I feel so sad today. I feel so weepy. At first, I wasn't sure why on earth I just feel like crying. The girls are all gone. I have the day to myself again to get a bunch of work done. Why do I feel so icky?
As I was driving home from dropping off the Nut, I was thinking about how much better this year is than last year. How much I love that sweet child! And, I was thinking about a conversation I had with one of my best-friends-in-the-world this morning. She confirmed what I was thinking - that I am recovering from post-partum depression. She told me she knew it all year long, and I guess I did too. So, why cry? That's great! Right? I'm recovering! Well, I guess now, I'm kind of mourning the loss of Anna's first year of life. I am realizing that during her first year of life, I spent a large part of it wondering, What the heck have I done? Why did I have a baby? What was I thinking? Make it stop!
The tears are streaming down my face even as I type, and it's gonna take me awhile to get thru this. But, if there is anyone reading this that might be helped by my admission, I'm willing to confess these horrible thoughts. The enormous amount of guilt and pain and shame is so heavy on me right now. I really don't understand this whole motherhood thing. We have enough on us without those damn (yes, I said "damn") hormones putting the last nail in our sanity coffin.
This is my THIRD child, for goodness sakes. Shouldn't I be a pro by now? Does that Duggar lady ever get post-partum? The year was so stressful in so many ways. Newly married, I was struggling with the loss of complete freedom I had experienced as a single mom for that brief two years. After 12 years as a stay-at-home-mom, I had returned and earned my degree, and was managing a bank! A grownup job! I felt so validated and useful. Although the stress was rough, the paycheck, and the raises, and the sales, and the promotions - I was hooked. Completely addicted to that life. I DID NOT enjoy getting up and putting on a suit, but otherwise, I really enjoyed working.
So, soon after we got married I found myself pregnant and then we moved back to Memphis, and all of a sudden I'm back to stay-at-home-mom again. Which, would be wonderful if I were one of those women who live for it. But, for some reason, in my DNA, God put that little gene that makes me want to produce - a product - for feedback. That gene does not work well with the selfless, sacrificing, honorable job of being a mom. And, now more guilt for wanting what I do not have. For not being that woman. That is the whole reason for the photography career. I love to have something to show for my work. To be compensated. To be admired and encouraged.
So, last year as my sweet little Peanut was growing out of her baby-hood, I was wishing it away. I knew it was happening and I tried to be conscious of it. But, I did it anyway. And, now, that wonderful little girl is so grownup. Which, for me is a good thing, but still I feel the guilt of letting her first year go by all while I was busy moaning and groaning about the lack of showers and rest. The guilt of actually having the thought, Why did I have a baby? Now, I'm into the "ugly cry." If only you guys could see me now! I will most certainly have a crying-hangover from all this weeping.
I had a family member comment that I was always trying to "get rid" of Anna, trying to find someone to keep her. Was that how my pleas for help were interpreted? That I didn't want my baby? That I didn't love her? I just feel so awful that my actions caused others to think this way. But, gosh...if I could tell you all anything, and have you believe every part - I would shout it everyday and night:
I LOVE THAT SWEET, SWEET, LITTLE GIRL! I LOVE ALL THREE OF MY BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS.
So, please, in all of my rantings about being a mom, and being tired, and being frustrated, and out of ideas...PLEASE know that I love those girls with everything I have. My life is theirs, and I will try to be more faithful to the job God gave me.
And, now, some memories from last year...