3 Ways You Can Help Your Partner Through Postpartum Depression

In the early days of my battle with postpartum depression, it was a lonely and scary time for me.

It felt like nobody knew what I was going through.

If you have never experienced postpartum depression (basically every male on the planet) or even depression, it’s impossible to understand the daily struggle of it.

I imagine that it’s also very frustrating.

 I know how hard it was for my husband to see me suffer from something so debilitatingРhe even told me how lost he was on being able to help me.

Truthfully, while I was at my worst, I didn’t need someone to talk to (that was actually the last thing that I wanted)— I didn’t need a therapist for a husband. I just needed my husband. I just needed him there– period. There was no secret thing to say because this was my battle and he could gush out all those lovey-dovey words he could think of and it would still not be enough.

Man, that’s real exhausting, isn’t it?

I can’t tell you how guilty I would feel because I was putting my husband through my depression– silly, isn’t it? Isn’t that such a mom/wife thing? Even when we’re going through a terrible struggle, we’re still worried about other people.

 

Perhaps your partner is struggling with postpartum depression (or there’s a strong chance to believe that she is– read the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression here) and you have no idea what to do for her. And maybe you feel like you really can’t do anything…but I promise you that you can…and even though it may feel like she doesn’t need you right now, she needs you now more than ever.

 

 

 

1. Let her know that she’s not alone.

You don’t have to understand what she’s going through but you do have to let her know that she isn’t alone in this; depression is a very lonely time and our mind can take us to some pretty dark and twisted places.

Let her know that you will weather this storm with her– this storm will pass.

Here are a few ways in which you can let your partner know that she’s not alone in this struggle:

*let her know that you are always available to talk.

*remind her that there are blogs, facebook groups, and an abundance of resources out there for ppd.

*remind her that no mom is ever perfect and it’s okay to not always love motherhood.

*sit up with her in the middle of the night when it’s the loneliest time for her.

*ask her, “how are you feeling today?”

*never make her feel wrong for having ppd.

*connect her with other moms that experienced ppd so she has someone to relate with.

 

I want to add– don’t be discouraged if she’d rather talk to other moms about her struggle than to talk about it with you. Remember: this isn’t about you…her choice to not share these emotions is her decision. Respect that and be grateful that she can share the struggle with someone else.

 

 

2. Offer her your support.

She needs you THE MOST right now so your support is very needed.

Here are a few ways in which you can offer your partner support:

*reassure her that she’s doing a fantastic job with motherhood.

*respect her boundaries of not wanting to share every emotion but always offer an open ear.

*when she does open up, let her vent about it freely.

*never judge her.

*research postpartum depression on your own time to know as much as you can about it.

*if she wants to take medication, support that.

*if she wants to go to talk therapy, support that.

*if she’s not into being intimate, support that.

*urge her to do more things for herself while you watch the kids and support that.

 

3. Pay attention to her cues.

Have you ever felt like your partner is going off the deep-end and you have no idea why?

Why is she always snapping at the smallest things?

Why is she so moody every-night after dinner?

Why is she never happy to see me when I come home from work?

Listen, it’s the postpartum depression that is doing all that ugliness and until you begin to pick up on her cues, it will be much harder on her (and you!). She may be moody and snapping over a dirty kitchen sink and you need to just get over that and really pay attention to what she’s trying to tell you.

You can literally begin to make this time a little more easier for her (and again, you!) by simply paying attention to her cues and needs.

For example:

Why is she always snapping at the smallest things? – She probably reached a limit for the day and ANY tiny thing- from spilled milk to a whiny child- can send her over the edge.

What you can do: tell her to go take a walk, a bath, or you take the kids out to the park or a movie. She needs time alone. Kid-free.

Why is she so moody every-night after dinner? – It’s probably because the kitchen is now loitered with dirty dishes, a dirty stove, and grumpy kids that didn’t eat the 35 minute meal she prepared.

What you can do: offer to clean up the kitchen or to give the kids a bath– if she doesn’t tell you which one to do, make the move and start helping.

Why is she never happy to see me when I come home from work? – It’s not that she’s not happy to see you, it’s just that she’s tired and overwhelmed from a long day. She needs YOU to take over now.

