Because of my history with postpartum depression, since Hawkins was born I have been on high alert to recognize any hints of depression rearing its ugly head. To my relief and surprise, I have not had any indication that the horrible sadness that consumed me last time was coming back this time. For the past couple of weeks I thought I’m okay. And I’ve been telling everyone that I’m okay. But what happened last night has opened my eyes to the fact that I’m not. Not really. I’m not okay.
Hawkins has colic. It’s bad. Aislin had colic too so we’ve dealt with this before. I know, logically, that “this too shall pass” and all that cliche stuff…but when you’re in the thick of it, advice like that doesn’t help. Anyway, this past weekend was my birthday and we had a great time celebrating as a family. But little things happened throughout the weekend that got under my skin. And, if I’m being honest here, it doesn’t take a lot these days for something to irritate me. By the time Sunday night rolled around, I guess I had had enough. When Hawkins started his nightly ritual of screaming non-stop from dinner time until bedtime, I just couldn’t take it anymore.
I became a monster, y’all. I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it. Rage just burst out of me like a venomous fountain. I screamed at my child to shut up. And when my poor husband came in the room to see what was going on I screamed at him too. And then I gave him the baby and I left. I walked out of the house and sat in my car and cried.
I became a monster and I am so ashamed. I cry now just admitting it.
It occurred to me while crying in my car that perhaps this time the depression isn’t presenting as overwhelming sadness as it had after Aislin was born. Perhaps this time, it’s presenting as anger. It hurts me to admit it, but I have a very short fuse since the birth of my son. It doesn’t help that my toddler is acting out, probably out of jealousy, and my newborn son screams and cries 75% of the day on most days. I think that would drive anyone a little batty. But I just can’t seem to handle it well lately. I feel like I’m losing my mind by the time my poor husband comes home and then we both have to deal with the chaos at night when we’re both so very tired.
So, yeah, anyone can see that I have every reason to be so irritable and frazzled right now. But I don’t want to be a monster to my children. I don’t want to scream at my son, who isn’t doing anything wrong. He’s just a baby. And I don’t want to be angry and yell at my daughter, who is just sorting through the confusion of having a new baby rock her world. And I certainly don’t want to alienate my husband, who works his ass off to provide for us and then goes above and beyond to help me when he gets home.
I don’t want to be a monster. But I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to handle the chaos right now. So I ask you, fellow mommies, how do you manage your own chaos? How do you stop the monster from getting out?