How To Manage the Baby Blues2.17.2016
i've had today's post on my calendar for a while. it was supposed to be all about why we are such amazing people and should and why life is just so darn amazing. but, as i sat down to write this post, i began to feel more like a fraud with each word that i wrote, because i am currently going through a phase of life where i practically hate everyone and everything. including myself. honestly, right now, i am just squeaking through life with doing the bare minimum. meaning my kids are alive at the end of each day. the house hasn't burned to the ground before dave gets home from work. and i am somewhat functional when i go out in public. sure, i've always had my good and bad days throughout my life. but never anything this extreme. and i know it has to do with a horrible case of baby blues that i am experiencing this pregnancy. something i have never dealt with so intensely during any of my other pregnancies, and it has definitely thrown me through a loop.
how to manage the baby blues
1. don't be afraid to admit you have the baby blues.
with any problem or struggle we face, i think this is the first and most important thing we can do for ourselves.
for the longest time, i was completely miserable, admitting to no one that was struggling. even my husband. for some reason, i thought that i could deal with it on my own and just fight through it. but i realized that by keeping this problem to myself, i was doing more damage to myself, my marriage, and my life in general by keeping quite. if we were meant to go through life alone then we all would have been placed on desert islands. but that's not the case. our lives are filled with incredible people who love us and want the best for us. so, why not turn to them when we need their help most?
there is nothing heroic or admirable, about fighting through something on your own when you clearly need help and there are people standing on the sidelines desperate to help. i promise they won't think anything less of you when you admit that you can't do it alone. something i have personally realized myself. seriously, let go of any pride you may have, let yourself be loved and helped. you deserve it!
2. get professional help if you need it.
going along with what i said above, there is no shame in getting help. especially if you need professional help. this thing, this case of baby blues that many of us moms face is a real and diagnosable disorder. and sometimes we need a professional to step in and help. and that is O.K.! like i said, there is no shame in admitting you need help. and once you do, it's amazing how much better things become.
i currently do not feel that i am to the point of needing professional help. it's just something i feel in my gut and also something that dave is helping monitor (once i admitted to him that i had the baby blues, i told him that if he ever thought i got to the point of needing professional help to say so, and i would trust his judgement) and he too feels like i am not to that point yet. but, if you have had any thoughts or inklings that you may need help or someone you love and trust has suggested that you should go this route, then i definitely think it is something that you should look into.
3. treat yo' self!
i've been doing this a lot recently, and it's been so helpful! for the longest time, i used to think it was super selfish of me to put off my endless to-do list or leave dave with the kids so i could get out. but, i've learned that in order to maintain a healthy mental wellbeing, you've simply got to take some time out for yourself seriously, the sink full of dishes can wait and the kids will be ok under someone else's care for a few hours while you do something that makes you happy and helps get you back in that right mind set. for me, this varies. sometimes i just need to lay on the couch and watch uninterrupted re-runs of my favorite t.v. show on netflix. other times i need to get out of and just escape for a while to the nearest antique shop, bakery, or book store. whatever you thing may be, go do it and don't think twice about it.
4. remember to focus on others.
as important as it is to focus on yourself, it's also important to focus on others...when you can. there will be some days when i just can't muster up any energy to help another human being aside from children. and that's ok. but on my happier and somewhat more energetic days, i make sure to put myself out there and help those around me. whether it's watching a neighbor's children, running errands for a friend, or making a batch of cookies to give to someone who is having a worse day than i am. i do it because
1. it's important to serve.
2. when you willing help others, others are willing to help you.
5. count your blessings.
when i go through an episode of the baby blues, it's really easy for me to get depressed about everything i don't have or am lacking. so, when this first started to happen, i decided to make a list, whether it was in my head or on an actual piece of paper, that reminded me of everything i was blessed with in my life. though this usually doesn't completely clear up my baby blues, it does help put things into perspective and help me realize that life isn't really as bad as i think.
6. gather resources.
when it comes to the baby blues, there are so many resources out there. you aren't as alone as you think when it comes to dealing with this personal struggle.
since realizing i really did have the baby blues i began to search for resources and even people that would better help me understand and overcome what i was going through.
these are some of my favorites...
baby blues: postpartum depression realities and remedies
and then there are always people. find other people who have been through the same thing you are going through and talk to them about. having a support system filled with people who really get what you are experiencing can be really helpful!
7. save the date.
i threw my emoji themed galentine's day party, did a few segments for some of my local news stations, created my first video tutorials, planned a few family activities, and even helped out at a huge blogger convention during times in my pregnancy when my baby blues were very present. but i did it all because i needed some things in my life that would help keep me pre-occupied and excited about what lied a head in the near future.
there were a lot of times when i had to remind myself not to do too much because i knew i realistically wouldn't be able to do everything i wanted to, and i turn, would get upset and depressed about that. so with each thing that i did, i stuck to doing only the things i realistically knew i could do, and let go of the things i knew i couldn't. something that was super hard for me to do, because i like to think that i can do it all. but, it was also very freeing at the same time because the things i let go of quickly became things that i no longer had to worry about; and therefore meant less stress and sadness in my life.
so...plan some fun things to look forward to, but make sure keep it real at the same time.
8. say "yes" to the good and "no" to the bad.
since being very away that i had the baby blues, i've noticed that there are certain things that trigger my depression. sometimes it's looking at a certain person's feed on instagram, listening to some specific songs, interacting with certain people, or even watching specific movies or t.v. shows. which, if i wasn't dealing with the baby blues, wouldn't normally bother me to the extent that they do right now. so, i've been getting very good at learning to just say no to doing, viewing, listening or interacting with certain people and things.
this may seem harsh. but at this point in my life, i feel like i am in survival mode and i have to whatever is necessary to survive and stay on top of what i'm dealing with. so, right now i'm saying a big "HECK YES" to anything that makes and keeps me happy, and a huge "NO WAY IN HADES" to anything that doesn't and it has helped out a ton!
9. "oh well!" is a wonderful mantra.
i have found that there are a lot of things i'm just not going to be able to do right now. so i've made the saying "oh well" my new life mantra.
didn't get the dishes done today? "oh well!"
have 7 loads of laundry still waiting to be washed/put away? "oh well!"
kids are eating pancakes...again...for dinner? "oh well!"
it's 5:00 p.m. and everyone is still in their p.j.s? "oh well!"
see what i mean?!
instead of focusing on all that you didn't do. focus on all that you did do. even if that just consists of your kids being alive at the end of each day and your house still standing in one piece. because those two things alone are a HUGE accomplishment!
10. love your beautiful self!
it can be really hard to love yourself when you are at a dark place in your life. but you need to do it! us girls are truly incredible, and when we choose to sacrifice our bodies and even our sanity to create a precious and beautiful life we need to remember just how incredible that is and how amazing we are for being so willing to put ourselves through all the ups and downs that come with pregnancy. the role of motherhood isn't easy. and it isn't perfect. if it was, more people would do it! so don't forget that and remind yourself daily just how incredible you are. and, if you just can't seem to find the inner strength to do that, then find/ask someone to do it for you. because us pregnant mamas deserve to know on a daily basis how amazing we really are!