Sunday, April 12, 2015

Motherhood Blues

Last week, I struggled with balancing motherhood and my well-being.

It was a combination of things: my husband had to work late a few nights and I hate being a single parent -- I'm just not talented at taking care of two kids by myself.  Secondly, I've recently learned that Baby O isn't growing enough so I'm trying to increase my milk supply.  And lastly, I'm trying to get back to running, but trying to fit that in around everything that is motherhood has been quite the challenge for me.

By the end of the week, I was a hot mess and in a bad mood.  I went to bed early Friday night, completely distraught and unhappy.  I hadn't been in such a funk in a long, long, time.  My husband was worried that I was having postpartum blues or depression and asked if there was anything he could do.


I used the weekend to try and turn things around.  I'm a little afraid of the week ahead and a relapse of the motherhood blues.  My husband and I had several chats over the weekend as he did everything he could to help me pull out of this feeling of being overwhelmed by motherhood.
Here are some of the things I did this weekend to feel better and get back into a positive state of mind:


Give myself permission to sulk

My husband knows better than to say "Cheer up!" when I am in a bad mood.  I accepted that I was not feeling great and allowed myself to feel down and contemplate why I was feeling down.


Talk About It

After an hour of sulking, I was ready to talk about my bad mood.  Thankfully, my husband is a great listener.  We didn't talk about solutions; we simply talked about why I was feeling so overwhelmed this past week.  The discussion helped me sort things out.

Talk About it (Again)

Fortunately, I had a hair appointment scheduled for Saturday morning.  My hairdresser is a mother, too, and she was a great sounding board for my woes.  Although I had had a great discussion with my husband, it was really great to talk to another woman -- another mother -- about how I was feeling.  I left with a new hairstyle and a brighter outlook on tackling all that is nagging me right now.

Identify the Problem

Perhaps it's just my personality, but when I have a problem, I want to solve it.  The first step was figuring out what the problem was, and in talking to my husband and my hairdresser, I realized that I was incredibly stressed about the fact that Baby O isn't growing enough and that it might be related to my inability to produce enough milk.  Once I figured out that that was the biggest issue, I put together a plan to try and work on my milk supply, but I also accepted that solutions were not going to come around overnight.

Take it Easy

My husband did everything he could to ensure that I relaxed as much as possible over the weekend.  We went out for brunch, ordered in takeout one night, and he cooked another night.  We put a hold on household chores and laundry.  We just hung out as a family.


Make a Plan

Once I was able to figure out what was my biggest issue (out of all the issues I'm dealing with), I decided to focus on the breastfeeding first.  As for the two other issues...being a single parent: my husband is working on adjusting his work schedule and we're looking into getting a mother's helper for nights when I'm alone.  Getting back to running: my husband is going to support me in my efforts to get to bed early so that I can get up early and fit 3-4 morning runs in whenever possible.



After all of the above, I'm feeling a little less overwhelmed by motherhood but I know that it will take time before I'm feeling in control again.  I'm going to take each day as it comes and remember that each morning means a new start.  I feel lucky that my husband understands how defeated I can get sometimes and when I do feel defeated, he is ready to jump in and help whenever needed.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by work / relationships / life in general?  What do you do to try to get life back in balance?

12 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you've been feeling down :( That does sound like a ton on your plate. I'm so glad for you that your husband is there to listen and try to make things better for you, and that you guys are coming up with solutions together.
    Lately my big, nagging stressor is unemployment. I'll go a few weeks feeling alright about it, understanding that a) there are hardly any new vacancies in my field and b) not being fluent in the language puts me at a disadvantage and that's okay, but then suddenly out of nowhere I'll have a day where I just don't want to face anything, not even emptying out the dishwasher! At that point someone usually needs to talk some reassuring words and sense into me, but just wallowing for a couple hours tends to help too :P

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    1. Sophie thanks for stopping by and saying hi -- always good to hear from you. I can imagine how stressful it must be looking for a job. And to have do so in a country where you're not fluent in the language! I hope you find a job soon -- I know that in the midst of any crisis, it feels like it's never going to end or change, but I know you'll be writing us about some awesome job soon!

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  2. I hope you are feeling more optimistic by now. I know by now if I don't have enough sleep after about 4 days I am in a terrible mood. With five kids this happens way to often. By knowing what makes me feel terrible helps a bit. My husband is a solver and sometimes I just want to moan. That's why we have sisters. Sending you lots of positive thoughts. Stopping by from Manic Mondays

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    1. Hi Mariet thanks for stopping by. If you can do it with 4 kids, I can do it with 2! I wish my sister lived closer (she's in California, I'm in Colorado) -- and I reach out to her all the time by text.

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  3. I am so glad you have an understanding hubby! It's hard having a lot of demand in you and being alone a lot.
    To me the hardest part of being adult is having all these "life" things that suck up your time, yes children are wonderful and a huge blessing but you barely any hours left for you..at least that's how I always felt. Work, cleaning, cooking, working out....just falling into bed to start over again can get mundane at times. We all have down days. I hope you are feeling better as you read this :)

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    1. Hi Karen, you've put it well - it does seem mundane at times, like life is on repeat and it's never going to change. But yes, days are getting better and I know they will continue to go up and down, up and down. Right now I'm on an UP! Great hearing from you!

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  4. Awww, big hugs to you. It sounds like you have some ideas to turn things around. I'm very much the same... I was to solve the issue as soon as possible and have troubles letting go of it until I do.

    I hope things improve.
    xoxo

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    1. Hi Jennifer - things are finally turning around...I'm feeling much more like myself these days!

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  5. I think it's great when moms can share the things that stress us out...it helps us all to know we're not alone in feeling anxious or down at times. I hope things get better! Thanks for sharing at the Manic Mondays blog hop! :)

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    1. Agreed! Thanks for hosting the Manic Mondays blog hop!!

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  6. I like that you listed allowing yourself to sulk as #1. Yes, if you acknowledge the feelings it is so much easier to overcome them than ignoring them.

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    1. There is nothing worse than pretending that everything is OK when it's not. My husband has learned that I just need to sulk for a bit...it always speeds up the bounce-back process.

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