What you can do: instead of jumping on a video game or going to the gym, here are three things you can do to ease her mind.

1. ask her if there’s any-thing that you can do now that you are home, 2. make dinner…if you can’t cook, order take-out, 3. give her some time to herself.

Postpartum depression can be a very lonely and scary struggle– remind her that she’s not alone, offer her support, and pay attention to her cues. You can weather this storm together.

 

Resources:

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Mother’s Day: Last Year & Now

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my mom readers!

I wrote up something on my facebook last night and I wanted to share it here:

Happy mother’s day to all the hard-working, sometimes under-appreciated, dedicated and loving momma’s.
Our job isn’t easy. We’re grossly under-paid and can never call in sick.
We fight monsters, kiss boo-boos & try our hardest to keep it together when we feel like falling apart.

Happy mother’s day to all the grandmother’s that give themselves so tirelessly for their family.
Happy mother’s day to all the momma’s that lost a child. I hope you can somehow find comfort today.
Happy mother’s day to all the momma’s that hold their baby in their hearts instead of their arms.
Happy mother’s day to the step-mothers that love their step-children like their own.
Happy mother’s day to the dads that play both roles.
Happy mother’s day to the ones that have to get through today without their own momma here on Earth.

I see you all and I appreciate every one of you.ūüístNot just today, but every-day!

 

 


Before I became a mom, I never knew the special connection that I would share with not only my children, but with other mothers. I feel that connection even more-so with strong mothers that have/currently are struggling with their own battles. As mothers, or just humans in general, we can be our own worst critic but we truly are doing the best that we can.

Mother’s Day 2017

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I was just shy over 1 month postpartum and feeling so much inside….

i was overwhelmed. we had two kids under two.

i was lonely. i was with my kids all day every day but i felt such an isolating and lonely feeling. like nobody knew what i was going through.

i had extreme feelings of sadness that i urged myself to forget about.

i lost who i was as a women. who i am besides a wife and mom?

i lost all interest in things that made me happy. i only cared about making it through the day.

i had so much guilt. like i wasn’t enjoying my babies 100%.

i just felt like a failure.

On the outside, I may have looked happy and like I had it all, but on the inside I was deeply depressed and I couldn’t hold it together. Ricky snapped this photo of us on our chair and I remember thinking “I probably look like a busted can of biscuits but I know I need a picture to capture this moment because maybe next year…..It will get better.”

it did get better.

Mother’s Day 2018

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To the mommas that are currently fighting in the storm, hold on. A year from now, your life will be so different. So hold on because it’s worth looking back on that picture and seeing the storm behind you.

To My Wild ONE–Happy Birthday!

My dear friend Emmielley took my little guy’s smash cake photos this weekend and I am in love!¬†

here are a few….

he DEVOURED that cake!!!

 

 

It’s my BABY’S birthday week– excuse me while I go cry.

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Our first time meeting

 

 

 

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Close up of that sweet little face…couldn’t be more in love!

 

Seriously, where did the first year go?! It sounds pretty corny but it’s true: kids really DO grow too fast and this time around, I feel like I blinked and my chunky little babe is growing into a toddler!

MAKE IT STOP!!

 

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I’m looking back on all the amazing pictures of my Bubba’s first year of life and man, is it sooo bittersweet. I want him to stay that tiny little boy forever…but I also love watching him grow and learn new things!

 

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There are a few things that I want to say to my sweet little fiery baby boy…..

here it goes:

Dear Bernard (or Bubba as we mainly call you),

You are ONE!

Welcome to the world of toddler-hood where you will begin to discover even more amazing things & learn so much. You are already the very curious little guy–always searching for a toy to play with or following your big brother around….or pulling the cabinets opened to see what’s inside of them. Yes, you are a very BUSY little boy! You sure keep mommy on her toes! I’m always chasing you around the house and now that your mainly walking, you’re even harder to keep an eye on. But that’s okay. You’re active and healthy and that’s what I need to focus on when you get into EVERYTHING and I feel like ripping my hair out! Haha! But I love you so much. You have taught me SO MUCH this past year about myself and how to be a better person (and a better mother).

You have given my life so much more purpose…I never knew that I needed you until I held you in my arms and stared at your sweet precious face. You complete me. You and your brother fill my heart with so much love that it’s impossible to describe.

