Getting Depressed . . . .Update :)

Updated on March 28, 2008
C.R. asks from Eastover, SC
46 answers

I have the sweetest, happiest, healthiest baby girl so it pains me issue a complaint. Yet I have to admit that I am borderlining on depression. Other than my husband, I do not have a healthy support system and sometimes I just feel alone. I cannot relate to my closest friend anymore, as a matter of fact, our relationship has become wierd.(we were co-workers befor I became a SAHM) and She's my baby's godmom, but she has only visited us a few times since the baby was born(and those visits were awkward). I reached out to my mother, whom I already have a horrible relationship with, but she began nagging me about when I'm going back to work and sort of insinuating that I should be making better use of my time. I just feel like I cant do anything right in her eyes. Sometimes I just want to write her a dear John letter and hope she'll go away. Trust me, I've confronted her but it falls on deaf ears. This is a woman who responded to my pregnancy announcement by saying "Gee, you really should have lost weight first!" The list goes on. I know that I'm suffering from a lack of healthy relationships but I don't know how to get on the right track. Ladies, please do not feel as if you need to solve this for me, I just needed to get this off my chest. I'm taking medication for anexiety/depression but this medication does not create happiness, it simply helps you enjoy happy times.

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So What Happened?

Hello Ladies. Shortly after I typed up this request last night, I arose in the middle of the night to delete it because I felt ashamed. Well I could not delete the request. Much to my surprise, when I woke up this morning I had tons of responses. That alone cheered me up. I want to say thank you to everyone who responded with concern and advice.

NOW FOR THE GOOD PART

3/21/08 All day I was still feeling a little bummed out and even starting to feel sorry for myself. Then, out of nowhere my kid sister (17yrs old) gave me a call and said "hey, can I come over and hang out with you?" I knew right then, that God was sending her my way. Although she is young, I was able to have a brief heart to heart with her and she totally felt my pain. She cheered me up and hung out with us(Me, Hubby and Baby) for most of the evening, just hanging out and being silly(I'm 34 by the way). She also offered to spend the week with me while my husband is away on business. Praise God! Her presence really brightened up our home! It's just so nice to be around someone who loves you.

3/23/08 My Mother invited us (me, hubby and baby) over for Easter dinner. Relunctantly, we went. We enjoyed a nice evening with them, watched a movie and headed home. I have to admit that they are sometimes nice to us, but the emotional environment in their home is really toxic. My husband and I have decided to pray about how to respectfully limit our contact with them.

03/24/08 (Final Update) My estranged girlfriend phoned me today. As it turns out, she needs me as much as I need her. We did not discuss the past, we simply decided to get together this Saturday and be girlfriends again.

I know that you ladies must have been praying for me and I sincerely do thank God for my connection with each one of you!!

Here's To Feeling Better and Taking it One Day at A Time,
C. R.

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J.K.

answers from Atlanta on

I totally feel ya on that.I have had that happen myself,but it will get better.Tell you mom to mind her own buisness,and good for you being a [email protected]____.com. I am one as well;its better for the child.stay strong .

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C.C.

answers from Atlanta on

Christina, I too went through much the same thing for several months. A neighbor mentioned a local MOMS Club chapter and took me to a monthly meeting. I joined the same day and have met some of the greatest friends ever! The website is MOMSclub.org, and you can search for chapters near where you live. The best thing you can do right now is get involved! The local groups have lots of fun outings, have playgroup every week, and lots of other perks. Hope this helps!

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R.B.

answers from Atlanta on

I have been there, hope you feel better soon. As it is warming, it helps to get outside and take walks. just getting active and sunshine helps some. And realizing that you are getting depressed helps too. Good luck and feel free to email if you want to talk!

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E.B.

answers from Charleston on

Hi-
I too suffer from depression (mine is chronic - I am 29 and have been dealing with it since my early teen years). I am also on medication, which helps me tremendously. You are right though - it isn't a miracle worker. It sounds like you may need to get out and meet some new people - girlfriends with babies? I am not from here, so I also had to "start from scratch" mingling with new people. As happy as you are being a mommy - (I too feel like the luckiest woman on earth)...It can be an isolating experience, especially during the infant months. I'm sorry I don't have any real advice to share - just know that you are not alone feeling this way. If I can be of any help whatsoever, please don't hesitate to reach out! [email protected]____.com
Best of luck to you-
E.

