weeks for it to fully kick in but when it did I began to feel like my old cheerful self. I began to take my role as a mother, wife, house keeper in a much different light, and actually began to enjoy it. I began to feel like cooking again (one thing I absolutely love doing) and took pride in caring for my son.

I felt normal for a few months. But then I went through another bought of depression while on my AD's. I just thought it was because my meds weren't fully kicked in yet, so I just rode the wave which lasted about a week and then continued on. I have been dealing with serious depression for over a year now, and have rode the waves of it at least once a month. I never realized how difficult it could be to get up, wipe off the feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, loneyness etc, and be emotionally available for my child. There are so many days I just fake it till I make it as they say. I know my son is not stupid, he knows mommy is not feeling happy today, but I still need to be there for him.

I don't know what to do. So many days I just want to curl up in a ball and shut out the rest of the world. I can't do that for one, I do have my son, for two I don't have anyone who will take him for a few hours so I can "deal". My support system sucks!!! My mother in-law makes it seem like such an inconvience to even babysit much less pull a last minute 'hay can you babysit for me' thing. My chosen mom is two and a half hours away so she is only available by phone. Although we do go see her for a week once a month or so. My bio mom could careless what is going on in my life muchless her grand son's life. She doesn't even bother to pick up the phone and call.

I know it seems like I am in the 'feel sorry for me' attitude. That is not what I want, I just don't know what else to do to just survive. It seems like the bad days are becoming more frequent, especially since I am not sleeping well at night. I have a sleep study set up for a month down the road, but until then I just have to make due since my dr. will not increase or try a different med until the results of that sleep study come back. I feel sooo lost. I don't know where else to turn. I am trying to reach out to friends, but don't want to be a burden on them. :eek: This is definetly the hardest thing I have ever done: Being a mother.

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I am the father of three kids ( 9, 7 and 3 ) and have felt EXACTLY the way you do. I was sailing along beautifully right up until three months before my youngest was born. I had a great job, great insurance, just bought a house, blah blah blah... then suddenly the floor fell out from under me. I lost my job, my wife started making about a third of what she was previously, my panic attacks started up again after 17 years of 'dormancy'. I spent the next few years in a psychotic depressive episode where the whole world seemed pointless, cruel and terrifying. My wife and I have very limited assistance and feel totally isolated from the rest of the world. Our kids take up every moment of our lives, which I thought should feel like the blessing everyone always says it is, but, it just SUCKED!!! I had no time for myself and started to resent the kids. Then, I would feel guilty for feeling that way, so I'd try to force myself to do stuff with them, but would just end up angry at how 'ungrateful' they were for all I was doing for them.

Then, I suddenly remembered that I have rights too. I have the right to feel angry at my kids, to lament the fact that my 'old' life is now gone. I have the right to grieve the loss of the life I once knew. I also have the right to freak out once in a while! When life gets too insane and intense for me, I find a moment ( usually VERY early in the morning ) and drive around the outskirts of town SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS about all the stuff that's making me nuts. Sometimes I end up crying, which feels AWESOME! But most of the time I just end up feeling 'vented' for lack of a better word. I also started doing things to physically vent the frustration and sadness that overwhelms me. I like to go to the driving range, for example, and assign a label to each ball I'm about to hit. For instance, I put the name of an emotion that is nagging at me, such as sadness, on the ball. Not literally of course, I just picture it in my mind. Then I hit the ball as hard as I can... it may sound silly, or crazy, but, sometimes, if you don't go a little nuts, you'll go crazy! Does that make sense? Anything you can think of that doesn't harm you or another person is fair game. I write letters to people or situations that make me angry or frustrated and then throw them in the fireplace. I have conversations with myself while alone in the car as if I were talking to a therapist, just to try to get my mind around what's bugging me. I do whatever I need to do, moment by moment to get through the 'dark phase' I am going through. I also know with 100% certainty that things will and do always get better. How many times in life have you gone through something that was horrid at the time, like a family trip in the car for example, that was terrible in the moment, but eventually became something you laugh about later? Life is full of those moments, and, if you can learn to see past the moment to the time when the current struggle will be only a 'fond' memory, things are easier to take.

I call it the 'worm in the apple' principle. The apple is your current struggle, and yes.... you are the worm in this scenario. The worm cannot see the outside of the apple, so, the whole world is that apple. The worm eats and eats at the apple with no knowledge of where it will end... eventually though, it breaks out of the apple and only then can it see how tiny the apple is compared to the rest of the world.

It's early, and I'm only on my second cup of coffee so forgive the rambling and the liberal use of quotation marks... but, I hope what I've said helps you in some way. If nothing else, know that you are not alone in your struggle. There are millions of us out here going through similar problems. Hang in there and do what you need to do for yourself... make time for yourself. Read silly books. Do silly things. Make silly faces at yourself when you are totally stressed out.

For what it's worth... reading your story made me feel better, and less alone, so thank you for posting it!

Have a better day...


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Thanks Jimmy,

I like the worm in the apple analogy. It made me laugh, not to mention the second cup of coffee thing. I have been trying to grant myself permission to do things for myself. I have been granting myself permission to be upset, to go for a walk, to take a couple of days to go for a conference etc. I look forward to the day I don't have to grant myself permission to do it but for now I have to do that to feel that it is okay to do. I also have had conversations with myself in the car (that is when my son is not in the back seat, which isn't very often) and try to work through things. It does help.

It really does help when others post having gone through similar situations, then you really don't feel alone (at least for the moment). So Thanks. And keep being kind to yourself, because a happy you means a happier life for everyone around you.

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