Talking About the Hard Stuff

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The other morning started with a warm lavender sink bath for little Alfie who woke with the sniffles. He was overdue for a good scrubbin’ and our sink was free of pots and pans, so the timing was right. Stella and Theodore popped into the kitchen just as I started filling the sink with bubbles and water, these two, they never want to miss a beat. They’re both at an age where they’re fairly eager to help me out, especially if it involves food or their little brother. I really love that they want to be such a present part of it all. As we soaped Alf up and let him splash around a bit, I could not help but think about how far we’ve come. Let me be clear. I could not help but think about how far I’ve come. Our sweet Alfie is now covered in delicious rolls and has hit so many milestones, but I too as a mother have taken on a different shape. A much healthier one.

“How is it”, I thought to myself while rinsing off his soft little body, “that just three months ago that I was bathing Alfie in our pedestal sink in the upstairs bathroom, feeling so fragile and broken and in such a dark and unfamiliar place compared to where I am right now?” I think about that mother, that scared young woman, and I think about what she has gone through to get to where she is today.  I think about how misguided that woman was. How badly she needed help. I feel so many things for her, so many things I want to share with my daughter one day. Stories that I hope will be of light and encouragement to her, helping her to understand that no matter how lost she feels in her journey of motherhood, that she is not alone. For as long as mothers have been mothering, these feelings…these razor sharp emotions, they have been felt…and that they though are real, it does not mean she is a failure or a bad mother because she has felt them, no matter how isolated or unworthy or broken she feels inside.

I haven’t shared much about my postpartum journey with you after having Alfie. I suppose there are many reasons for this, but one that I am quite willing to admit to you was lack of time while figuring out our new rhythm. The other reason, the much bigger one that requires more courage to think or say or pound out on the keyboard is fear…that gross but all too familiar word that stings, even when you whisper it.  The latter quickly took up quite a bit of space in my heart during this past season of motherhood.

It’s scary to tell others you’re scared, to admit feeling out of control. To mention to complete strangers, let alone your own mother, that the one thing that brings you the most amount of joy in your life also brings about so much confusion and pain. It is scary as hell to admit to others that there are times you feel like you are free falling and that there were weeks you couldn’t even make a successful run to the grocery store without turning around early to come back home after having loaded all three kids up in the car, and you haven’t a reasonable explanation as to why. You just couldn’t and that’s all you knowOr to announce, “Yeah for the past month every time my husband leaves home I either resent him for what feels as though he’s abandoning us, or I have a panic attack because I feel so completely alone, yet I’m never without a human on my lap.” That’s all too scary to say or type, so we just go about our lives not saying or typing it. It’s just easier that way.

Until it’s not. 

Only until very recently I have been in a safe enough place long enough to realize that that there’s a deep void in this motherhood community of ours that is not being completely transparent about the hard stuff. No, not about an unfortunate succession of blowouts on white onesies, or that week your husband worked late, or dirty homes, or that one time your baby bit your nipple while nursing at four am. Those all stink, but what I am talking about is more about how we feel in our core as we mother these sweet but demanding babies of ours. The void that gives room to explore and share how we are truly coping while on the mend after growing and birthing babies, going through hormonal shifts, not getting proper sleep, and learning how to love our bodies all over again. The painfully wide gap that spells S-H-A-M-E in admitting you’re not okay, because society and social media have wrongfully put these feelings and words in the “do-not-say-bad-things-about-motherhood-or-you’re-complainging-and-ungrateful” category. That kind of hard stuff. Because we live in a society that’s all to quick to pass judgment, sometimes we’d just rather not share that part of ourselves and show you what we’re making for supper instead. I get it.

I don’t know where to start in telling you this part of my story, so I’ll start by saying this. This past autumn I felt like I was walking through a fun house. One giant hall of mirrors. It was a season of my life that despite having three small kids, we did things. Too many things. There were many moments of happiness and delight, but there was also moments where angst and hopelessness collided. There we times I could not get out of bed. There were times I thought horrible things. I hate admitting that but it’s true. Instead of figuring out what was going on that clearly wasn’t right, I threw myself into saying “yes” far more than I ever said “no”. I busied myself with playdates and plans. I marched on with the chorus, trumpet in hand, declaring everything was “fine! fine! fine!” down the crippling path of denial. It was during this time that I felt more out of touch with who I was as a woman than ever before. I lied to myself daily. I lied to those I loved. My body, my mind, my heart were all unrecognizable and heavy, lugging around what felt like iron chains, paralyzing me from dusk till dawn. I was drowning and it was all happening so fast without awareness, that somewhere in the thick of it I lost myself.

There would be evenings when Andrew would come home from work and as soon as he’d step foot in the doorway I would hand him a baby, usually Alfie, and go upstairs to sleep. Or at least I’d pretend to sleep and throw the covers over my head for a good few hours, demanding silence.  We wouldn’t exchange words or barely make eye contact, and I’d just fade off, promising myself that disappearing would make it all better, whatever it was. I’d soon come to realize after having a horrible breakdown on the side of the road all because I couldn’t find a damn parking spot at Chipotle. I had circled the parking lot maybe fifty times? With each go round my heart raced and my mind flooded with worry. I called Andrew just gasping for air, unable to speak. Not sure where to turn. I needed a doctor.

