Courage is an interesting virtue, isn't it? You don't really know that you have it until you are at your breaking point. And, even then you still question whether it is really there.
Well, I never really had this "courage" that people talk about until a few months after my second child, Alex, was born.
Sure, I have been on a few roller coasters that scared the daylights out of me. I've been on the Tower of Terror (and will never get back on that death trap). I've attempted to swim the Pensacola Bay - twice. I've done a lot of things people may find courageous... But, becoming a mother was where I needed the courage.
No, I wasn't scared of the idea. I feel like I've been a mom since my 3rd brother was born... See, I am the oldest of six kids. And, when you are the oldest you tend to fall into a parent-type of role. I changed diapers, fed bottles, babysat for YEARS. I was pretty ready by the time it was actually my turn to be a mom. But, I never knew just how many hats a mom and a wife have to wear...
As I said, I didn't really know I had courage until a few months after Alex was born - about 2 years ago. I learned this fact in a rather hard way, but because of this I am holding on to this virtue more than ever. I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression then. And, even though things are wonderful now within our family, I still fight some of those feelings that every day. It's just a part of it.
If you are a mom of two or more children, you have more than likely hear that annoying question, "How do you do it?" Most of the time mothers answer: "I don't know." "Coffee. Lots of Coffee." "Prayers." "Because I have to."
But, really, we don't do it all. We have friends to confide in, our own mothers to guide us, and God to help us see the rest of the day through. But, there are many of us that begin to feel like a failure when we ask for even the tiniest bit of help.
Don't feel that way, mommies. Please.
Yes, it is ok to ask for help.
No, you are not incompetent.
It is ok to ask for help.
Once I was told to call my doctor about possible PPD from a friend, I was still iffy about it. I was shaking when I made the call. But, once I got to my doctor's office and talked about it, I felt better. I have an amazing doctor and couldn't ask for better. Now, I'm not saying to go run out to the pharmacy to get your happy pills, but if you think that you need it, ok. You are not a loser for knowing you need that extra bit of help. I only stayed on the pills (And a very small dosage, too. My doc knew I was not thrilled about this...) for just under a year.
All I am saying is this - whatever kind of help it is that you need...just ask.
Maybe you need to get laundry done and would love to have that cup of coffee stay warm because it is fresh - not microwaved for the millionth time. Call up a close friend, tell her what's going on. I'm sure she will do what she can to help. She's most likely been there.
Perhaps you just ran out of milk and are on the verge of crying about it because your husband is going to be home late and there is just no way you are going to take an entire herd of people to the mini-mart at the witching hour. Call a neighbor up. That neighbor might just be cool enough to bring some cookies to go with that milk.
New to the area? Have kids? Join a mommy/women's/parents/whatever group at church, in your community, where ever. You will be amazed at things people will do for you when you just had a baby. Or just lost a loved one. Or...just because.
Look down. Those children playing at your feet? They are the ones worth your time and energy. Listen for that garage door to open as your husband comes home from a long day at work away from his family. He is the one worth your time and energy (Even the furbaby that is 13 years old and can't see or hear...we love you,Max.).
You are a mom. And, you are amazing.
So, what is it that you need help with? Where do you find your courage in your daily life as a parent?
Postpartum Depression is a serious subject. If you think you may have the symptoms of PPD, please seek a professional. For more information on these symptoms and more, check out PostpartumProgress.com.