A quick passing breeze rustled through the flower beds. The late summer bloom’s scent carried in through the patio screen was so gentle and calming.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had been out there.
Briefly, I dreamt about what it would be like to place the screaming bundle on the floor and run out there. I’d run through the grass in my bare feet and climb my neighbour’s fence. I didn’t know where I was going to go but the simple thought of leaving Motherhood far behind gave me such a release.
Then I’d guiltily look down and see him.
His face reddened and strained through screams.
It didn’t matter what I did to try and comfort him.
The colic was ferocious.
The postpartum depression was ferocious.
The time my day started was the time I began to wait for my husband to come home from work. Just like every night before it, I would sit in the same chair at the dinner table with Chunky swaddled in a light receiving blanket. Its position let me check the clock, the driveway, and the door.
Clenched my teeth.
The moment I saw Shawn, the tears would flow. He’d ask me what was wrong and I’d always say the same exact thing.
“I’m not a good mom.”
My husband would praise my efforts and my psychiatrist would assure me that I “was doing everything that any normal mother would be doing” but no matter how many times I heard it during those first few “critical” months of my recovery, I never believed it.
I was just not a good mom.
Postpartum depression can make you think and believe some horrid things about yourself.. You feel guilty for having thoughts of running away. You feel guilty that you wished that you never got pregnant at all. You feel guilty for not being able to handle the stresses of Motherhood.
You just feel guilty.
I want you to know that if you have postpartum depression, you are not a bad mom. Write that down.
“I’m not a bad mom”
Then I want you to feel your child’s tight hugs that emanate from his or her full heart. And if she can’t hug you yet, feel how comfortable she snuggles into your arms. Feel her safety and trust in you.
And I want you to stop and hear his soul speak when he says “I love you” or “coo”.
For it’s there in the way they love you that you’ll see that you’re doing everything right.
You’re a Good Mom.
Know that this does get better. You will be better. I promise you that.
Love and hugs to you,
PS. Even moms without PPD have bad days and they even question if they’re doing things right. If they don’t fess up to it, remember this: They’re full of shit.
Kimberly is a regular contributor to Postpartum Progress and blogs at All Work & No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something. Follow her on Twitter at @momgosomething.
Donations to Postpartum Progress can be made here: http://postpartumprogress.org/donate-postpartum-depression-2/