My bursts of anxiety and sometimes rage were happening almost daily at this point and I was exhausted and burnt out. My family was too. It was during this season not so long ago that I’d stay up late at night Googling articles on how not to be a “resentful wife” or an “angry mother” or “a moody as hell for no reason mama” before giving up and going to bed far too awake, lying to myself that what I was experiencing would just go away on its own. But no. Not true. What I was feeling and experiencing during this short but painful season of motherhood was not diminishing with time but in fact growing, plummeting me deeper and deeper into despair. This time of my life was horribly debilitating and it lowered me into a fog of indescribable fear. I had postpartum depression and I was afraid to believe it.

That day of the roadside panic attack, I made an appointment to go back to my OB. A few days after, I found myself in the waiting room with all the other pregnant mamas, this time no bump under my skirt and scared out of my mind. My heart raced when I was asked to explain “what was going on” to my doctor because to tell you the truth I was in such a blur that I couldn’t piece together a solid timeline. I could’t articulate the situation that led to me being fearful or out of control, just that I was. I told my doctor and her PA who were jotting down what seemed like far too many notes, that I didn’t want my husband to leave us in the morning…so I’d panic…all the while thinking that they were thinking, “What mother wants her husband to leave!? That’s normal!” But it was more than that and I know they could sense it, even with my defensive rationalizations. So after talking it through, I agreed to go on medication to help balance my weary mind. As I was leaving the office the receptionist at the desk recognized my all too familiar face (three pregnancies will do that to a mama) and said much too loudly, “Is that you, Amanda? Why are you here? How old’s your baby now…two months?” To which I replied, “Almost four.” With puzzled eyes she asked half jokingly if I was back because I was pregnant again. “Nope.” I shook my head in disgust. “Just an appointment,” I whispered, not happy to be there and mad at myself for having to ask for help.

But thank God I did. Turns out, that that “just an appointment” is what saved me. Alfie is now over seven months old and I am finally starting to really feel like myself again. This past month I have been able to look in the mirror and see me staring back. There is a familiar lightness to my overall attitude and outlook on life again, and I’m working hard in therapy towards being more honest and more compassionate with myself. Although I could go on and on about all the good that has resulted because I sought help, I won’t, because that’s not why I am writing this.

I am writing this for my future self that will inevitably get caught up and sucked into the muck of comparison again. I am writing this for Stella, for one day she may be blessed with the gift of motherhood and I want her to know that her own mama made mistakes, lots of them, but that doesn’t mean she was one. Because our worth does not reside in the fact that we will fail every day. We are human, after all. It lies in the strength we have to get back up and do better next time. I am writing to mothers out there who may be feeling anxious or lonely or afraid. I am writing this to shed light on an area of my life, a not so glamorous one, that I feel is not talked about nearly enough because it’s not particularly pretty…or so I used to think. Because I can now say with clarity and confidence, that seeking help if you have postpartum depression is the most beautiful and brave thing you can do for yourself and for your family. I want to take the time to tell you, that if you happen to be struggling or if you’re reading this and feel as though you have no where to turn, understand dear one and believe (although it’s hard to) that you are worth seeking help or taking time to make a call to simply talk with someone who can provide insight or compassion. You are so completely worth it.

 

  • B

    thank you for writing this. i wish someone had said how dark it can be, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel… that there is an end to the tunnel. it took me 9 months to figure out and oh, the relief at knowing myself again. and enjoying my children to the fullest!

    ps – the new blog is lovely! its like a breath of fresh air – and seems to fit you so well.ReplyCancel

  • heather

    reading this with a lump in my throat and tears brimming…though i never experienced postpartum depression, after 3 babies i can certainly relate to the feelings of not feeling good enough as a mama and feeling guilty at times for being the “crabby mommy”…thank you for your beautiful words that help other mamas know we are not alone in this very emotional journeyReplyCancel

  • bless you for writing this. For saying it out loud and for taking shame away from something that is not at all shameful. My children are now grown and I didn’t suffer from postpartum depression but I think theres such a huge problem in the mama community. Whispers and secrets and blame and shame. We all need each other. A community of love and understanding to raise our beautiful families in. What you just did by reaching out, by speaking out, by stepping away from the shame is a glorious thing. Some mama out there will read this and feel not so alone and not so scared and not so ashamed. thank youReplyCancel

  • melissa

    Such a beautiful post of REALNESS. My babies is almost 14 and I think my postpartum is just now hitting. Being a parent is hard. Being true to yourself is harder. I have loved reading your blog and just wanted to say you are moving so beautiful. REMEMBER to take one step at a time, and be gentle with yourself.ReplyCancel