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S.T.

answers from Atlanta on

I've gotten in on this a bit late because of family issues but thought I'd tell you that I'm thinking about you and hope you are doing better.

Your sis sounds awesome - ever thought she might be in a place in her heart that her still, small voice hears not only God's voice but yours, too? Has to be. Some people are naturally intuitive no matter how old they are. I've had babies that made my day simply by holding them for 10 minutes. To me, this is God in His purest sense during those 10 minutes and the unity of that moment connects in a very personal way.

Life is hard enough without having to second guess a person's intentions, especially if the person is a parent or family member. I know I had that problem for a long time until I met my husband. He has a General Patton way of thinking which is mostly strategic but, man! his words just makes a lot of sense! (ok, yeah, I said it! lol)

God is who He is. You cannot predict Him, you cannot change Him to your own desires, you cannot put Him in a mold or a certain set of values. You cannot make Him into something that He isn't (hence, you have different religions). He is who He is and your heart must stop putting limitations on God's choices for you or His ultimate desire for you to live the fullest life you can. You cannot make up God's mind for Him - that's HIS job and you're wrong if you second-guess Him. God isn't about anger or justification or reckonings. He's about love, power, strength and fairness. He doesn't send the tornado. He allows nature to be what it is to balance out the good and bad of nature. Same as He does for you.

God's gifts for you is Power and Strength. Power to believe that His Son works FOR you in your life. Strength to ACCEPT His gifts TO you and FOR you. This unity works well in the circle of life and you cannot change this unity. You did not create it - God did.

In my own life, I stand as a partner BESIDE my husband. I bend a knee to God to show my utmost respect/honor for Him and I bend a knee to my parents, who were sent to me by Him and because I love my parents enough to honor/respect them. My strength comes from my husband's hand who will take mine and bring me close to his chest. This man loves me because of my acceptance of who God allows me to be.

Because I have a mind of my own, I know I will never, ever live up to my parent's expectations of me. Why? Because I have a separate soul from my mom and my dad. I have a spirit that works with MY heart - not theirs. I have a communication with God that works for ME - not them. They have their own communication with God and I am not to interfere with it any more than they should with mine. Same with my husband.

Am I perfect? No. I am tender-hearted and I am a pleaser. Always will be. I can be hurt by words and actions. IF I let the words and actions into my heart and make them my own.

That's the key.

If you allow hurtful words from someone else to become YOUR truth, then you will be hurt. If your own spirit doesn't believe the words that someone is telling you but you accept it anyway, then it's your CHOICE to be hurt and you will be. You should NEVER allow anyone to tell you that you are less than who you BELIEVE yourself to be. You must accept who you are without any doubts - no matter the physical attributes or limitations.

Friends let you down. Family will, too. God never will because He will always allow you to listen to the Spirit inside you that tells you who you are and all you can be. Someone else's expectations of you will always be just that - someone else's. It's all about choice.

But when you accept His voice, those around you will see you re-invent yourself every day. You will be better, stronger and more willing to open your heart and mind to God's voice and to your own.

Ok, yeah, I'm long-winded but I my intentions are good.

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S.W.

answers from Savannah on

Hey Christina,

I am not and can not even began to solve this for you, but I will be praying for you.

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M.I.

answers from Columbia on

Hello, I am from Hawaii but live permanently in Spain. I am married and have two kids, 7 and 15. I am very aware of how you must be feeling since what you describe sounds very much what I went through after my daughter of 15 was newly born. I was an executive, making handsome money, but very far away from my family and friends at home and suddenly a full time at-home mommy, breastfeeding a colicky baby at that, although she was very healthy in every other respect. I felt like a winner and yet felt sad and estranged from the people that surrounded me at that time and too the friends that I had previous to the birth were suddenly off-standish with me...The best news is that you are doing the right things...reaching out, expressing yourself and feeling positive and happy with your child. Meds (and husbands!) can help but not in my case, they just made me feel groggy.
I really think that a positive attitude towards everything, even things that normally would be considered sad (my mother died tragically this summer and in her funeral mass my speach was based on this concept of trying to see the positive side and my bros and sisters just looked at me as if I were crazy!!)is the way to go. I also feel very sure that when the going gets rough the tough get going...so hang in there!!...The water always runs in the easiest course after the storm is through. Time and patience are the best remedies. Treat yourself well, eat sensibly, do a little exercise daily, treat yourself to something special just for you from time to time, try to feel the love of those around you instead of their shortcomings and I am sure that slowly but surely you will begin to feel better. Cheers!!

