When you know...(alternatively titled: I ENJOY being a mom; can you believe it?)
Posted Sep 03 2010 5:29am
For the past two plus years I have been fielding all sorts of questions around how one should know when feeling 100% and being 100% are one in the same. The inquiries might have been worded in any of the following ways
How will I know when I am out of the woods?
When will I be myself again?
When will I be able to just be a regular mom?
How can you tell the difference between a good day and recovery?
When will my PPD go away?
When can I stop looking back and just move forward?
These questions may read differently, but basically the bottom line is always the same. Women simply want to know..."When I am going to be better??" Unfortunately, I can't really answer that any better today than I could have last year. But, I do have something to share about my own experience that I hope might be helpful or at the very least give you continued hope.
Being well, or basically free of pervasive symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety, came much earlier for me than being well-adjusted to motherhood and finding joy in it. Being able to wean from meds, manage life well, enjoy life in general, and even rebuild my marriage happened much sooner than managing dealing with the challenges of motherhood and the unpredictability of children. For months and maybe even more than a year, I have been well. I mean, normal me, well. But, I didn't realize that it could and would get even better than that. That I would be physically and mentally well AND be able to do more than just love my son, survive and plug through motherhood, and then go back to "my real life" in retirement!
Today friends, I am celebrating! It's been a very, very long road. Later this month, my son will turn three on my 34th birthday. And words cannot express what I have been experiencing these past few months and weeks. When I hold my son, I can now literally feel my heart filling with joy. My chest tightens and a smile breaks thoughtlessly from my mouth. When my son asks me to play, instead of sighing and asking for a couple more minutes in my own book or on the computer, I jump up from what I am doing, snuggle up with him and embrace the precious moment. When a few more minutes of rocking before bed are requested, I close my eyes, breathe in his scent deeply, and find peace, instead of frustration, in being needed and loved by my child.
This, my friends is what it is all about! THIS is motherhood. This is wellness. This is JOY!