  • I have been a long time reader of your blog and instagram account. Although I rarely comment I just had to this time. I am so compelled to tell you how wonderfully brave and beautiful you are. I know with all my heart that this post is going to speak to someone, if not many, and it is going to help them tremendously through a very difficult time. Honestly your posts, pictures have always spoken to my Mama heart, but quite honestly this is probably one of your most beautiful posts because its real, raw and brave. It so easy to hide behind our perfect “squares” on social media (we all do it) but the reality is we are all so much more than that. Its refreshing, reassuring and beautiful to see ALL of it. Even the really hard stuff. You are even more beautiful that you are already were by sharing this. Cheers to you Mama!ReplyCancel

  • J

    Thank you for writing this. You’ve articulated what I’ve felt better than I could, or perhaps because I’m not quite ready to yet. Either way, thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Anna

    Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Bless you for sharing your journey Amanda. The internet can be a scary place to share such intimate and delicate details, but just know there is a large community of loving mama’s & women here who applaud you, your bravery and your honesty. My first baby just turned one and for whatever reason the cards fall the way they do in life, I didn’t experience post-partum depression. I don’t know why some do and some don’t. All I do know is that there’s a chance a future pregnancy could have me feeling the way you did and theres also a likely chance a dear friend of mine might find them selves wading through similar waters. Either way, I’ll be so thankful I read your brave words here today. Whether they help me in the future or a sweet friend, you are helping and I thank you for that. Also, I hope by sharing, you are bolstered by the love and support of this community you’re building. Love your site, your Instagram feed and your heart, from what glimpses we can gather through these digital mediums. Thank you for sharing 💕ReplyCancel

  • Kristen

    Oh sweet mama. This is absolutely something that needs to be talked about and I just pray that we will see mamas coming together and supporting each other without judgement. This is a very real and scary part of motherhood. Thank you for being so BRAVE and sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Kristan

    You’ve articulated exactly how I felt and what I went through during the early months of my daughter’s life. I was so terrified to be alone and often felt such resentment at my husband for leaving me each morning to go to work. I sought out help and it was so nice to speak to someone who didn’t judge me when I cried about how awful I felt for questioning why I had a baby. I wish I could still go to these weekly sessions but unfortunately we can’t afford it. Now I journal to help me cope. I still struggle with my emotions and for feeling resentful towards my husband but it’s getting better each day. Thank you for doing what you do and for your writing. You have no idea how much it has helped me these last 9 months. xo, KristanReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    You don’t have to approve this comment if you want; I just wanted to send you a message. I once posted a comment on your Instagram, maybe a year ago, about your family dog not being shown in your feed much. You blocked me for it, and that made me realize that I must have deeply offended you with my comment. I’ve had guilt about that ever since. Words transmitted over the internet can be so easily misunderstood, and I feel shame over having chosen ones that wounded you. So, I’m posting this to apologize to you for my words. I hope you will accept my apology and know that I did not intend to offend you. Thank you for sharing your life so openly with all of us. I’m so grateful for your words and images. I’m not sure you’re aware that all of your hard work is a true gift. Best wishes to you.ReplyCancel

  • Thank you for continuing your honesty especially with the critical eyes and words that seem to follow you. I think you have much more courage than you give yourself credit for. Keep it up! The world needs it.ReplyCancel

  • Julie

    This is an incredibly beautiful essay. It’s not often I read something so authentic and relatable. I don’t have any babies of my own yet, but your words here are something I will carry with me when my husband and I grow our family.ReplyCancel

  • Rae Wyatt

    Thank you… thank you… thank you. Tears are running down my face. I’m a stay at home mother of a 9 month old with baby number two on the way. I relate with you on so many levels, and I’m just genuinely grateful that you’ve shared some of your story. I hope you continue to share. Motherhood really is such a complex thing… something only other mothers can understand. I’m probably not much younger than you, but I look up to you and admire you. Much love from Houston, TX. -RaeReplyCancel

  • Katie

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been trying to stay off social media because ever since my son was born I feel like I am failing where all these other moms are so happy and just breezing through being a mom. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one that has experience this. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • oh, this was me a few years ago. I have three children (7, 5, and 3), and just this last year I finally felt like the fog had lifted. Nothing has given me more joy than to be their Mama, but man, it does take everything out of me! I too, saw my doctor after I started experiencing more anxiety than usual. Going on a low dose of meds helped me immensely! I was able to go off of them after several months, and am doing really well now in this new stage (a.k.a when the big kids go to school and I only have one little at home!). Bless you for sharing your story- no doubt some young mother will read it and relate.ReplyCancel

  • Molly Rummel

    Thank you so much for writing this. I had a baby 6 months ago, and am now starting to semi feel like myself again. Postpartum depression is such a real thing, and I didn’t realize that until experiencing it myself. I wish more people talked about the realness of it, and how scary it can be!