You are my soul.

I think of you & your brother as my heart and soul. Your brother…he’s my heart. He made me a momma first…he put real love in my heart…love that I had no idea even existed.

And you are my soul. You gave me life again. You gave me one more reason why I was put on this Earth and that simple reason is: to be your momma.

I love you so much sweet boy and I want to give you the WORLD….but I also know that you will have no problem taking it on! You are destined for AMAZING things…just never stop believing in yourself. Never stop dreaming…never stop striving for what you want in this life and you will go so far.

I’m so blessed, so lucky to be your momma and to be able to watch you grow; to be able to see you learn so much and to discover something new every day. You are discovering this world around you & it’s the most precious thing to witness. It’s also so fun to watch your personality bloom and did I tell you that your funny? You make us laugh all the time! You also have a bit of a temper and you get MAD when momma doesn’t feed you fast enough! You’re just so fun. I love my days with you & I can’t wait to see what this next year of your life will bring!!!

Love you so much precious boy & Happy 1st Birthday<3

 

 

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5 Things I Want Moms with Postpartum Depression to Know

Motherhood is overwhelming and it can be downright scary when your holding your very own helpless baby for the first time… so for any mama out there that may be going through what I did, here are 5 things I want moms with postpartum depression to know.

When I first became a mother, I had all of the emotions… but I was mainly happy; that little bundle of joy brought me so much happiness I felt like I could explode. It came easy for me(except for breast-feeding)…the late nights that turned into early mornings, the swaddling and the constant demands of motherhood. I had it all together.

And then I had my second son and things felt….different. So different. I didn’t just feel pure happiness this time around. I felt a sadness so deep; I felt more anxious and worrisome. I remember laying up in the hospital bed after he was born and crying because I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to stay right there and continue to let the nurses care for me but mainly….for my baby. You see, I didn’t think that I could do it…take care of a newborn and a toddler…I felt completely overwhelmed. I felt angry. I was depressed. I had postpartum depression.

 

5 Things I Want Moms with Postpartum Depression to Know

 

According to WebMD the early signs of postpartum depression include feeling sad or hopeless. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can feel like yourself again.

The health-care system fails us as mothers due to the fact that after we have our babies, we aren’t given ANY support or therapy towards postpartum depression. It’s not even really talked about. It’s like…..here’s your new baby, good luck! There are so many emotions coursing through our veins and often more times than not, we feel embarrassed or shamed for these feelings.

Here are 5 things that I would like to tell other moms that may be experiencing postpartum depression.

1. Having postpartum depression doesn’t make you a bad mom. This was my first¬† thought in the beginning and I’m telling you right now, you need to dismiss that from your mind pronto. You’re not a bad mom if you don’t want to make a craft with your kid. You’re not a bad mom if all you can manage to do on a daily basis is feed and bathe your child. And you’re not a bad mom if you feel sad and if your baby doesn’t bring you complete joy. You’re not a bad mom.

2. Having postpartum depression doesn’t mean you don’t love your baby. You can have postpartum depression and love your baby, even if right at this moment you feel indifferent. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. I also want to tell you that if you ever have thoughts about harming your baby, that’s not okay so PLEASE seek help if it’s getting to that point.

 

5 Things I Want Moms with Postpartum Depression to Know

 

3. Reach out to someone. I assure you, there is ALWAYS someone out there that understands what your going through so reach out to them whenever you need to; you don’t have to go through this alone. There are also crisis hotlines (listed at the end of this post) that are always available to you.

 

4. It will get worse before it gets better. I won’t sugar coat it…things normally get worse before they get better. I had a pretty low “low” with my PPD where I felt like things were never going to get better and my life would be in a constant fog. I want to tell you that it DOES get better…it won’t happen over night or maybe even a month from now, but there’s hope. There is a rainbow after the storm.

 

5. You have purpose. You were put on this Earth for a reason. Right now, you may feel like you don’t matter but I want to tell you that you do. You’re in the trenches of motherhood and you feel overwhelmed and broken but trust me, you have purpose. You are a warrior, a fighter, a strong and beautiful women! You have purpose, mama. You will be alright.

 

I wanted to share this with any new moms out there that may be at their lowest right now and to be a voice that says: you’re not alone!

