Putting Children First
|Our youngest hogging my spot (totally worth it)|
I am not suggesting that we do not continue to put our children first. I am not suggesting that we contribute to the growing self-centered culture of self-actualization and self-fulfillment at the expense of all else. I am suggesting that caring for ourselves-investing some of our effort into keeping ourselves healthy-is ultimately an invaluable way to put our children first. Healthy mommies can take better care of their children. If you have ever struggled with postpartum depression, or seen another mom struggle, perhaps you have learned the truth of this concept.
Isolation & Sleep Deprivation
For me, far better than the different therapies and medications (which were sometimes very helpful, sometimes less so) were concentrated efforts to get more sleep and to remain connected to other women.
Talking with other moms is my best medicine.
Knowing I am not alone, hashing through parenting concerns with others who are in the trenches too (rather than relying solely on "experts" who know nothing of my particular circumstance) have been my saving grace six-times over. Other moms are the only way I end up believing that despite my struggles, I am doing a really good job. And that knowledge is often enough to break the depression fog. It is not easy. It requires some effort and help, but when I say break the fog I mean move from that hopeless, helpless place, to the place where I can begin searching for solutions.
When it comes to postpartum depression, healthy mothering begins with recognizing risks and knowing what to look for. From there it is important to identify what your potential triggers may be and then foster an environment that helps you manage those risks.
Reach Out and Recharge
To learn more about symptoms of postpartum depression click here.
To explore some options for help, click here, here, or talk to your doctor or another mother.
Please share with us what helps you stay healthy, focused, or balanced in your mothering. And keep an eye out for a future post about what you can do to support other moms.