Being a Mom Is Not Easy, But Talking to My Doctor Made It Better


There are so many tips, tricks and words of wisdom about motherhood that people will try to impart on you. There’s one thing I wish everyone would have told me prior to that I had no idea about: you might feel miserable in the first month. It might not be “the best time of your life.” You might feel like you hate it.

I cried. I cried a lot for the first month. Along with the crying came the guilt. I felt guilty I wasn’t getting this mom game like I thought I was going to. I felt guilty my husband was coming home to a total mess of a human being every day. The guilt wasn’t helping the crying and vice versa.

I’m pretty in tune with my mental health and I knew something wasn’t right (I have a history of anxiety and depression). I wasn’t eating. I was crying all the time. I was having some pretty terrible thoughts about myself and my lack of mom-skills. I was surviving (barely), but I wasn’t thriving.

Breastfeeding was wearing me out. My babe was born three weeks early via c-section and wasn’t strong enough to get a great latch. She wasn’t really getting what she needed from me and therefore, my body stopped producing as much milk. The lactation consultant encouraged me to pump and I was getting close to nothing when I pumped for 30-45 minutes. It was a vicious cycle. I pumped. Hubs fed the babe. Two hours later, we would do it all over again. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t feed my baby. Everything I had read made breastfeeding seem so natural and like it was just going to come easily. It didn’t.

 

Luckily, my doctor could see I was struggling. One genuine piece of advice for you: be honest with your medical practitioners. If you’re having a hard time, say something. Don’t act like you’ve got everything under control if you don’t. It is so normal to think this whole momming this is hard. It is. Your doctor will help you determine if your struggle is just you getting the hang of not sleeping at all while trying not to break this tiny human you’re now responsible for, or something more. On top of talking to my OB-GYN, I spoke to one of the most wonderful humans I know, who just happens to be a licensed mental health counselor and a mom. Just talking to her made me feel like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders.

Post-partum depression is real. It happens. It happens more often than people are willing to say and it can be life-threatening. No one wants to admit their tiny little miracle is making them feel miserable. That does not mean you’re a bad mom. It means you’re human and you’re going through one of the biggest life changes that anyone can go through. Talk to someone.

For me, the first step was to feed my kid with some good ol’ formula. After this, we were both happier. She started gaining weight and I started feeling better. Fed is best, y’all. Less stressed momma and baby gaining weight equal happy household.

Our little bundle of joy is almost 5 months now and she is, literally, a bundle of joy. I soak up every moment I get to spend with her and I love her more than anything. I’m finally starting to feel like I’m acing my mom game and every day with her is a new adventure. It does get better, people. It does get better. Just remember, nobody gets it perfect. We’re all just learning.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo by Chelsea Whetsel Photography


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to General Parenting

15 Things I Don't Want to Hear as a Parent of Kids With Disabilities

In the last nine years parenting two children with disabilities, I’ve heard my fair share of unsolicited parenting advice and, although well-meaning, ignorant comments. Some comments I can brush off easily; for others, I have come up with answers. Some make me practice my self-control and being kind even when I feel like screaming, “Are you [...]

The Emotional Resilience I Need as a Parent of a Child With a Disability

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my own emotional resilience. It is a constant work in progress for me personally. We all get our strength from different places and there are times when we might feel nowhere close to resilient. Totally floored, out of energy and unable to cope. Working out how I’ve built, [...]

My Daughter Needs Medicaid, We Are Holding Our Breath

She sleeps without a care in a world. In an hour, she will get up, test her pee, take her pills and start bugging me to go swim. My 8-year-old daughter had a kidney transplant almost three years ago. Her responsibilities for now include drinking enough water and helping Daddy put her pills in the [...]

Dear Teachers, Here's How You Can Help My Kid Avoid or Cope With Meltdowns

I don’t know about you, but there have been times when my kids work so hard at “keeping it together” at school, that by the time they come home they are not feeling regulated. Also, home is safe, and home is where you can finally show what you are feeling inside. A loud noise can tip off [...]