Postpartum Mom

10 years ago I never knew this beautiful little baby would forever change my life in so many beautiful moments but also some not so good ones. It started off with the whole breastfeeding process. Now I wasn’t forced but it was very loudly encouraged by everyone. So that’s what I did. My little girl wanted no part of it. Recovering from a c-section and trying to feed a squirming baby doesn’t feel so great. ⁣

Sleepless nights, exhaustion, and your patience are hanging on by a thread and that was the new normal for a few years. ⁣

Then came the tears, of guilt that you weren’t enjoying this new mom thing. And that kind of guilt is devastating. I worried if I was a good mom. Was I doing it right? Was she drinking enough, eating enough? Is she reaching all her milestones? I fought those feelings for a long time but they wouldn’t relent. ⁣

After my second daughter was born only 15 months after my first. ”yes Irish twins.” I was a mom of a 6-month-old barely getting by and now I was pregnant again. ⁣

I cried in the shower, I hid in the bathroom, and I cried while I was feeding her. I felt sad all the time and I was very critical of myself. I also was paranoid. Is she breathing? Did she roll over off the wedge? I couldn’t sleep thinking I heard crying. ⁣

I was also a full time working mom. ⁣

I went to the doctor for my checkup. I filled out the questionnaire and it was not very good. My doctor told me I had postpartum depression. I knew something was off but I was shocked to hear that. I remember when I walked out to my car I just cried. It was tears of relief that I now knew I wasn’t crazy. My feelings kind of made sense. But then the guilt set in. Then the shame and embarrassment. ⁣

Thinking back I have to say of course I would of wished some things were different like enjoying all those moments I didn’t. But then I remember all those beautiful moments where being a mom was my entire world.

It was in those moments where I felt peace and unconditional love for my beautiful baby girls. ⁣

If you are reading this mama and you are struggling I know it is so hard. You feel sad and hopeless, but I promise it will not always feel this way. You will feel the sunshine once again. You will feel that tremendous weight of guilt life off your shoulders. One day you will feel like yourself again. Take your time. Ask for help from family and friends. A strong, happy mom = a happy baby.

You are not alone. You are not crazy. And most of all you are an amazing mom. You are dealing with the journey of motherhood. Do not think for one second that you are supposed to love every minute. You are not. You are human. Your patience will be tested time and time again. You will wonder what was I thinking I can’t do this. You will think how do other mom’s do this. Or maybe someone makes it look easy. I can say with absolute certainty their is nothing easy about motherhood , but one thing I know is a promise that it will be worth it.

Keep hanging on mama your babies need you ❤️❤️

With love,

Karen

HOPE

I haven’t had a depression episode in 8 years. I am not sure what triggered me. Sometimes we’re not even aware. But this time I felt it. It was like standing in the sand, waiting for the wave to come. You dig your feet into the wet sand and hold on. You know something bad is coming. You can feel it in your core.⁣⁣⁣

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You can try to run from it but it is relentless just like the tides. If you don’t face it head on it will just come back. ⁣

That wave comes and knocks you down. It was so powerful you didn’t stand a chance. You look to your left and right, but you are in the middle of the ocean alone. You can see your family from the shore but you are getting deeper, going further and you want to cry for help, but the water is now up to your neck and you can’t get the words out. ⁣⁣⁣

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So you kick, you struggle, you fight, you do whatever you have to do to say above the water. ⁣⁣⁣

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You are getting tired, the cold is setting in and you feel numb. That numbness feels so good, like the pain in your mind is quiet. There is a stillness that is taking over. You wanna reach for that stillness but you remember who you are fighting for. You are fighting for your family, your children, you are fighting to regain control of your life. ⁣⁣⁣

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And it’s in those moments you realize how strong you are. You regain feeling and you swim. You swim as hard as you can. The current is strong and it tries to suck you back but you won’t let it. You kick you swim and you fight. ⁣⁣⁣

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When you reach the shore you fall right into your families arms. It’s safe there, it’s calm and you feel the love pouring into you. ⁣⁣⁣

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That’s what it feels like to fight yourself, your mind, your thoughts. ⁣⁣⁣

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To my family who is always there to pick me up, there are no words strong enough to tell you how grateful I am. It’s because of you that I fight. It’s because of you that I am strong. It is because of you that I have HOPE! ⁣⁣

Thank you for loving me unconditionally. ⁣ Thank you for trying to understand. And most of all thank you for not judging me or my actions even when you don’t agree.

