Written by Skylan Abraham of www.skysartbucket.com.
Starting at the tender age of 19, I’ve birthed three beautiful boys in the course of four years. I am now 23, and embraced fully in the blanket of motherhood.
My kids are the air I breathe, the sun that shines on dull days, my absolute, complete, entire reason for existing. Since they’ve been gifted into my life, I cannot picture a life without them.
There are many joys to parenthood: you watch as your children grow into their personalities, and learn to express their feelings, thoughts, and curiosities. You become their strength, as they do yours (in ways unbeknownst to them). They come to you for consolation, or to share their happiness; oftentimes found in the ordinary things you overlook.
It is an amazing experience, but it is hard.
I learned rather quickly, after the exit of my firstborn, that parenthood is one of the most difficult things you can take on in your lifetime. He was a nearly two-day labor, and by the time he was born, at 11:11 pm and nearly 9lbs, I had never been more exhausted in my whole life.
Yet, it was only the beginning. With several months of little sleep, my naive and unknowing self was at a loss more days than not.
I didn’t think I’d fall victim, but I did:
I fell heavily into the trap known as Postpartum Depression; she took me to abysmal depths that I hadn’t known were possible. I’ve battled with sadness and ache before, but never to this degree; I constantly felt like I was failing.
In all truthfulness, even now she lingers. She’s more manageable these days, but there are times when I feel like I can barely breathe because of all the doubts she causes me to feel within myself.
I worry for my children.
I do not want them to pick up on the habits that rest within my tattered brain. Often, I question if it’s better I distance myself from them, and then scold myself and imagine the questions they’d ask if I wasn’t always around. Questions I too, had wondered in a similar situation I faced during my childhood: why was I not good enough?
It’s selfish, I know, but perhaps if they understood that it was in retrospect of their better health, they’d understand…but then, why would they? What reason do they have to do so? To them, it would look like I simply ran away.
They often say that mothers of my mental stability should never have had children, but even the most eager of mothers (which I was) are often faced with these same struggles; that doesn’t make them less deserving.
Motherhood is a process.
If you take anything from this confession today, it’s awareness of the internal conflict over 30% of women face, and many others have undiagnosed.
Postpartum Depression does not make you a bad mother, it does not mean you are failing– let this be a reminder that there are others who feel your upset, and that with time, things will get easier. Allow yourself the time to feel your darkness, embrace it, and then let it go. It may show its ugly head again, but take the necessary steps to combat it once more, until eventually, hopefully, it disappears altogether.
Stay tuned for part two; Taking the Necessary Steps: Battling Postpartum Depression