I bet you didn’t think this was postpartum depression
Updated: Dec 28, 2019
So your baby has been born, and you are just overjoyed with your new little human, right? The cuddles and little grunts and squeaks make your heart skip a beat. The fine little hairs on their head or the lack thereof are just too cute for words. Things are going great, your partner and family are super helpful, you have plenty of time to get things done while baby naps. You’ve got this parenting thing on lock. Why do people say it’s so hard? The days turn into weeks, and here we are at about three or four months and suddenly the sky starts to fall, right on your shoulders….along with all of your other responsibilities. Your baby is awake more than they were before, and likely don’t tolerate being put down as much as they used to. It becomes harder to do your household chores, school assignments, or work-related activities. Not to mention other siblings that need your attention, a spouse who is ready to get back in the sack, and you haven’t actually cleaned your bathroom in weeks because who has time for that?!
You’ve noticed that it doesn’t take as much as it used to, to get you angry. Your temper is short, and you don’t have time for BS. Did you get better at everything or is everyone else just totally incompetent at all.the.things? You asked your spouse to take the trash out, yet there it is, towering over with garbage… the slightest bump and it comes tumbling down like the two unsupervised kids who were sent to a well for a pail of water. It’s like you are at this constant state of 90% ticked off, so the slightest issue is enough to make you lose it. You didn’t always feel this way, and it may be hard to recognize that you are now. Maybe a friend or family member mentioned that you aren’t the same, or you’re always in a bad mood, your partner or other children are tired of getting snapped at so they don’t talk to you as much, which just makes you feel worse. You may be going through something called PPD, Postpartum Depression. You’ve most likely heard of PPD before, but it usually involves lots of crying, sadness, and thoughts of harming yourself or your baby right? Sometimes it does present that way, but a lot of times, maybe even more often, it rears its ugly head in the form of uncontrollable rage and angry outbursts. It can feel like you are a different person than you were before. It can be really hard to distinguish if the issue is stemming from you or is it because other people lack basic intelligence. I think most mothers get this feeling of almighty responsibility and that turns into feeling like no one else gets anything done. Think for a moment before the baby was born though, were they doing these things then? Were you responding in the same way you are now?
Have you started yelling, throwing tantrums, or just overall became a master at snarky comments? Does the sight of your husband's dirty laundry laying on the floor next to the hamper make you want to murder him while he sleeps? When your older children spill something do you see red, and dare I say… overreact… just a little…maybe? It’s important to recognize your feelings, examine them closely, do you see a correlation between your new emotions and the new baby? It is so freaking common, yet not a whole lot of people talk about postpartum rage. It may be taboo, it may be upsetting, or embarrassing, but other people are going through the same thing. It shouldn’t be a subject that is swept under the rug. There’s hope out there and there is help to get through this.
My first recommendation, see a therapist. I know that sounds scary, what will your family think of you? I can’t tell you exactly what they will think, but if it’s anything other than “Oh I’m so glad you are finally getting some help!” then screw them and their useless nipples. You have to do what you need to do to stay sane. People will preach self-care all day long, and I’m guilty of this too, but we all know that sometimes self-care isn’t just at the bottom of the list, it's off the list, scribbled on a corner of the page that the baby ripped off, put in their mouth, started choking on and you had to swoop it out and fling it in the trash. My next suggestion is to start getting outside as much as possible. This is something you can do with the baby, you can wear them or put them in a stroller if you are touched out. Sunshine gives you Vitamin D and just makes you feel good overall. If it’s wintertime, sit by a window and drink some hot cocoa, if some whiskey somehow ends up in your mug, whatev, you’re a grown-up!
If you are a more holistic person, I highly suggest seeking out a Chinese Medicine practitioner. They can help figure out a good combination, and if that doesn’t work there are many pharmaceutical options. Don’t feel guilty about using them if you need them. Your kids won’t care what you do, as long as you are happy, and playing with them like you normally would. Lastly, ask for help, and if no one wants to give it to you, then hire some. I know not everyone has it in their budget to hire a cleaning service or meal delivery, or whatever you need, but surely you can find a mom-owned business who is willing to trade services for date night babysitting.
Eventually, this phase will pass and it will just be a distant memory. Just keep going, take one day at a time. Hell take one hour at a time.
You can do this!