I knew motherhood was lonely before I had Bluebird, but I had a great group of friends before she got here so I thought I might escape the worst of it. I haven’t. It’s lonely.
I’ve gone through depression before and I expected some postpartum depression, but when I got through that within a few weeks after she arrived I thought I was free and clear. I wasn’t. I’m depressed.
Before you get too worried (Mom), neither the loneliness or the depression are acute. I’m still connecting with the people I love and I’ve got plenty of happy, normal moments every day. But when I look at the big picture I can tell things aren’t ideal right now. So I write about it to process this season, and maybe it’ll help someone else too.
It caught me off guard a couple months ago when things had settled into a pretty manageable routine at home and at work. She was sleeping through the night and I was getting a decent amount of work done every week. I loved being a mom. But I was sad and irritated by small things pretty regularly, and I wasn’t feeling like myself. Everything was way more draining than it should have been. For a while I kept thinking, “tomorrow will be better.”
By this point I’ve learned a lot about how to manage my personality in the ups and downs of life. If I’m feeling sad, I know that some time at the beach or a coffee from Starbucks will do great things for my mood. If I’m inside my head too much, I know that I need to schedule more time with friends. If I’m overwhelmed, I know that I need to make lists and prioritize everything. So I did all of those things for weeks and months but they didn’t work. I’m still irritated and overwhelmed at the smallest things and my “resting pose” is gravitating toward exhausted rather than satisfied.
I really want to click my body and mind back into shape with something magical and be done with it. But I’m 90% sure it’s my whacked out hormones that are driving this, and I think my body just needs some time, sun, and exercise. In the meantime I see some hopeful signs. Longer days, warm weather for walks, great dates with Good Cop, and Bluebird seems to be emerging from her month of sickness. I even put together a new playlist (and based on my history, that’s always a harbinger of the good feels).
Calling things out for what they are always helps. I’m lonely and depressed. I’m also loved, creative, competent, caring, hopeful, appreciated, resilient, vulnerable, excited, and growing.
“He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.”
Psalm 113:9, emphasis mine