    Love your new blog! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Natasha

    Thank you for writing this, for sharing this. Your words are beautiful and so is your journey as a Mom.ReplyCancel

  • Yola

    Its so relieving for me to read this. To hear it all articulated by someone other than me. I’ve been struggling with ppd for almost four years now, since my second child was born (we now have three lovely kids). It’s only in the past year that I’ve realized what was happening and only in the past 6 months that i’ve begun to feel like i recognize myself again. Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay

    Thank you. (And I’m so glad to hear you are feeling more like yourself.)ReplyCancel

  • Thank you for writing this and being so honest. I could feel your emotion with each word. I am glad you are feeling better.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda, thanks so much for sharing this! I can relate to the postpartum depression / feelings. Mine didn’t manifest itself as anxiety as much as self-pity but it was (and some days still is) very real. Your journey is beautiful. Perfection is overrated. Your honesty and your heart as a mother are beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Such a beautiful honest post. I felt the same way after having my third and didn’t get help. It went on for a good few years and It has probably only been the last three years I’ve been nearly back to my old self. My youngest is 7. Well done for taking the step and getting the help, looking back I really wish I had.ReplyCancel

  • I cried reading this, holding my 8 month old baby, remembering my own dark summer. I wish I had made an appointment. I wish I had read a post like this. I am better now. Time has helped. But I want to say thank you for writing with such vulnerability. I know there are women in the dark who are reading this, who need this. So thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Erica

    All I can say is thank you. For a million reasons and in a million ways. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Oh Mama, you brave, sweet soul! Sharing your story with the world is both painful and therapeutic. Hugs to you. Reading this broke my heart because it was like reading a page from my own journal after my second daughter. My “baby” is 4 now and I am just now able to look back at my postpartum depression with enough love and grace to write about it without feeling shameful. I searched high and low for honest women looking to write about their stories of postpartum depression when I was in the thick of it. I needed to hear that I wasn’t crazy or alone or a bad mom. At the time, I felt very much alone … which why I am in the midst of writing a book about my experience. For me, it has felt like God’s way of helping me break free of the perfectionism and drawing me nearer to Him. Over the years, I’ve harbored so much guilt thinking that my evenings of being holed up in my room sleeping, or my angry outbursts or panic attacks or crying jags in the middle of our days together would forever tarnish my babies’ memories of me. But, as a mama three and a half years down the road from where we were, guess what. They don’t remember those days at all. And I am so very thankful. There’s so much light up ahead for you, Amanda, I promise. You are feeling better now, and life will become even clearer. Thank you for sharing this!
    So you know you’re not alone:
    http://www.amyffisher.com/2015/02/coming-undone-post-partum-depression.htmlReplyCancel

  • Maria

    Beautiful words, Amanda! It’s funny how other people’s life always seems so perfect on the internet. But real is not perfect, isn’t it? I think you are very brave to seek help and even braver to talk about it. I don’t have kids but I had to go on therapy because I was struggling with a stressfull job a while ago, and I have to say it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

    Thank you for sharing this with us, you are definitely not alone!ReplyCancel

  • Deanna

    Oh boy. I too was googling “I resent my husband after baby” trying to find some hope that it wasn’t just me. Or better, that it wasn’t me at all, that it was some toxic blend of hormones that had made me so, so angry. I was desperate for him to leave each morning but so angry at him for leaving us. I felt so alone, so tired, so in need of help. But I couldn’t ask him for it. I didn’t ask anybody else, either. It hurts to admit that maybe you’re not supermom. When I passed my daughter off to go take a nap or a shower as soon as he got home he’d accuse me of throwing her to him- of not wanting her. That hurt. And that made me even more resentful. I really struggled. I cried and I fought and I got to such a dark place that my husband later (yesterday, actually) told me that he thought the woman he loved had left him permanently- that I was a shell of whomever I used to be. (mind you my little babe is only 3 months as of yesterday so all of the hurt and anguish is still fresh).
    We had a traumatic incident though, my little theodora and I. About a month ago. We fell. She fell harder than I did. I tripped and we fell and her head swelled and she cried a cry that each time I think about it, it sticks fresh daggers in my heart. We were life-flighted. She was hooked up and poked and put in machines and on machines and poked and poked and poked. My heart ached, ive never known a pain so real. And my husband showed up to the children’s hospital (a 3 hours drive later) teary eyed and he hugged me so tight. He told me he didn’t blame me. Right then i remembered why he’s the man I fell in love with. I felt so ashamed and guilty, but my husband is a kind, patient, and forgiving soul. He forgave me right then. He asked me if we could move forward from the hurt we’d been putting eachother through, for the sake of our small family.
    I agreed to try.
    My girl had a giant skull fracture and some brain bleeding, but that night, after the worst morning of our lives, she smiled at me.
    She had forgiven me too.
    Today she’s thriving, healing with a strength that I can only marvel at. It took that awful ordeal for me to realize that I have everything to be so thankful for. I’ve realized how thankful I am for each cry and each late night feed (which are still every two hours *sigh*) I’ve realized that there’s nothing to be angry about, that I love both my husband and my babe immeasurably, and to let that love guide me. I’ve learned a lot about who I should be (to the world and with myself) from their gracious hearts.
    Now I ask my husband’s mother to come over when I’m over-tired and need a nap or a shower or just a quiet moment. I don’t get angry when my husband is too tired from work help me out in those respects. When he doesn’t wake up at all during her every-two-hour feeds (*sigh*). Hes a good dad and a hard-working man and parenthood is just plain exhsusting. I understand. I can’t just throw another hat atop the pile of hats he’s already wearing. But now I realize I can’t neglect my needs either. Now I realize that our needs matter
    so we ask for help. Help is good. In whatever form you can get it.
    Help makes us healthier. Help helped me grow from the darkest depths I’ve ever known. Help from my loving husband, pediatricians, kind nurses, and eager grandparents and in-laws (in your case from doctors that listened and diagnosed your symptoms). Help is a blessing in whatever form it comes. Help helped my family heal.ReplyCancel