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C.G.

answers from Macon on

Hi Christina! Your story really touched my heart. I know how devastating it is to move to a new place and feel so lonely and depressed. My husband was active Army for 22 years. You have received some wonderful advice and suggestions from others on this website. I just wanted to add that sometimes we just have to be our own best friend! What I had to learn was to love myself before others could love me. And as another Mom put it, you do have the most important job on earth! There is not a job harder, more valuable, or more rewarding than being a MOM! But, at the same time, we still need the relationship with girlfriends! In the beginning, I was shy and it was even harder for me to meet new friends. What has saved me has been my Mary Kay business. It has been a wonderful avenue for me to meet new people. I now have friends all over the US because of my business, people I never would have had a reason to meet. It has allowed me to touch other lives as well. We all need to get together with girlfriends and have some pamper time, and usually our kids were in the next room having fun! Our son is now grown with his own children, but he tells everyone that it was great that his mom was at home with him growing up!

Christina, I pray that you will feel better really soon. I also wanted to say that sometimes medications for depression need to be adjusted from time to time. If you feel yours are not helping you, you should talk with your doctor, and even ask to see a specialist if you feel that is necessary. I know I have had to try several before we hit on the right medication. All our systems are different. I really wish the best for you. If you need a friend who is old enough to be your mother (you are the same age as my son!), please feel free to get in touch with me at [email protected]____.com! C.

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T.C.

answers from Atlanta on

without some stay-at-home moms for friends it is hard to feel validated about what you are doing. you are in a transition time. you need to let go of relationships that make you feel bad about yourself and reach out for future relationships with other moms that realize that staying at home with your child is the greatest calling anyone can have...there are many ways to do this so make this your goal...also, i was given a book at Christmas, Your Best Life Now for Mom's by Joel Osteen. it was perfect timing for me because i felt like i had lost my joy as a stay-at-home. i'm at home with my 4rth child and the book reminded me that being a mom is the most important job in the world...hope this helps...

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D.B.

answers from Charleston on

Hi Christina! You definitely have gotten some great advise. I am glad to see that you are on anti-depressants. Some people may disagree with them, but they can be an important tool when they are needed. I did have one other thought. After my best friend had her second son she battled pretty severe depression. They put her on anti-depressants, but she also requested they do a full blood panel. It came back that she had a thyroid problem that she had never had before. I guess pregnancy can sometimes do that. When she took Synthroid to correct it, her depression lifted without taking any anti-depressants. It might be worth looking into for you.

I hope you can find a good mommy group in your area. They can be so valuable.

Good luck and God bless,
D. B

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J.G.

answers from Athens on

Hi Christina,
I'm not sure where you live but if you live anywhere near Athens I highly recommend joining the Athens Mothers Center. Here is the website: http://athensga.motherscenter.org/. We meet 2 days a week and it is a really great support system. You can meet a lot of moms that have gone through the same thing as you and moms that have babies the same age as you so you can all be on the same level and compare notes affirming that you are not alone. It has been a life-saver for me as we moved to Athens when my daughter was only 3 weeks old and I didn't know anyone. Also it helps just to get you and the baby out of the house to feel like a normal adult and that you do have a life.
Take care and remember you are not alone!
J. G
[email protected]____.com

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C.H.

answers from Augusta on

Have yo thought of the possibility that you might be going through post pardom depression? And as far as your friend and your mother.I think some of us can relate.And most days people don't think sbout their broken relationships,but some days it bothers you deeply.My husband's father who he use to be close with is a mean,selfish man.He once told his son that if he knew he'd be like he was now he'd cut his thing off and never would have had him.He's also never seen our children,his ONLY grandchildren.He doesn't call them...he doesn't even know their names or ages.And every income tax, he calls or writes and asks him son why he hasen't sent him money.His dad LITERALLY thinks that my husband should pay him back for the years of him paying for his on when growing up,from infant to 10 yrs ago when we got married.And my family have done alot of horrible things to me,just 1 minor one being they had 2 of my birthdays without me,party and all on my 13 and then my 16th birthday.We all have screwed up people in our life.The best way to go is to not let what someone else who isn't living your life for you bother you with what they think.Who cares what they think?That's how me and my husband get by.We have 0 help of anyone,on anything so we've always said us against the world in a sense.Just do what you think is right for you and join a mommies group.