I am a woman

I googled tons of images to depict how I’m feeling , I took this picture and went through every filter I came across. But the truth will always be there. It is always in my face. I can’t pretend and I can’t escape it.

I am a woman with mental illness. I am a woman who has highs and many lows. I am a woman that fights everyday trying to maintain that balance. I try to stay positive, upbeat and happy but not to happy that I want to make bad decisions, spend money, get tattoos or all the craziness that goes on with mania.

I am a woman who can sink so low that I feel hopeless and worthless and that is a very dark black hole that can swallow you up and never let you out.

I am a woman who has broken, cracked and bled from my soul. I am a woman who has cried more times than I can count. I am a woman who will smile for her kids and her family, while playing family game night, my lungs feel heavy and their is a knot in my throat and I’m shaking more than usual. I am trying to be strong for my family. I am trying to be strong for myself.

It’s a crazy concept to say I’m fighting my own mind. I can understand how people without mental illness really can’t understand this concept. I can’t even explain it myself. But everything I described is a battle. A battle in my mind.

It’s like falling into quicksand. You fight with all the strength you have. You kick your legs as hard as you can to break the surface. Exhaustion sets. You need to take a break, you need to rest but the quicksand is relentless it keeps pulling you lower and deeper.

You are looking for someone anyone to come pull you out but the person you see is so far away. You are trying like hell to reach for them but you can’t stretch any further. Your breathing starts getting faster you feel the panic set in. You are trying to remain calm, take deep breaths, push through the feeling your just so tired.

This is me. This is what the life of someone with bipolar feels like everyday. The quicksand is my brain, and the struggle is me fighting that pull. Me fighting to get my life back. Me fighting to be free. Me fighting for balance.

Everyone has stresses in life. Everyone has good days and bad days. We are all just trying to take it one day at a time. We all have different things that get to us. Different triggers like work, or balancing life with kids, or married life. All of these things take work, all of these things are a balancing act. And everyone struggles with these things. We all have good days and days where we wanna go back go bed and get a do-over.

The different is people with mental illness and for me bipolar we deal with those same things as everyone else and we are also fighting the quicksand. That’s why they call people with mental illness ”Warriors”. We are fighting that invisible battle no one else sees. We are walking around functions the best we can trying to deal with a stressful job and maintain that balance, raising our children and all the highs and lows that normally brings and maintain that balance. We are working to keep our marriage healthy. Spending quality time with our partner while trying to take some of that extra time for ourselves to heal, to rest.

We will always fight. Because that’s warriors do. We will never give up because we are not our illness. Our illness is a part of us but it is not all of us.

Oh and this whole post was to say you may have noticed I done have any hair hanging around my face. That is because I cut it all off. Think more peter pan than katy perri. But I like it. I feel little lighter. Almost like a fresh start.

I was a woman before a mom

One day I was a woman shopping in Victoria Secrets for the cutest little one piece with garter belts for my next intimidate moment with my man. You see I say my man because we know that now a days its rare to hear a woman say she waited till she was married to have sex with her husband. So those intimate moments when I felt like a woman. A real woman, all curves, and silky skin. I took care of what i looked like, i ate right, my body was healthy, my eyebrows were always on point. My toes and nails always done. Our relationship had passion, and excitement. It was the sultry looks across the room at a friends party, that said “I can’t wait to get home. The anticipation, the scandalous of it all was so thrilling and exciting. Now fast forward 2 plus years after marriage,

You have 2.5 kids a house in the suburbs, 2 dogs, two busy careers and a mortgage that could choke a horse. So you are stumbling by, doing the best you can managing a day to day household with kids. One person is responsible for dinner, the other person is responsible for drop off and pick up for ballet, art, gymnastics, and dance. You have become two ships passing through a stormy sea. You are both your own captains of your ships and you don’t get much interaction. You body is on auto pilot, get up, have a shit show morning, get to work, come home exhausted, start being a parent again, rinse , bedtime circus side show freak act, repeat. Maybe if you are lucky you will have a quiet dinner out one Friday night once a month or maybe a movie where you spend the entire time not talking to each other.