  • Essie

    There’s not much I can say other than, I could have written this myself. But during the season in my life of going through all of this, I had no one to talk to and I did just hope it would pass. I’m glad you are writing this and I pray you continue to be candid in this way – it is greatly missing from the social media community. My youngest is a new 2 year old and I’m still dealign with some of these issues..especially now that we are entering life with 2 toddlers. I’ve been praying about where to go from here. I don’t want to live my life with so much intense anxiety and fear. I notice during my hormonal time each month, those are the times when it’s a major struggle, but that’s like 10 days each month! Ovulating and then soon after menstrating. That’s an awful lot. I am a woman of faith and do believe that God desires to give us the grace to not let ourselves spiral so far downward, grace to have victory over these things. But, I do believe there is a time when something like medication to help a frazzled mind is necessary. I just am scared and do not have the full support to go down that path. I wish I could personally ask you what you are taking and how you’ve noticed a difference while using it. Anyways, thank you again for your openness.ReplyCancel

  • Mum Watters

    Amanda-Motherhood is a difficult job. Even when we’re feeling down, taking a break is nearly impossible. You had a difficult pregnancy with Alfie and Theo was still so young and in need of your attention. Stella was old enough to know things weren’t quite right and turned into the best little helper. My heart broke for you as I watched you muddle through and I tried helping out as much as I possibly could. Thank goodness you had the strength to seek medical help for the postpartum depression. You are an amazing mother and need to be less hard on your self. I kick myself for the mistakes that I made in raising my own children. As I watch and see what wonderful parents each of them are now, I realize that I did my best. Thanks for having the courage to share your story and give other mothers the courage to seek the necessary steps for a healthy and peaceful life.ReplyCancel

  • Raven

    Thank you so much, Amanda. I’m not a mama yet but I dream to be. I found your blog and insta two years after my own mama died. Your stories, raw, honest, and genuine, have coincided with my healing process no matter how backwards that seems. I’m super grateful to have found a beautiful soul like yours out there. You bring me hope and fresh air. Thank you, thank you. XoReplyCancel

  • Missy

    Having experienced post-partum depression and anxiety with both of my children, I can completely relate and commend you on sharing your story. I will be sharing my story with 50 women in a mother’s group on Monday. Light needs to be shed on this dark reality. God Bless you!ReplyCancel

  • missem

    Thank you for writing this. I had to go on meds too, recently, because I didn’t like what was happening to me and the kinds of thoughts I was having and how I was always so angry and irritable at these people I love more than anyone in the world. It was a hard decision, but I’m really, really glad I made it. It’s helping normalize life again and make my thoughts clearer and my heart a bit lighter. It’s so important for women to talk about this! And I’m glad you did…I actually took a break from your blog for a while because I felt (in the silly way that we compare our darkest moments with others’ best ones – so no pressure on you b/c I love the beauty you bring to the table) that you were living out motherhood the way I wanted to and wasn’t able to, and all this time you were experiencing some of the exact same things!ReplyCancel

  • Kenya

    I just wanted to write a note to say that reading this brought tears to my eyes, and a bit of empathy from my heart. Although I’m a long ways from motherhood, and haven’t undergone anything near postpartum depression (I pray I’ll never experience such a terrible thing), I have had to do therapy, and your beautiful honesty and transparency in sharing your experience has made me feel a little less alone. Some put such pressure upon themselves (I think you and I may share this) to be consistently positive and grateful, filled with love and light, and somehow those deepest personal struggles don’t fit into this cheerful way of life you work so hard to maintain; try as you might to put a positive spin on this hardship, and use your experience to help others and remove stigma, it’s so so difficult, and in that way, too, you feel as though you are failing both yourself and others. Perhaps you can understand some of this ineloquent jumble of words; nevertheless, thank you, thank you for your far more eloquent words which will (and certainly already have) help so many through dark times, and grant understanding to others (such as myself) about postpartum depression, and help to remove the stigma around it. Sending prayers and happy thoughts to you and your family!ReplyCancel

  • Catharine

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful article. I have been through this same experience over the past year after the birth of my second and was in denial for about 6 months. It’s wonderful when people like yourself talk about and let’s people like myself not feel as alone.ReplyCancel

  • Ryan

    Hi Amanda,

    Thanks a lot for posting about this. It’s so important that we talk about it but nobody does. My son was born around the same time as yours and I’ve enjoyed you sharing your struggles and days as a family on Instagram. He’s my first and I was definitely not prepared for the toll sleep deprivation would take. Getting help now, too. All the best to you and your family xoReplyCancel