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C.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Wow. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Is there a mom's group you can get in with, like MOPS or something? It sounds like you need to commiserate with other people who are in similar situations (ie. SAHMs). I'm sorry your relationship with your mom is so bad. If it makes you feel any better my MIL (who lives a lot closer to me than my mom) is totally at odds with my husband's and my choices as far as family size, parenting, my not working, etc. and she is always interfering or dropping comments etc. It really drives me nuts but fortunately I have a good support system between my mom and my sisters and ladies at my church. Sounds like you need a good support system too. Some women just won't understand your choices and feel like they need to be vocal about it, it's just matter of finding women who agree with you.

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C.D.

answers from Myrtle Beach on

C., I too had a weird relationship with my best friend after my daughter was born. It was especially painful because when I needed her companionship the most, she was nowhere to be found. When she did come over, she seemed really uncomfortable and not herself at all. And my friend too, is my daughter's godmother.
Over the years I discovered that the change in her behavior occured for a number of reasons. For one thing, she did not have any children, nor did she want any, and she feared that we would no longer share common interests. She wasn't really sure where she fit into this new picture, and was scared that this was going to end our relationship because our lives were going in vastly different directions.
Also, she was hurt because I didn't seem to be putting the same effort into our relationship that I used to. I was expecting her to be happy about coming over and hanging out with me and the baby. What she really wanted was for me to hire a sitter and go out and have lunch or coffee like we used to. More than anything, she just wanted that quality "us" time that we used to spend together.
And in reality, I needed that time too. As new Moms we have a tendancy to forget that we are anything other than "Moms." We lose our identities. As a result, our other relationships get put on the back burner, and we end up feeling isolated.
I know you weren't asking for advice, but as someone who's been there I feel compelled to give you a suggestion. Call up your friend and make a lunch/drinks/coffee date. Now hire that sitter, and go out and have a good time. Not only will it be good for your relationship with your friend, but it will be good for you too. Just because you don't want a break doesn't mean you don't need one. Resist the urge to call and check on the baby five times while you're out. This is YOUR time with YOUR friend.
It won't be easy the first few times, you're probably going to be anxious about being away from the little one (not to mention tired from taking care of her all day). But I have found the more effort I put into my relationship with my friend, the better a relationship she has with my daughter. They actually have their own playdates now. In fact, they're going out later today to have manicures done and I am not invited. LOL
And having a little "grown up" time has done wonders for my self esteem, which in turn has improved my relationship with my daughter's father. It reminds me that I am still a fresh, intellegent, attractive woman in addition to being a Mom. I hope this has been of some help to you. If you ever need someone to talk to, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]____.com. I have a pretty good idea of how you're feeling right now, but I can assure you that it CAN get better. Good luck!

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S.S.

answers from Atlanta on

I am sorry you are having problems. PPD and general depression is common and it is ok to feel depressed even if you have a wonderful LO. It sounds like you are getting help so that is great.

You really need to meet other moms. Staying at home can be isolating and make things worse. I know that there are some active moms groups in your area. Please look into them so that you can find friendship and support in moms like you. Some of the moms groups even have PPD support groups which could also be helpful.

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F.T.

answers from Athens on

Hi Christina, I have worked in the behavioral health field for many years and am a Clinical Social Worker. You are doing the right thing by asking for help and suggestions to address your depression! By your email, I would highly suggest getting in with a good therapist to help you in the process of finding out what is causing your depression. A good therapist can not only help you find out some of the root causes of your depression, but can give you some good practical tools to help you address it. Medication can be good, and can be very helpful in combating your symtoms, but typically they work much better when used in conjunction with therapy. Best of luck to you, there is help and answers out there! F.