You have now taken on the role of mom. Mom that has strange stains on her clothes from things you have no idea where they could of come from. You hair hasten been washed in 3 days. You have the same ”comfy” clothes which we all know are basically Pajamas but “comfy” clothes sound better. Less depressed spinster living with cats look. We are moms, living the mom life black leggings, mom bun, pair of UGG slipper shoes, always running around never taken one moment to breathe. We don’t have time for all that woman stuff. Were lucky we get a few hours of sleep a night.

As the kids start to get older, you are able to have more couple time, but by then you will barely know each other anymore. It’s like your two different people since the last time you were the only ones in the room. You have to get reacquainted not only with each other but with your own self. You think what kind of woman was I before I had my kids. Was I sexy? I think I was. Was I sensual? Ya I think so. I’ts like we forget, we forget what made us a woman, our essence. We forgot that confidence to own that title of being a woman, with style and grace and electricity.

But in time we will get back there. That once beautifully, sexy bold woman who walked around like she was a supermodel is in there just waiting for that right moment to come out. Make sure you let her out, the rest of your life will begin again.

Marriage is…

Marriage looks like so many things. You start off with this dream of how your life will go. What your first house will look like. How many kids will you have? You have all these grand plans and big dreams, then “life” comes along and laughs and says ummm, ya no that’s not how it works.

*Marriage is about two different people trying to get through the ups and downs that everyone faces.

*Marriage is about understanding your partners feelings, while holding true to your own.

*Marriage is about finding the balance between your own sanity and making sure your partner is still sane.

*Marriage is about being selfless when so many days you want to be selfish.

*Marriage is about sticking your tail between your legs when your wrong, and fighting for yourself when your right.

*Marriage is about learning to love someone through all the different ages and stages of life.

*Marriage is letting your partner spread their wings and standing back in awe as you watch them fly.

*Marriage is picking your partner up when they have fallen and being strong for them when they don’t have the strength.

*Marriage is checking in with each other daily not just for the mundane things like did you pay the electric bill, or can you put out the garbage.

*Sometimes we need to check in with each other mentally.

Are you ok? Like really ok? Are you happy? Are you fulfilled? What is missing?

*Marriage is a friendship, a partnership, a lifetime commitment that no matter what life throws at you, you will hold on tight and ride out the storm together.

*Marriage is about love. Not just the word “love” or saying “I love you” it’s about loving someone so intensely, their is not one thing in the universe you wouldn’t do or sacrifice for that person.

*Marriage is showing a person in many different ways how much you appreciate them, recognize them, and are grateful for them.

*Marriage is hard, Marriage is work, Marriage is forgiveness, Marriage is patience, Marriage is passion, Marriage is everything❤️

Tell me how to help you

Tell me how to help you

By Karen G

I hate to see you crying, I hate to feel so helpless and I want to make it all go away. I want to say all the right things. I want to do all the right things to bring your smiling, laughing beautiful face back to me.

How can i teach you to conquer your fears, slay your insecurities and crush all those thoughts of what ifs and self-doubt? How can i teach you to breathe through the bad moments? How to learn to clear your mind and take some time to find your center, your peace. You’re too young to even understand all the emotions you are feeling right now.

I know your still in there. The beautiful girl that is full of life and love and creativity. I just can’t reach you. I’m walking a tight rope around you so i don’t do or say anything to make you more upset. My sole focus is on trying to hold back my own frustrations, my own worries, my own sadness. I’m holding back my emotions with everything i have so i can focus on yours.

I want to yell and scream and punish and threaten all because of my own inability to help you. All because of my own feelings of helplessness. I will sit here for as long as it takes for you to calm yourself down, to come back to me so we can talk it out. So we can fix what’s bothering you.

