(Photo By Angela Baron Photographer)
I saw it again today. Tucked at the top of my closet, I just happened to catch a glimpse of it as I was walking into the washroom. I stopped to take a longer look. It’s sharp edges perfectly outlining my fist, made my heart sink for a second.
In a moment of furry, three months prior, I punched my fist through a clear plastic storage container in the top of my closet. I can’t remember exactly why I did it, but both kids were crying and we were late getting somewhere. I was in such a rage, I honestly didn’t even remember it happened. The tiny dried droplets of blood on my hand didn’t even trigger the memory that afternoon. It wasn’t until later that day, as I passed by my closet and saw the hole, did it all come rushing back.
Maybe I should just get rid of it?
No. It’s a good reminder that I’ve experienced some really difficult moments in the past six months. Moments when I felt so frustrated, so angry, that I couldn’t even control myself. All I could do was scream, slam a door or a drawer. Just thinking about it makes me feel so ashamed. It’s not the woman or the mother that I pictured myself being. I always thought I was stronger than that. I thought I was more loving, more understanding, more patient. I thought I was more in control. They sure don’t cover this shit in prenatal class. What the hell is wrong with me?
I randomly stumbled upon some Facebook article one night in bed. A mom had written about her experience with Post Partum Depression and how she felt so uncontrollably angry and irritable, that it made me question whether I was experiencing PPD too. I have never heard it described like that before. I have heard so many people say they have had PPD but never really heard what they felt like when they were going through it. I honestly never even considered it could be Post Partum Depression. Never did I feel depressed. I didn’t feel withdrawn or a lack of attachment to my children. My energy levels were good. I had the “normal” baby blues and crying bouts after both pregnancies. But every mom I’ve talked to has been through that.
Every. Single. One.
Then I did the thing that I tell myself NEVER to do with health related topics….I googled it. I read every possible diagnosis and symptom on PPD and PPA. An hour later I felt more confused than ever. Only one, maybe two of the symptoms I could honestly say I had experienced.
Three months later I feel happier, I feel stronger, I just feel better than I did then. It doesn’t mean I don’t still have times where I feel irritable… really irritable. I just have a better understanding of why and how I can move through it instead of against it. Some days I’ll see the broken box and just laugh. Laugh at myself for even acting that way. Laugh because I just feel happy.
Motherhood sure has made me take a serious look at who I am and sometimes it’s not always the prettiest version of who I thought I was. It sounds so cliche, but my babies make me want to be better, react better, live better and love better. Only now as I’m sitting here writing this does it hit me like a punch in the face… just how important it is for me to take care of me, so I can take care of them. So, as hard as it is to leave them, to literally hear them cry as I walk out the door, I am reminded that having my own passions and profession play a huge role in me reacting better, living better and loving all of US better.
And the journey continues.
Thank you Jen for supporting BC Women’s Hospital Foundation by sharing your #RAWmotherhood journey and helping us connect as mothers in a real and raw way.