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E.B.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi Christina,

You are not alone! I was in the same boat, my mother died when I was young, my father the year before. I am a northern transplant so most of the rest of my family and H.S./college friends were states away and my ATL friends were all from work, mostly single women who traveled ALOT.

I was able to connect with a great group of women with babies the same age through a wonderful class at Northside Hospital called Making the Most of Motherhood (I took it when the twins were about 4 months old):

https://sfweb.northside.com/sfnet/ServiceSearch.asp?n=1&a...

The class was about dealing with new parenthood and the various issues and concerns, but also about allowing us to create a support network to take away from the class.

Having a new baby can be very isolating especially without a pre-existing support network. You might also try your local church/temple if yo are affiliated (or even if you're not), many have new mom's clubs/groups.

Please feel free to email me if I can give you any more information.

Liz

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D.P.

answers from Atlanta on

I'd be in communication with the doctor to make sure he/she doesn't want to try something else.

Also, you're just getting out of the stage when being a mommy is the hardest and lonliest. Little babies are wonderful and smell good and bring us such joy -- but, really, they're big bummers! Winter weather and being stuck indoors makes us feel yucky -- or SAD. Not sleeping is TERRIBLE for the psyche. Little babies are so skillful at crying at decibels and hitting notes that completely stress us out! (Earplugs) Constantly being needed is draining.

Finally, though, they get better at sleeping and communicating their wants/needs to us and we get better at understanding them. Finally, Spring comes and we can go to the park and meet other moms and commiserate with each other!

There IS light at the end of the tunnel!!!

It sounds to me like you need to have a talk with your mother -- one in which you tell her that what you need is a cheerleader and shoulder to lean on. If she can't be that, you need to spare yourself.

Your friend probably feels like she isn't in the same place in life as you. Hopefully, that will iron out with time. Have patience with her and with yourself.

I'm sorry you're having a hard time right now. But I really do think that things are going to get better for you now that your daughter is getting older and the weather is getting better!!!

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W.W.

answers from Savannah on

Christina,

Please hold your head up high you are not alone in feeling this way. I am the mother of 3 wonderful boys however after my youngest son was born I noticed that I was feeling very depressed. Now I am not one to complain as a matter of fact I am a very happy person and love to have a good time. I love spending time with my boys but I knew this was not normal especially for me. I went in for a check up with my general practicioner, which by the way is a female and it makes all the difference. She suggested that I start taking a seritonian medication which is known as lexapro it is not considered a traditional depression medication but a mood inhancer. It focuses on the seritonian levels (feel good hormone) after having a baby your hormones can get out of wack and you need some help. I just want you to understand it is ok to ask for help. Even my closest friends did not understand why I wanted to be by myself or didn't want to go anywhere but at home. It was not fair to my husband nor to my older childern. I feel so much better now and to tell you the truth I really did not understand how bad I did feel. Remember God gave us wisdom to treat our bodys listen and let someone help.

I hope this information is helpful to you! Please have a wonderful Easter. "The Lord hears good people when they cry out to him, and he saves them from their troubles" Psalm 34:17

W.

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D.G.

answers from Atlanta on

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! So many people feel this way. I know I did. Infact my best friend of 15 years became non-exsistant when I had my first baby. Even today, our relationship is no the same. You will make new friends I promise. People who are going through the same thing that you are. Something I have just recently done is joined a MOM's group in my area. There are these kinds of groups everywhere. They get together with their children and the kids play while mommy's talk. They also have get togethers through out the week. This can really help you connect. If you are in my area we could go together... What city are you in? Hope this helps. Trust me.. It passes. Just keep in touch with your depression and don't let it begin to control you. Get out of the house. The weather is turning nice. Sunshine helps too!!
D.

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L.C.

answers from Atlanta on

Are you able to join a gym? most have daycare centers and it's good for the child to be around others and good for mom to have needed and deserved MOMMY time! Also, do you attend church? another way for you to have your time and time for your daughter to be w/ other kids in a safe environment.I did SAHM mom for a while and then went stir crazy. I now work part time at a daycare center and am very happy. my kids get free daycare and love being w/the other kids and I get to "visit" with other moms! Best of luck to you. As far as parents and relatives go - it's my opinion that life is too short to hang w/ non supportive or negative people. I just choose to not go near people who are not nice to me.
Let us know how it goes. L. :-)

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C.H.

answers from Atlanta on

Christina,
First you should know that you are not alone with the depression. And having family that are not sensitive does not help.