  • Beth

    Beautiful, honest and something I can relate to. I am a mother to a 6 month old, have been back at work since 3 months, and was just yesterday admitting to my husband how fragile I was for so so long at the beginning. My husband is in his third year of medical school and gone all the time. I cry because I feel alone (although I never have a moment to myself except when I go to bed and wait for him to wake up 3 hours later), I cry because our relationship isn’t what it used to be, I cry because of the time he spends away from our son. I felt guilty that I’m ok being back at work because sometimes being at work is waaaay easier than taking care of a baby all day. I can be “me”. But then I sit and look at his photo on my phone and miss him every second. This motherhood stuff is HARD and honesty like what you shared makes me feel like I’d not alone, it’s ok to feel the way I do…and I’ll be ok. THANK YOU!ReplyCancel

  • Betsy

    Amanda, Thank you so much for your vulnerability. As I read through your experiences and feelings, I kept hearing the phrase, “Living in the light” go through my mind. Honestly, I am not quite sure why I was thinking this, but wanted to share it in case it offered some encouragement. I do think; however, that you ARE “living in the light”. It sounds like there was darkness and unfamiliarity, but now life is clear and illuminated again. I have followed your Instagram account for a couple of years and I will say, even when you were walking through that darker time, your life STILL reflected a light and clarity. Finally, I have have three kids and have dealt with postpartum depression and anxiety as well. After my second, I sought out counseling at 6 weeks because I was afraid to leave my house. I also resented my husband and felt similar feelings to what you described. I have shared this experience with some and was met with judgment which does make me sad. I am very, very glad to hear that this has been a compassionate and empathetic community for you to share this part of your story. Of course it would. You not only reflect light, but attract and draw it out of others. XOReplyCancel

  • L

    I am not one to usually post or write but today I am because your words brought tears to my eyes like so many others reading this. You are very lucky to have a husband that let you not only have those feelings, stuck by you, was non-judgmental and fully supportive of you. I wish I had the same. I was not allowed to have PPD. My husband, now on his way to becoming my ex, was so abusive towards me and it was compounded during my pregnancy and after. Which can only lead to more and more depression. Any time that I would call crying or he would come home and I would say “I just need a break” he would look in my eyes and have say “can you not handle a baby for 8 hours?! When do I get a break?” and the like. I told him once how depressed I was and he told me that I was fat and lazy. I am so incredibly happy that there are woman out there that are able to have such amazing men in their lives that allow them and realize what a toll it takes on our minds and bodies of becoming and being mothers. I would say that I am jealous but I do not want to take away from the greatness that a true partnership is. That rising up and looking at your wife and letting her feel the feels and seek the help she needs and having the patience… I just… the words escape me… Your Theo and my little one are close in age and we live in the same city so I have been following you for a few years now. And it is hard not to get caught up in the comparisons but mine has been more of a longing as I reflect upon it. I wish you well on your continued journey and a big hug to you for seeking help and the bravery this all took.ReplyCancel

  • Estelle

    Postpartum is a very scary, lonely and misunderstood place to be in. It took me 7 months to finally admit that something was wrong and I needed help. It took me 7 month to finally have the strength to make the appointment. You are very courageous.ReplyCancel

  • Taylor

    I haven’t had a baby yet, but this story means so much to me. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable. I am glad you are doing better, Amanda ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Hedda

    I cannot relate fully to your feelings as I am not a mother, but thank you nevertheless for sharing. Open emotional expression makes this world better.ReplyCancel

  • Anna

    I am so grateful for your honesty and your eloquence. You have been so courageous to share your struggle, being vulnerable is a scary thing, but it is a STRENGTH and takes courage. Vulnerability is a place from which love grows, from which beauty grows, as seen here, and what is better than that?ReplyCancel

  • Michelle

    THANK YOU for writing this. I had horrible PPD after I had my daughter. Thankfully it didn’t last long and eventually faded on its own, but it was so intense I feel like I’ll be scarred forever. The panic, the anger, the fear. I remember wanting to run away and even thinking about how I would do it and IF I could do it. The darkest days of my life.ReplyCancel

  • Katrina

    Thank you for so generously sharing this piece of yourself. With my first child everything was just as I imagined it would be, after pleading with God to give me a child for so long, there he was in my arms and my heart was bursting with joy. 20 months later, another sweet blessing, and I found myself a mother to two boys! Thinking back to those early days i mostly remember overwhelming feelings of guilt. Guilt because I couldn’t give our first the undivided attention he was accustomed to (and he was not happy about that) and guilt because my sweet newborn wasn’t getting the quiet and lovely time I gave our first. It actually makes me shutter when I think of the rushed diaper changes filled with a bit of resentment and how I just would cry and cry; because now he is 11 months old and could very well be my last newborn and I don’t really know how to forgive myself for wasting that time with him. The days are bright and sweet now and I’m counting my blessings but it’s hard to remember…

    On another note I just think you are lovely and a breath of fresh air. You inspire me in so many ways…and for that I thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly

    reading this absolutely touched me to my core. you have no idea how much these words resonate with me. my baby is now almost four months old and I have been struggling in all of the ways you describe, some days it’s all I can do to get out of bed and keep going. it is so refreshing to read this, the other side of the ‘perfect’ life it feels everyone else is leading. it is beyond comforting to know I am not alone. thank youReplyCancel

  • Valeria

    Thanks for sharing your precious words.They are really helpful and comforting to me.My babygirl is 7 months now.Stay strong.

