Around the time of Chicklett's first birthday I noticed myself being snippy with the kids, my husband, and just about anyone I came in contact with. It wasn't super bad... but every once in a while it was like "Whoa, why am I so crabby??" I joked several times, "Is it possible to get postpartum depression a year after giving birth?" Ha ha ha. Well, turns out jokes on me... because yes, yes you can. My funk wasn't all that bad, just occasionally short with the kids or my husband. Then two months ago the unthinkable happened with the death of our friends 21 month old baby boy Rowan. Obviously an event like that would cause anyone to have some sadness and depression, but when you put all of that on top of an already borderline PPD issue... well... now you have full blown PPD funk. In the weeks immediately following his death my husband had three 4-day weekends lined up because he had vacation to use up. I wasted all of that time hiding in my bedroom being only available for boob and the more my husband pressed me the more I just told him I needed to be alone, that I needed to grieve and be "with" my girlfriends online, and that I was busy doing things to help my friends.
Now that he's back at work five days a week my typical day looks something like this:
Wake up around 8am; breastfeeding Chicken Little, put him in front of the TV w/crackers and then go breastfeeding Chicklett. I usually change her diaper right away and then start my morning "me" time. I am NOT a morning person. I usually need a good 30 minutes without anyone talking to me to be functioning. I eat some cereal while sitting at my laptop while the kids watch TV or do independent play. Once my 30 (er...um... sometimes 45) minutes are up I finally get around to Chicken Little's diaper. The reason I wait so long on him is because he is like me.... total crab in the morning... so I dread that first diaper because it's always a complete meltdown. I avoid it as long as possible. After that gets over with, we all go in the kitchen and the kids eat breakfast. While they eat I usually go back online.
Just about every day we either have friends or grandma over, or go see friends somewhere. I like doing that, because it gets my kids interaction and I don't feel like a total louse for a mother. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but overall I like that part of life. Pre-school and college schedules have been a little opposite this last semester which made meeting people nearly impossible, so much of our playdates have been here at home... which means I can go for weeks without actually leaving the house.
12:30/1ish Chicklett starts to get tired. I put Chicken Little in front of the TV so that I can put baby sister down for a nap without disruption. 1:30/2ish I get Chicken Little into his room for quiet time or nap time. He's only napping about twice a week, but because I "need" a break I have been working on him doing quiet time. He's usually happy playing in there alone for even two hours, but there are some days when he knocks on the door every 10 minutes, rarely for any reason, so I get no down time.
When both kids do nap I typically end up having to wake them up for dinner time.
Rooster gets home from work about 5pm and at that point he pretty much takes over as a parent. He'll cook dinner if I haven't gotten around to it (gee, the kids have been asleep or 3 hours... what have I been doing all that time??) Then after dinner he takes the kids outside or down to our playroom, does pre-bedtime snack and/or bath time, and gets the kids ready for bed at 8/8:30.
Seems a little bit like an awesome dream of a day, eh? My kids are generally happy and super easy. On a perfect day they take a 3-4 hour nap at the same time. My husband is awesome, we have no financial troubles, no glaring marital unhappiness, solid job situation, and no issues in general. What on earth do I have to be depressed about??
My PPD has been manifesting itself in a few ways. Aside from being snippy and a general all around crab for days on end, I also have been horrible about hygiene and self preservation. During the week I'm lucky if a shower or even brush teeth. Used to be I'd shower every other day, and even on the non-shower days I'd still do a bit of a sponge bath.
Also, paranoia/jealousy issues when it came to my friends. Just about every sends texts except for me. I was feeling like everyone was communicating that way, essentially cutting me out of the loop, and that I was being left behind. As long as I can remember I've been dumped by groups of friends without reason or explanation, so I guess you could say I have some baggage there which was being amplified by the PPD.
When I am online I'm not even doing any of the things I *should* be doing online... managing my fan pages, reposting fan questions, writing blog posts, organizing playdates, finishing DVD slideshows of our family life (I made a DVD of my son's first life... and haven't finished one since... he's almost 3 and Chicklett is 1.5), sending my husband photos of the kids at work.... the list goes on and on.
I'm also constantly trying to find ways to get my kids to entertain themselves independently so that I can sit online and do nothing. Legos, coloring, playdoh, playroom, television - you name it. All so I can sit on here and do nothing of importance online.
Times when I see my PPD spiking into a rage would be when Chicken Little has had enough of my ignoring him and he tries to close my computer or he lays against me grabbing at my arms. I see myself pushing him away and arguing with him to leave the computer alone... but it's like I'm not even in my body at that point. I see this all happening and I think "He just wants some attention from his mommy.... get your ass offline and go play with your kids!" Instead I usually snap a picture with the webcam and whine that he is "up my butt" and "making me crazy".
I'm not quite ready to jump on the Z-train (Zoloft train), so I'm going to try some alternatives first.
- First step, take a damn shower you smelly smelly woman.
- Second, take your placenta pills that have been in the fridge for 19 months
- Third, get some vitamins going (haven't figured out just which ones yet)
- Fourth, get some exercise in (obtaining a stationary bike so I have a minimum thing that I can do every day year round no excuses)
- Fifth, change up daily routine - eat breakfast with my kids
- Sixth, limit online time to something reasonable
.... starting...... NOW!