But for now, i will sit here holding you while you cry while my heart breaks into a million pieces because i can’t take it away.

Anxiety is crippling in adults, its crippling for me, but i have seen what it does to children first hand and it’s devastating. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 10 years ago. I have seen my fair share of doctors and therapists. I have been on more pills then I can remember.

Two weeks ago after years of struggling, pulling my hair out, fighting with my husband on the best way to parent her, to crying in the bathroom because I couldn’t handle her. My husband and I finally made a decision at the age of 10 we needed to get her help. Not just for her but for us and our younger daughter who takes the brunt of most of it. We knew it was time even if we didn’t want to admit it. She was diagnosed ADD, ADHD, GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) MDD (major depressive disorder. To say I was devastated is an understatement. It took me 1 day to print out the report and one more day to read the report. Something about seeing it and reading it made it real.

The tears just started falling the shoulders started shaking and I let the pain, the guilt, the sadness release from my pores. Now knowing you have to fight two battles your daughter and for yourself. Knowing that you will have more good days and more bad ones. Knowing you have to strap on your battle gear and get ready for the war. And you gladly do it because you would walk through fire for your daughter.

But you have traveled these paths you have failed and cried and picked yourself up and wiped yourself off and sid “is that all you got life.” Well you will have to do a lot better because I don’t break easily. I got this. I have survived this and I survive this daily. I’m strong enough , I’m a mom.

Marriage is Life

⁣Marriage is a funny thing. One minute you thinking about which types of poison will not kill your husband but maybe keep him in the bathroom with prep-H wipes all day. Or some days you can’t stand each other and think why is this so hard. Other days you wonder how could two people have changed so much since we first met? ⁣

And that’s the thing about marriage. Newly married couples tend to think that marriage is a special collective item you put behind a glass once the vows are said and nothing in the world will change or touch it. Then you have kids and realize that was crazy talk. ⁣

Marriage is constantly changing like life. You find your person, you fall in love, you have the wedding of your dreams. You live together maybe buy a house and think wooh that was a rough time. But we made it. Little do your ”young newlywed minds” know that the s*it has not even hit the fan yet.

You Aerosmith Rockin rollercoaster ride has not even begun yet. Bills, mortgage payments, job loss, broke, children, parenting, illness, special needs child, school, homework, each other’s careers. And the list is endless…..

Marriage is that one item your children made for you in a pottery class that you love so much but you still can’t quite figure out what it is. You display this item proudly amongst your other treasured items but with the hustle and bustle of life it collects dust and is often forgotten about until one day you need something and see this thing. The caption says ”My family is everything” ⁣

And you just stop and think wow I haven’t seen this in a while and you reminisce about all the beautiful memories that have past with a silly grin on your face and then think of some of the hard times you have all faced and with a deep inhale you think wow we have come so far.⁣

It’s so easy to think of marriage as this unwavering concept like once we say our vows were good, like a signed mortgage contract. But in essence that legal document is only that a document. Marriage is a living, breathing representation of your life. You have chosen someone who you thought would make a great partner to have stand beside you on this long journey of unknowns.⁣ Someone to celebrate your accomplishments with and also cry with when life is trying to break you.

Some days you may question did I chose the right person, am i happy, am I fulfilled, is something missing. ⁣ Marriage is a constant work in progress. Life changes people, the once fun loving couple without a care in the world and who though deciding where to eat dinner on Friday night and what movie to go see after were decisions all married couples make. And even that sometimes drove you a little crazy when you couldn’t agree. Some days marriage looks like therapy sessions on a couch barking your feelings at one another praying the other person gets it, gets you. Marriage is sleeping on the couch with no pillow and a throw blanket because you wife locked the bedroom door. Marriage is trying to watch a movie but hearing your kids killing each other and not wanting to wake up your wife because she didn’t get a good nights sleep.

So all these thoughts swirl around in your mind. You have three jobs, being a mom, having a career or something that you love to do and takes up a lot of your time, and your marriage. All three need constant attention, love, time and willingness to work to make it grow and succeed.

So this morning after laying in bed with back pain and totally neglecting all adult responsibilities I hear something down the hall and something makes me want to get up and check it out.