    Valeria (Italy)ReplyCancel

  • Jessica

    Beautiful post, beautiful hope. Thank you for sharing.
    Your new site is so lovely and inspiring.
    Thank you for all you do.ReplyCancel

  • Nadia

    Thanks for writing this and for your honesty. You will touch so many mothers and give them courage to seek help.ReplyCancel

  • Alana

    Thank you for sharing this Amanda. Your beauty and light is truly inspirational.ReplyCancel

  • You are worth it, Amanda. We all are. And you nailed it, motherhood is equal parts privilege and pain and it’s okay to admit that — and while it is easier to sometimes snap a shot of the meal we’re preparing, we should all feel supported and – well, normal – when what we really want to do is scream out for help or encouragement. Your beauty and grace shine so strongly through your vulnerability and I have no doubt that this post, this dose of honesty, spoke to many. Much love to you.ReplyCancel

  • going through post-pardum depression felt like the hardest thing to overcome – loving what is happening in life, but not being able to love it. after having my second son, i denied it for so long and now, looking back, had i listened to my husband, my mom, and my gut instincts i could’ve gotten help sooner. it’s such a scary spiral downwards. it was so scary for me that when i got pregnant with my third son (this time last year), i was more afraid of the post-pardum than i was the actual labor! fear gripped me for a few months and i was quite sick and not coping.

    when i read your words here, i felt like you were articulating the very moments that flashed in my memory. then, i also remembered how i have been able to overcome those fears and not let my own pride dictate what i need. God is good and He gives us His perfect love to cast out that fear … for that (and all the helpful people He has placed in my path) i am so thankful.

    thank you for sharing your real heart and putting the reminder out there that 1. we’re not alone in this motherhood thing and 2. it’s ok to be on the receiver end of both help + love. you’ve touched my heart and i hope yours will also continually be filled ❤️

    bisous xoReplyCancel

  • Reading this reminds me why I first began reading your blog. your beautiful honesty gives hope and reassurance, which I am so grateful for, for I know the courage this must take but a relief as well I hope for you. my eldest is about the same age as Stella and it pains me to admit that at times our relationship is difficult, the guilt I feel as I watch our her some nights and think, did I love you enough today? unlike you instead of pushing myself out there, I have hidden away, overwhelmed by the exhausting world of comparing mothers. but being able to find your blog and read your words, I only want you to know how encouraging it is for me. I am eternally grateful, and I wish you well xReplyCancel

  • I can’t help but compare think that if motherhood were a stereo, the emotional knob would be at maximum volume. Everything feels so much more intense than before. Thank you for sharing! Your openness and willingness to share the beauty and truth in motherhood (both dark and light) is always refreshing and inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Chandelle

    Beautifully said! I also have walked the same path after my 5th pregnancy. I had those horrible Doctor appointments, dark thoughts and feelings of giving up completely. God used that time to clean my slate and start fresh, by learning to be vulnerable and open to others help. Also, even though postpartum depression is a “medical condition”, there is healing through the Lord! I love that you are in a good place again. Thank you for sharing. I love your blog 10x more because of this! God is using your words in so many lives! ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Kristin

    Thank you for writing such a ‘raw’ post..infact, through this post I am able to identify some issues I (was/am) struggling with after having my second baby (about to be a yr old)..I think my emotions are finally balancing out, but I remember wanting to leave my husband so many times after our second child and resenting EVERYTHING he did…I was a mess and just plain mean..this post was an eye opener for me..so thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Allison

    I am so glad I finally took time to read this. I am a young mama with a two-year-old and twins due any day now. Remembering how dark some of those newborn days felt is giving me much more anxiety than excitement to know I will have two more all at once. I feel very encouraged by your ability to speak your emotions so well. I want to pray for that for myself. Thank you for your honesty. It’s comforting to know other mamas are sharing a journey of not knowing what the hell we’re doing, but doing it anyway. Thank you for making time to write this out – you have a gift with words.ReplyCancel

  • Karen

    I’m very sorry you have struggled and what joy and relief from pain you must be feeling now.