I forwarded this to a friend of mine, Pam, with an amazing story... her sister actually had PPD and killed herself. Pam has now started a non-profit org and is teaching women and doctors about this condition. She is a wonderful lady and I believe she will have some great info for you.

We do not live TOOO far away from each other... I do not knwo many people in this area either. Please drop me a line and maybe we can get together for the occasional play date... esp since the weather is getting better!!!

C. Hiebel
www.candlewealth.com/soy4u
www.braveheartwomen.com/kolohe

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S.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Hey, I'm sure you'll get a ton of responses. But I just wanted to say that I went through postpartm depression and you are not alone, millions of women feel like this even after the most joyous day of our lives. The best thing I did was to find a friend who also had a baby around the same age as mine. I did that through my husbands coworker but you could use a mommy day out day care and meet other moms while dropping off the baby... or even stay and meet everyone. I know this time is really hard. If you ever need to talk I'm here. My daughter is only 9 1/2 months old so it wasn't that long ago I was in your shoes.

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L.V.

answers from Augusta on

I totally understand how you are feeling. I went through something similar when my daughter was born. I married fairly young and got pregnant unexpectedly and miraculously. My friends were all still at work and either resentful of my ability to quit and stay home as they did not feel they could, or they had no children and could not relate at all. My mother was constantly on my case about what I was doing with my life - and she was a SAHM until we were all in school full-time! After reaching the point where my loving husband took me to the doctor to get some prescriptive help for my depression, we sought out things to get me out of the house. The MOPS and MOMS groups the others suggested are one of the groups I joined. Instead of just walking around the neighborhood, we went to the park to walk and met some other moms there. I went to the library to get books to read to her and found a story hour that was geared for infants and toddlers, and met other moms there too. You could try this while getting a book for yourself to read while hubby tends to the little one and you go sit at a coffee shop for an hour, or the like. If you like swimming, now is a great age to start finding out about mommy and me swimming classes. The YMCA has some awesome programs, and you and your little one can meet tons of other SAHMs there too.
I whole heartedly believe in therapy, too. Sometimes having someone else tell you face-to-face that you are doing great, and to help you figure out what it is that you really want to do is all you really need. I still go at least once a month to see a wonderful woman who listens to me ramble on about all the stuff that is bothering me, helps me to figure out how I am really feeling about my relationships, and to determine a course of action that I am comfortable with to try to take some of the stress out of my life. Sometimes you can find a group of friends to do this, but there are other times that you just need a third party to vent to.

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V.A.

answers from Atlanta on

Your were right about the support system. You recognized that one would help. Find out if there is a MOM's Club in your area. It is a support group for stay at home Moms. I joined one in my county (Fayette) when I had my first. Going from the working world to this world was a huge adjustment. I met a group of women that I totally bonded with. Some are new to the area and some were like me. It helps so much to be around supportive people who are in the same boat, experiencing the same things and never tire of hearing about various baby bodily fluid leakage. The web site for the organization is www.momsclub.org there should then be a link for your local one. I found ours by looking in the local paper at the calendar of events. And... don't write off your closest friend yet. That's a huge adjustment too. You are just at different points in your lives right now. If you want to talk or vent you can email me. V. at [email protected]____.com

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A.M.

answers from Augusta on

I really admire your dedication as a mom and wife. What a blessing your sister was able to spend time with you. Just always remember to pray - as you've discovered, the Lord will never forget about you.

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M.P.

answers from Spartanburg on

1) Join a MOMS Club (or something similar). This is a great way to meet other moms who are going through exactly what you are going through. They also usually have scheduled play dates and activities for the kids.

2) Do something for yourself. Take art lessons, sing in the church choir, volunteer at a museum, etc, SOMETHING that is yours alone and gets you thinking about something else. You'll be surprised what a simple night class at the local college can do for you.

3) Your friendship just might be over (sorry). If she's single and without kids, then she cannot relate to what you're going through. She just can't. People who don't have kids or have never been around kids don't understand the dedication that goes in to being a parent. And remember, a year ago you were gossiping about co-workers; now you gleefully discuss bowel movements. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just saying she can't relate. If you are really intent on saving the friendship, consider backing off any baby talk and concentrating on something else, then gradually ease her into it. Maybe you can take that art class together. Unfortunately, though, you might have to accept that you two are just too different now to ever be friends.

