Hey y’all! You can call me Delilah! I’m the mommy to 5, wife to 1, and warden to a psychotic dog! I’m a
self-confessed socially awkward, southern girl with sass. I share my sometimes-successful attempts at domestication, motherhood, and life in general on my blog, Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama. I’m definitely not the next June Cleaver but my kids are still alive, my house hasn’t been condemned and I still have all my own hair. I’m just a mom- that’s my superpower. Welcome to my Semi-Domesticated Life. I hope you brought wine.
I still have days. You know, those days. The kind that make me want to crawl back in bed with the covers over my head so I can hide from the world. The kind that makes me short tempered and cranky. I get irritated when my kids are being loud or whiny or doing the stuff that kids just do. The kind that makes me feel overwhelmed and inferior. The kind that makes me feel like a bad mom. I have those days more often than I would like to admit. I struggle with being present in the moment with my kids. I always have a running to do list in my head, all the stuff that needs to be done just keeps growing and growing until I feel like I can’t breathe. It’s a vicious cycle that never ends.
I hate the days when I feel irrationally irritated with my kids. I want them to know that I love them more than anything in this world, that they are the sole reason I am still alive, that I would do anything for them, that they were my sunshine on the very darkest of days. There are far too many days when I fall short of making sure they know this. When I yell because I have reached the end of my patience, or when I snap at them out of frustration, I hate myself. I beat myself up, call myself names, and tell myself that I don’t deserve my family.
Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, and Psychosis did this to me. I have this need, deep down inside me, to make up for the last 18 months. To atone for the months where I was emotionally absent from my children. It eats at me all the time. I have flashes of memories from the worst weeks that pierce my heart like daggers because I know my children suffered. I know they felt my distance and they didn’t understand it. How do you atone for these things? How? I worry sometimes that my 21 month old daughter’s bond to my husband is so much greater than her bond to me, simply because he was present during the time I couldn’t be. I’ll be honest, there are many a day where I’m not sure she loves me as much as she loves him. I understand why she wouldn’t but it still wounds something deep inside me to wonder, even briefly, if my child loves me.
This is the reality of life after a Postpartum Mood Disorder. It is not pretty and it is not a path I ever thought I would have to walk. But here I am. It seems like people want to sweep Postpartum Mood Disorders under the rug or hide it behind closed doors so nobody will know. All that accomplishes is making the women walking the same rocky path feel more alone, more isolated and more ashamed. I choose to be one of the few that stand up and talk about my journey. I choose to be honest and transparent about this struggle in the hopes that it will reach just one mom who is still stuck in the black hole.
The stigma must be broken. Women must feel able to ask for help without fear of judgment. Women have to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I wish someone had been there to tell me.
Thank you for sharing your story, Delilah, and helping break the stigma of postpartum mood disorders.