    I feel compelled to ask why you so frequently posted images and captions of such perfection during that time?ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Thank you Karen. Looking back I am so thankful I took the time to document my joys. Having postpartum depression didn’t or doesn’t mean I was always under water. There were so many beautiful moments during those months and when I felt them I shared them. For me, and I can’t speak for others who have gone through this, it wasn’t black or white. It wasn’t a time of never getting out of bed. I think that’s why I was in such denial when I would so quickly fall into a state of fear. I was just looking at those photos again and am so thankful they are there, that I have them to hold onto forever. It shows me that during a time of great difficulties there was so much love and joy. Hopefully this makes sense, it’s rather hard to articulate. xx AmandaReplyCancel

  • Alison

    I have been meaning to read this for some time, and had a few quiet minutes this evening and decided to hop on over. I know these feelings and emotions and fears all too well. I battled PPD after our second, and I still have so much sadness when I think back on that time. I have wished, so many times, that I could go back and mother those two little boys as a clear and healthy Mama. But I can only move forward. I take great comfort in knowing that they don’t remember the dark place their mother was in during that time; they only know the mother I am now. And while I am far (so very far) from perfect, I am in a much better place. Thank you for sharing your story.ReplyCancel

  • Kim R.

    I have noticed your calendar on your kitchen in many photos on your blog as well as posts on IG, and wondered if you would mind sharing where you found it? Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Kim – I got it on calendars.com it is the farmer’s market one 🙂 The illustrations are so pretty! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Jessica

    I want to thank you for writing this. I have recently become obsessed with your blog and I kept looking at it and telling myself why can’t I be like that, like you. You writing this makes me realize that we are so much alike. I at the moment feel exactly the same I have a 5 year old and a 10 month old and sometimes I just thing to myself why does it feel like I can’t handle the world anymore? I don’t know if I am to the point of admitting that I have postpartum depression but I feel pretty close. I just want to say thank you again not just for this post but for giving me the courage to know that if or when i’m ready to see my Dr. about this I will know it’s completely normal and nothing to be ashamed about.ReplyCancel

  • Hi Amanda,
    I was just wanting to see how you were going a few months on and also (if you are happy to share) if your doctor gave you a plan or indication on how long you would need to be on medication for?

    I read this post of yours when you first wrote it but have just come back to it now as I can feel myself spiralling downwards. I feel as though I spend so much of my day inside my head, withdrawing from the constant happenings around my home and now I’m so angry all the time for no reason and unfortunately my little ones are getting the worst of it and me. I want them to have a happy mum and a happy childhood and I feel like I’m letting them down and not engaging with them anywhere near as much (and on the right level) as I should. All I want from the moment I wake up until the moment I go back to bed is silence and alone time and I feel horrible about it.

    I’m sick of living in a fog but am worried if a doctor puts me on some medication that it will be even foggier (as I’ve heard anti depressant medication can do that). I just want to feel more present and happier and more in control/on top of our days.
    Did you have similar feelings before hand?

    Take care xReplyCancel

  • […] Amanda’ posts, initially on It’s the small things but especially now in her new home, Homesong. This post could so easily have been written by me and maybe one day I’ll share my story too. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] too long ago when I was in a tailspin, unsure of what to do for myself or our kids as my life was in the grips of an ugly illness. As Andrew and I rocked, we talked about how life-saving it was that I sought treatment during that […]ReplyCancel

  • love you sweetheart. i am so sorry i hadn’t read this until now.

    I’m always here for you.
    xxReplyCancel

  • G

    i just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. i suffered with postpartum depression following the birth of my first son. at around 6 weeks postpartum when I hadn’t slept for 2 days i knew i needed help and i am so glad i got it. it is definitely hard to share and not feel judged or ashamed but i think the more we talk about it the more the stigma will go away, so thank you again for sharing your story so publicly.ReplyCancel

  • Richelle

    Amanda, may I ask which medication you got prescribed to? I asked my Dr for something and he said I couldn’t take anything because it would flow through my breastmilk. I’m desperate. ThanksReplyCancel

    • admin

      Richelle,

      I am so sorry you are in a rough spot right now, I wish I could give you a hug! I took and still take Zoloft and it was prescribe as breastfeeding safe by more than one doc. and has helped me tremendously. Blessings, AmandaReplyCancel

  • Thank you xReplyCancel

  • […] think my postpartum depression after having Alfie, along with my severe troubles with separation anxiety when Andrew left for […]ReplyCancel

  • Hi, Amanda!
    Your post is making me cry. It’s SO encouraging to read your story. I went through the same exact feelings you just described. This was so beautifully written. I had post partum depression too and I thought for a while I would never feel normal again. It’s crazy when I look back and think of that “unfamiliar” place again. It feels strange and very distant now, but it used to be so present and overwhelming. I’m so thankful for being able to overcome those things and so encouraged by your story. Thank you so much for opening up. Love, Bruna.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Bruna, sending you love dear. So happy to you hear you are in a good place now. Blessings, AmandaReplyCancel

  • Nicole

    You make me a stronger woman, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Carly

    Thank you xReplyCancel

  • […] for him in a number of challenging ways, and to be honest, it made life really hard for awhile. I had postpartum depression and was having to closely monitor our dog’s behavior with our new baby which made me […]ReplyCancel

  • […] Amanda’ posts, initially on It’s the small things but especially now in her new home, Homesong. This post could so easily have been written by me and maybe one day I’ll share my story too. […]ReplyCancel

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