Remember me telling you about my hubby's new job that only required 40 to 50 hours per week and weekends off, every second weekend being 3 days long? Well, now that fall has arrived, it is no longer that easy. Now he is regularly putting in 5 - 10+ hour days and at least every second weekend he is working all weekend. This has been one of those weekends.
He thought they might be done by 3pm. At 4 he called. Not finished yet. I hung up crying. I just really need an itty bitty break. Someone else to hold the baby who is only happy when eating or sleeping, to just hold him for 5 minutes and give my back a break. I would like someone else to take a turn listening to Girly's lovely, wonderful, non-stop chatter. Someone else to play a game with her or build a puzzle. I would really like someone to give Monkey some of the attention he desperately needs and I am having a hard time giving him. I would really like....
We interrupt this whine to take a break...
As I sat typing this big whiny, feel sorry for myself post and crying, I stopped. I got up and went downstairs and told my big kids to get their stuff together. I went back upstairs and got my little kids ready to go out. I nursed baby quickly and buckled him into his car seat and put them all in the car. I realized that I needed a break and that it was stupid to sit around feeling sorry for myself. I would just have to make my own break.
I was going to take them all to the rec centre, but the big boys decided to go out and play with friends and have dad take them to the rec centre one evening this week. So my 3 littles and I drove to a nearby store. I got the stroller out, took my babies to the store to get a bag of cookies and then we went for coffee and hot chocolate. Monkey and Girly were happy because they got to have special time with me, sitting with me like big people and having a treat. Baby Zed was happy because we went in the car and that put him to sleep. I was happy because I had my hands wrapped around a hot latte and I was actually doing something other than feeling sorry for myself like I had all week.
I am realizing, once again, how easy it is to slip from tired and frustrated to overwhelmed and depressed. At almost 6 weeks post-partum, the baby blues should have abated and my hormones should be starting to stabilize a bit. But there are still days when I have to make myself get out of bed and deal with my life. Days where I don't really want to go anywhere or do anything. There are many times each week where I am in tears over little things. There are more and more moments of feeling completely overwhelmed. I think I am walking a fine line at the moment between regaining some balance and normalcy in my life and slipping into depression.
I had fooled myself over the years into thinking that I could keep depression at bay through sheer force of will. I hadn't allowed myself to fall into postpartum depression again for the past 3 pregnancies. (Never mind that pesky prenatal depression that plagued me for 4 of my six pregnancies to differing degrees) Even after birthing my stillborn baby I did not suffer from PPD. Does that sound weird? My baby dies and I was not depressed? Grief and depression are completely different animals. Completely. Of course depression can come of grief, but that didn't happen to me.
I had let myself believe that I had the tools to prevent full-blown depression. I knew the signs and could lift myself out of its evil grasp. And in reality, I have felt myself starting to go there a number of time in the past 10 years since my big post-partum bout. And each time I was able to (lucky enough to) avoid it. But I am realizing again that sometimes it is not avoidable, sometimes depression comes and you just have to deal with it, get help for it.
I am not there yet, but I can feels it's nasty breath on my neck. I am still coping, still have tools to deal in my arsenal. But I have the horrid awareness that I may not be able to prevent the fall this time.