Go to the beach!
Nothing beats the beach in the summer.
We filled our beach bags with sunscreen, towels & toys & were off to the local lake.
We swam in the warm water & she tried catching the fish that were circling around us with her tiny hands. We built sand castles & I laughed as she rolled around in the sand as if it were a soft blanket. We ate our turkey wrap, fresh fruit & veggie sticks on our sand covered beach towels.
When we got home, she sprawled herself out on the rug in the playroom & quietly played with her princess figurines (aka her “guys”). I peeked into the kitchen to check the clock on the microwave. I had a few minutes to unwind before starting dinner.
A gentle summer breeze blew in through the open windows of our living room. I plopped down on our brown over sized sofa & reached for one of the parenting magazines that have been calling my name for weeks.
I flipped through pages filled with the latest & greatest toys. Discipline tricks were at my fingertips. Moms dressed in cute outfits with hair & makeup done, making parenthood look so easy. Children smiling from ear to ear. Recipes for summer desserts made with whipped cream & fresh strawberries made my mouth water.
While skimming through the magazines, I noticed articles pertaining to the not so cheerful side of parenting are scarce.
Of course parenting is fun, exciting & beautiful. But parenting can also be demanding, stressful & even scary.
Articles on the challenges that many parents face seem to be hidden away like some secret.
Why are we sometimes led to believe that parenting is a breeze & comes without any complications?
When I was pregnant, my husband & I briefly discussed Postpartum Depression. I thought this only happened to “unhappy” people & I told him not to worry because it could never happen to me.
My daughter was 7 weeks old when I began experiencing signs of a Postpartum Mood Disorder.
I didn’t have stereotypical signs of Postpartum Depression & was unaware of the fact that PPD is an “umbrella term” used to cover a variety of emotional issues that can affect someone during or after pregnancy.
I remember friends cracking jokes about how tired I would be once the baby was here & how coffee would become my best friend.
No one ever told me that insomnia could happen & that it could be a sign of a PPMD.
I read about how I would never again enter a bathroom alone without little feet running in after me.
I never read about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder happening after having a baby & how very real this condition is.
I heard stories from moms about their children throwing themselves on the ground in the midst of a temper tantrum at the grocery store.
I never once heard about Postpartum Anxiety or Postpartum OCD. And I never read about intrusive thoughts happening or knew how common these thoughts actually are.
Ashamed, embarrassed, confused & lonely, I put a smile on for the world to see. And like many others do, I hid my symptoms of a Postpartum Mood Disorder for over two years.
I believe women would feel less inclined to hide their symptoms if PPMD was discussed more. I believe women wouldn’t feel so alone in what they are experiencing. The stigma that surrounds PPMD would lessen & the suffering in silence would be a thing of the past.
So why not talk about it?