This started as a FB update and just took off, so I put it into a blog post.
Going to share a raw moment with you. Last night I was looking for a picture and you know how that goes…you end up sitting for an hour or two looking through old pictures, even after you’ve found the one you needed. My children were all 3-5 years younger than they are now. The phrase ‘it goes so fast’ has never had more meaning. Also, with the age of social media we are blessed to connect and get support. That also means sharing and supporting hardships and heart break. I pondered on all this last night and today.
Hubby came home and played with the children while I made dinner…happily. I thought on the last 2 years of PPD, sometimes so dark and deep. Suffering silently, then openly. Doing what I could each day so my babies did not suffer, but only I did. They were loved, taken care of, kissed, cuddled. But the connection to my brain, my memories…well, it’s a blur. As I cooked spaghetti and hamburgers (hey, we have a picky crowd!), I thought on how grateful I am the PPD is lifting and floating away from my soul, my life…and how after the last 24 hours it has no place in my life anymore. Nope, it doesn’t.
I sat down at a large dinner table with my husband and 5 children and talked to them about The Progressive Parent family’s loss. For 20 minutes I taught them about how in this world, our problems are valid, but there is also perspective. They listened on with tears and understanding in their eyes.
I told them how much I cared about them. I told my oldest I adore her love for animals and reading and to please always share that with me. My son, I told to keep talking to me about Ninjago…every single detail, because I care and want to know. (I plan on sitting down and watching that dang show with him.) I told my 5 year old I loved playing tic-tac-toe with her today and can’t wait to play and cook with her tomorrow. I told my 3 year old she is the best cuddler and I love watching movies with her. I kissed my almost 2 year old.
I then told them how much I love their father. That we are not perfect. We argue, but we say sorry and forgive one another. How hard we are working to show them how much we love each other. I told them there is no one else in this world that has loved and supported me like their father has. They need to know that.
I asked my whole family if we could focus on what we have this week. Instead of fighting who sits where at the dinner table, can my oldest realize how much her younger sisters admire her, because in almost every picture of them together, you can see the admiration in the youngers’ eyes for their big sister. Instead of complaining over sharing chips, can my oldest son just share with his siblings and be grateful he can.
It was a raw and beautiful moment for my family.
We then finished dinner while talking about how silly 3rd graders are for wanting to ‘date’. Ugh, this world! At least my kids agree it’s ridiculous.
After dinner, we sat around the table with hot chocolate and laughed, mostly at how awesome and funny Mini is. He was cracking us up with his macho face and thumbs up.
Teeth brushed, everyone in the family room, read scriptures and we all got on our knees and prayed as a family. I write this with tears in my eyes because no amount of PPD, money problems, fighting with friends, or other issues have the right to take away precious moments from me, with my children.
My point is moms and dads, when we are frustrated or tired, take inventory and then ask yourself, ‘What memories am I making for my child TODAY‘? What will I wish I would have done if I did not have this time with them anymore? If it was taken away with no notice? Would I listen to them more? Care about what they care about more? Color with them more? Not care about the noise and messes? AND DO THAT NOW while you can. While we can. We love our babies. Life can be hard. Perspective.
And now I’m crying. This is beautiful and poignant and sad and true and…beautiful. I am a stillbirth mom. My biggest fear is losing one of my outside-the-womb babies. My heart breaks.
I had a stillborn daughter. She was my first born. I have always feared loosing one of my children. But even if that fear is a little more because of having a stillborn, I think every parent fears this. I am so fearful I don’t even like to let my 16 year old son to walk out the door to hang out with friends because I am not there to watch every second. But I have prayed for the health and safety of my children that’s all I can do. May god bless you and your family. I hope that you learn a way to work threw this fear.
Oh I love it. Thank you so much for sharing. Lots of families losing little ones this month. One this morning of a brain tumor here and another possibly tomorrow as they are born with anecephaly. As I read these all and reflect and pray and hold my kids close- I have an expectation and anticipation of my own ultrasound tomorrow at 20 weeks. Bitter sweetness. <3
This. Is. Amazing.
An arrow through the heart – but a good one. I too, stopped today after reading Progressive Parents blog and immediately called to talk to my 7 year old. I told her to hug her baby sister for me and then texted my mother-in-law (who watches them for me while I’m at work) to hug them very, very close for me. Until I could get home and do it myself. I get so caught up in managing this, remembering that, balancing this and handling that, that I forget the little people I’m managing, remembering, balancing, and handling this all for. I’m so focused on raising little people who will make a mark on this world, people of character, kindness, strength that I neglect the little people they are today.
Thank you for the reminder…for taking time out of your busy family life to help all of us grab this one moment.
P.S. – I’m especially touched by what you told your oldest…about her siblings admiration…priceless…
well put! i agree totally on everything you said.
Thank you. This PPD mom really needed this today. I mean REALLY needed it.
Thank you so much for sharing!!!! <3
This dug into my soul. I felt anxious all last night after reading the post from The Progressive Mom. I prayed and prayed last night for the poor mommy who lost her baby. And I prayed that God would give me grace in the hard moments of parenting. “Your voice will become their inner voice”, and what my mom says to me all the time, “You’re building a little conscience.” I hear those quotes in my head every time I snap. I want her inner voice to speak love and kindness and gentleness. Parenting is so hard. PPD is so hard. I’m clawing at the walls and searching for the light, I’m grasping at straws. I want to be the calm she retreats to and for her to know she is my world…even when I lose it. It took everything in me not to go scoop up my 2 year old who only ever sleeps by herself for no more than 3 hours tops…on a good night. I wanted her snuggled onto me with out even a centimeter of space between us so I could feel every breath she took. I’ve been struggling for 2.5 years now with PPD. It’s so hard to break free from. It’s gripped onto every part of my being. It defines my days. I don’t want that for my little girl…I don’t want to be the depressed mommy. It’s hard work…and overwhelming, but I want to be her calm. I want her to always feel and see the love I have for her. Lord give me Your calm and peace so I can give it to her.