So I creep down the hall following the sounds of laughter and see this. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the man you chose to take this journey with, who has seen all it all and been in the trenches with you giving your daughter love and time. ⁣

Marriage is messy, Marriage is raw, Marriage is fighting, Marriage is laughing, Marriage is love, Marriage is work, Marriage is hating and loving each other in equal measure. Marriage is life ❤️❤️❤️

My beautiful warrior

How did I miss the signs? How did I not see that you are struggling? How did I not understand that your mind was taking over all of your thoughts and actions? ⁣

Today was extremely eye-opening for me. On the one hand, I have so many questions and will probably never get the answers. ⁣

I do however have a name. I have a starting place. I have the tools to help you be your best self. ⁣

My baby girl you have been struggling for a while and I am so very sorry I didn’t catch it sooner, but one thing, I can definitely say is now that I do know there is nothing in this world that will ever stop you from following your dreams. I will be walking right beside you and holding your hand whenever you need help or reassurance. ⁣

I now understand why God gives us things we think we can’t handle. The reality is he gives us these trials and tribulations because we are strong enough, we are brave enough, and we will always rise no matter how many times we get knocked down.⁣

My sweet baby girl, you will always know your worth, you will appreciate your differences, celebrate your strengths and embrace all people due to their differences. ⁣

You have always been empathetic and now I understand why. Warriors who fight battles with themselves every day know what its like to feel defeated but still continue to fight. Warriors never give up no matter how scary, impossible or hard something may seem. Warriors help others even when they can barely help themselves.⁣

You, my daughter, are a warrior, and you come from a pretty kick ass warrior who knows you will be just fine bc we won’t accept any other way❤️❤️🙏🏼🙏🏼⁣

#momlife #momblog #momblogger #ADHD #ADD #Anxiety ⁣

Be that person

Today was a hard day for me. My anxiety was at an all-time high, which triggered my OCD. I couldn’t finish a task today. I started 15 projects but kept getting sidetracked which just overwhelmed me more.

My anxiety led to anger and anger led to yelling.
My kids pushed every button I had today and I spent most of the day yelling like a lunatic. What was I yelling about who knows?

I decided to hide in my bedroom so I wouldn’t take any more of my issues out on my kids. They didn’t deserve it. I also saw them reacting to the negativity I was giving off.

I texted and my husband came to my rescue. He took my girls out to a daddy-daughter dinner date and I got some time to calm down.

I cried most of my time alone from pure frustration and of course mom guilt. Why wasn’t I there with my family? Why am I not strong enough to control my emotions? Why did I let my anxiety win?

The truth is some days we win and some days we lose our struggle but having a support system at home who knows what you need even when you don’t means everything.

You are not alone

So tonight was very special for me because I was contacted be someone who was just diagnosed with bipolar. Just a few months into her diagnosis she was looking for help, answers, and had some questions. Mostly what she was looking for was validation that she is not alone. That there are others out there that understand her. There are people out there she can relate to, open up to and be vulnerable in her thoughts and her feelings.

It was eye-opening for me because I thought; I wish there was someone I could have reached out to when I was first diagnosed and felt lost, confused, angry, sad and relieved that my life choices were not all my fault. That some of my situations and how I handled them were beyond my control or beyond my capability of understanding. I was humbled to be able to help someone feel less alone and validate their feelings.

Being bipolar is not so different than other illnesses. We still feel a sense of anger ”why me.” We feel pain either emotionally and physically. We are tired, we are stressed, we worry about so many things beyond our control. We try to overcompensate for the time we are at our lowest points, or we know we can be better or do better.

The truth is no one should ever feel ashamed, embarrassed, broken, or guilty. Life is not all rainbows and sunshine. Life is messy, it’s chaotic, it’s sad, lonely, and quite frankly extremely hard. Life is also beautiful, meaningful, inspiring, captivating, and filled with happiness and love.

Everyone will always have bad days, but don’t get caught up in the one day but look at it as an opportunity to have a do-over the next day. There is no compass or handbook to tell you how to navigate life with illness. You can choose to live your best life in spite of your illness.