 If you or someone you know may have postpartum depression, please know that there are resources out there.

 

Hotline crisis phone numbers:

Suicide

If you are currently having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Non-U.S. citizens can visit IASP or Suicide.org to find help in their country.

Postpartum Depression (PPD) or Postpartum Anxiety

If you think you might be suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety, or need some extra support, call womenshealth.gov at 1-800-994-9662. Check out the womenshealth.gov website for more information and resources.

 

 

 

 

15 Things I’ve Learned During My First Year With 2 Kids

My last baby will be turning a whole year-old next month and with that, I would like to reflect on a couple of things.

My boys are 18months apart; so when I found out that I was pregnant with #2 when #1 was just shy of a year old….well, I was kind of scared.

Not scared….more like frightened.

It’s been a bumpy road, my friends; and having “Irish twins” as they call it is certainly not for the faint of heart. However, when it’s all said and done, this past year has been a whirlwind of emotions(happy and sad), filled with joy and laughs. I’ve learned a lot about myself (especially that I’m stronger than I believe) and I’ve been able to function on a lot less sleep than I ever thought possible.

So I wanted to write down some things that I’ve come to learn during this first year of having 2 children.

In case any of of you lovely people are brave enough to venture into it.

 

  1. Going from 1 to 2 kids is a hard adjustment. I heard it before I even got pregnant and I’ll sit here and tell you now: it’s not a lie…adjusting from 1 to 2 kids is really rough. I went through a real emotional period right towards the end of my pregnancy where I felt sad about my oldest not being the only one anymore. It eventually passed but those first couple of weeks adjusting to two little kiddos was hard!
  2. One of them will always need something. In the throws of having a newborn and a toddler, there is a 100% chance that one of them will ALWAYS need something; a midnight feeding, a diaper change, a snack, another feeding, a consoling hug because they are frustrated…SOMETHING.
  3. Poop. Poop every-where. Twice the diaper-duty and twice the amount of poopy diapers. Thankfully, one is potty-trained but it was a real shit show in the beginning. (no pun-intended)
  4. They will never be happy at the same time. My boys are like yin & yang; when one has a good day and is happy, the other has to balance it all out by being pissed off at the world.
  5. They will keep passing colds to one another for pretty much the whole winter. It’s almost a fact that when child catches a cold, it will be spread to the other one. And it will just keep happening until it’s eventually spring-time. Runny noses. Forever.
  6. Hand-me downs are the BEST thing since sliced bread. The best thing about having 2 boys is the fact that my youngest gets to wear all of his big brother’s clothes. ($$$ saved) Let’s face it though; even if I had a girl she would be rocking baseball onesies and dinosaur pants.
  7. Leaving the house to go ANYWHERE will take twice as long. Forever late.
  8. The house will NEVER be clean. When you clean up one child’s mess, there will most likely be a mess from the other child. Embrace it. You have 2 kids now so people sort of get that your house will be a crap show.
  9. They will never sleep at the same time. It will take MONTHS before both of them get their naps in sync and even then, one of them is always bound to wake up earlier than the other.
  10. You will never be caught up on laundry. For some reason, adding an extra kid to the mix means 20x the amount of dirty laundry. You will never get it all done. Laundry. Forever.
  11. You’ll find yourself a lot more “chill” the second time around. Oh, you fell down? Get up, you’re okay. You bumped your head? You’re fine. Food fell on the floor? Just eat it. Way way wayyyy more laid-back with the second baby.
  12. ¬†You’ll find yourself taking less baby pictures of your newborn. I’m so guilty of this….but I just didn’t take *as many* baby pics of my 2nd as I did with my 1st. (Now I know why my parents have more pictures of my older sister than of me). When your juggling two kiddos, life is chaotic! Granted, I still have a lot of him but looking back at his first year, I really wish I took more.
  13. Those car grocery shopping carts at the store are life. And when there’s one available, you know it’s going to be a good day.
  14. The first year (the 2nd time around) it will literally fly by. So enjoy it! Embrace the crazy. It won’t last long.
  15. I’ve learned that my hands are full….but my heart is fuller. There will always be enough love, enough kisses and enough hugs for my 2 boys.

<3