I had a low day today. Just one of those days that show up unexpectedly and knock me around for a while. I was tired and mentally drained and struggled to get out of bed. So I didn’t. I fed my son, put him back to sleep and went back to bed myself.
I woke up a few hours later and repeated the process. I could have quite happily (well, numbly) done that all day, but I decided that it was probably better that I got up and dressed at least, so I made a little effort.
I didn’t do much at all, just fed my baby and watched TV. But my son needs more attention than just feeding and nappy changes. He needs love and interaction from me and it wasn’t long before he was crying for some.
I didn’t know what to do. I was physically and mentally drained despite having done nothing all day and his crying made me feel like a failure. I wanted it to stop without having to do anything. I wanted someone to take over and just give me a break. I wanted someone to look after him for me. I listened to him cry for what seemed like hours, even though it was only about five minutes.
Than I started crying. I felt terrible for my son, having to wait for me to sort my shit out. He didn’t ask for a mother who can’t cope all the time and he doesn’t deserve it either. So I picked him up, told him how much I love him and apologized over and over even though I knew he wouldn’t understand.
Then something amazing happened. His little face lit up and he smiled. A big beautiful gummy smile that shone through his eyes as well. He shook his head gently back and forth and absolutely beamed at me. His first smile.
My tears instantly changed to happy tears. His smile was so beautiful and reminded me exactly why I wanted to start a family in the first place. For the beautiful little moments. He smiled at me three more times shortly after and it melted my heart more every single time.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had a low day since my son was born. I’ve had three and also several times where I haven’t been able to cope with his crying. I know that many new mums struggle with the responsibility as well, but I also recognized in myself that I was heading down the path of depression. Two weeks after my son was born I went to see my doctor and was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression.
I’m now on daily medication, have started attending a mums and bubs support group and am open with Zombie about how I’m feeling and coping. My mistake today was not going to the support group when I was tired and feeling low, something I won’t be doing again.
I’m just so grateful to my son for brightening up my day with his first smile and reminding me that it’s not the end of the world when he cries. Sometimes like me, he just needs a cuddle and a smile.
Smiles and Sunshine