I had to respond to your comments….. The very fact that you realize that you will become your daughters inner voice speaks VOLUMES to the mother that you ARE. Forgive your self for not being the the mom you imagine yourself to be and see your self through HER eyes. Allow the Savior to hold some of that pain and see your self eith mercy and love. 🙂 I know I do. Your a great mommy…. ppd and all.
perfectly put and something i battle with everyday. it’s not that i don’t want to spend time with my daughter but that i do get caught up in the messy home. and then at night when im tucking her into bed all i want to do is cuddle because i cannot remember doing anything special with her that day and it hurts. i’ve been really making it a point to do things with her that she will remember, things she wants to do. and you know what? she chooses to bake with me, or to help me with chores, or to read books to eachother. and it makes my heart so happy because i know it’s not WHAT we do that matters to her. it’s just us spending time together and me being conscious of her presence with me.
I LOVE THIS and a very very special friend reminded me that I am living in the moment and enjoying the (even difficult) phases as they occur.
Thats why i allow cake and cookies for breakfast. I want my girl to remember those moments and not the ones we all regret have happened. Thank you for keeping it real. Thank you for baring your souul and allowing the world a private glimps into your life and struggle. Sometimes I try and remember those foggy PPD years too – thank goodness for digital memeoris. Blessings from my family to yours. xoxox
I have been having a hard with my emotions when it comes to Julie’s loss. I dont even know her, didnt follow the blog but when you posted about the death of Patrick, I lost it. My son will be 14 months on Saturday and he is my rainbow baby after an early albeit tramuatic miscarriage and we are raising him the way Patrick was raised….cosleeping, breastfeeding, gentle parenting, etc. You hear all the stories of babies who are formula fed and left in their cribs to cry it out passing away in the night…but this. Why? I see my son in the eyes of every photo posted of Patrixk and my throat swells up. I literally cannot breath when I read her posts on the subject. So this post strikes a chord with me. I have uninstaled facebook from my phone and made a commintment to take my son outside dor 15 min a day, no matter what the weather. My daily affirmation is to be brave, love fiercly and cherish every moment. Because God help me if its my last.
I’m crying now. This was a wonderful post and really helps put things in perspective for me. I too have suffered from depression, but it doesn’t have to defeat me. I need to treasure each moment.
Laura @ How to Birth Like a Rock Star
Thank you, thank you for these words. I am in tears as well. I am going to slow down, be fully present with my children, and count my blessings. My heart ACHES for their loss. I am so grateful for your words about perspective. Perspective is everything.
This article brought tears to my eyes. Great Reminder.
Thank you for being so transparent. We all need these reminders! My daughter took longer than usual to fall asleep tonight. Sometimes I feel like I need to get up and do other things like housework, make phone calls, or organize and pick up. The truth is, I don’t. I treasure those little bits of quiet time when she tries to lift her head up and I ask her to lay it back down and she says, “kiss.” I gladly kiss her an extra couple times even if it might mean she’ll be up for 20 minutes longer.
We create memories every day and they can be positive or negative. Sometimes we have to stick to our timelines, but often if dinner is 10 minutes later because you stopped to read a story to your 4 year old, it won’t matter. You can change the course of your day at any moment.
Thank you for encouraging us mamas to make good memories with our babies!
I have for 18 mos + suffered with PPD. I have felt such a HUGE loss in my life for how things went so wrong with how my amazing, beautiful and sweet daughter got to me. In reading your daily blog or fb posts I have found a lot of healing and so much comfort. I heal a little more with every beautiful picture or story of a woman having an empowered birth. Your words in this post summed up how I have felt for a few months now.
Thank you for what you do. Thank you for hearing the call to be an instrument for healing and hope for so many women and their families. What may seem like a simple post to you may be the life-line someone so desperatly needs. Bless you and your family.
In tears because I was just talking with a friend earlier about this. Wow! What a Godly confirmation to my journey. As Mom’s we get so tired, we get frustrated, we get overwhelmed but your right there is NOTHING that should take away making memories with our children! I don’t want them to remember a mother who is tired, frustrated and overwhelmed always busy never having a moment to breath I want them to remember a Mom who laughed with them, listened to them, played with them and always had time for them. Thank you for sharing! You so often inspire me with your blogs!
A PPD mom myself, tears in my eyes. Thank you for the perspective. You have a gift with words
“in this world, our problems are valid, but there is also perspective”- Wow such amazing words, and what a wonderful concept to teach your children.
Thank you. <3
Oh, January. Tears. Lots of tears. And I am so glad that you feel your PPD lifting. It is so hard, and I know what it is like to finally start feeling like yourself again. Hugs to you. Thank you for this post.
Thank you, I have been struggling with depression and burnout and this helped reinvigorate me to fight for those precious moments with my kids. “I write this with tears in my eyes because no amount of PPD, money problems, fighting with friends, or other issues have the damn right to take away precious moments from me, with my children.” The truth, my new mantra.
This is beautiful. Thank you for being so candid. It is so important to be in the moment and to consciously choose how to shape our lives. To give our children the very best that we have in each moment, which sometimes is not a lot, but they deserve even that tiny bit. And to show them an example of a loving relationship. Thank you for doing that and for sharing it.
Thank You for sharing again. I cry every time I read this. I love you and your family! <3