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D.G.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi Christina, I completely understand how you feel! My situation is a bit similar. I live in Belgium (hoping to move back to Atlanta sometime in the future - husband is Belgian). Before my son was born, 4 1/2 years ago, I literally had NO friends. I speak passable french, but it is really hard to have a good friendship with a language barrier, no matter how minimal. Anyway, I found out there was an American Woman's club nearby and I joined that. I wanted to be around other American women and more importantly, around other mom's with whom I could actually have a fluent conversation! I didn't want my son growing up isolated, since I didn't really interact with the Belgian women with kids, around me. It was the best thing that I did since moving here. I met a lot of really, really nice women (mom's) and some not living that far away from me! They had a Mother's of Young Children group which was perfect for me, once my son was born. I now have a few good friends, whom I met through that club.
I would highly recommend joining a Mommy and Me type group in your neighborhood and forcing yourself out of the house to go to the get-togethers. Once you are actually out of the house and there, you'll have a good time and even if it isn't so thrilling for you, your daughter will benefit from the interaction with other children.
You could also try Little Gym, if they have it in your area,the kids can start going there pretty early and surprisingly, they CAN do things with babies! I took my son when he was 6 months old and was a bit sceptical, but it was actually a lot of fun and I met some nice women there too.
I'd pretty much give up on your mom, it doesn't sound like she will be much help. I am in a similar situation. My mom lives 3 1/2 hours away, in Germany and NEVER comes here to visit the kids. She shows no real interest in the kids at all. I have learned to just accept it and keep her at arm's length - I have too much going on to deal with negative comments about every little thing I do or don't do.
I hope you can get a good group of friends to be around, soon. It will make you feel so much better, I am sure.
Good luck to you!!

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A.J.

answers from Charleston on

I felt much like you do when mine were babies. The thing that helped me the most was getting out and being with people. I was in a new town and knew no one as well. When i pushed my baby outside in the stroller, I met some other new moms in our neighborhood, I connected with the wives of guys from my husband's work, I joined a moms group, I searched out churches that were welcoming and friendly and offered ways to meet people, I went to the park, the mall, children's museums, etc. It really helped me and my babies to get out for some part of the day. I literally prayed for friends and a sense of community because my family was not very supportive and I was so grateful whenever I did connect with someone or make a friend. It was a lifeline for me. God bless you! A. J.

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K.B.

answers from Columbia on

Do you know the Lord Jesus, your Saviour? I would not have made it through my difficult marriage, and consequent divorce, without my faith in the Lord to carry me through.I will pray for you to come to the Lord if you do not already know him, and if you do, sounds like you need to lean on him and ask for guidance. You have been blessed with the most precious gift of a child, I have 4 wonderful blessings and my whole focus in my life is to raise them with as much love and christian guidance as I can, and enjoy them every day to the fullest. Shame on your Mother for not congratulaing you on such a blessed event in your life.Even though you have not obviously had a good support system, you need to find a good friend , one who has the same moral values that you hold dear, otherwise you will find that relationship to be very empty, and meaningless. Love your child and thank the Lord for her, and pray hard. Remember God answers in his own time, not on our schedule. Be patient, and just keep doing the next right thing, as a true friend of mine says every time I feel stuck.God Bless and Love that baby..maybe your next friend will be a Mom walking her child in the park.

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S.W.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi Christina,
I am sorry that your personal relationships are not doing well. I do not know where you live, but I would look into a local MOMS club. I belong to one here in Newnan and it has been fantastic. We have playgroup once a week and ladies night out once a month. I see them often. Some of the ladies I have become good friends with. We all have children about the same age and most of us are SAHM. I work part time at our local YMCA. Being a SAHM is not as fun and easy as everyone thinks it is, so kudos for you.

Have you had a talk with your friend? Is she a mother? My relationships to non mothers are a bit strained because it is so hard for them to relate to everything you are going through right now. I always make it a point, no matter who I am talking to, to talk about somwthing other than my child. I hope this helps a little. Keep up the good work and take care of your precious baby girl. Don't sweat the smal stuff. It goes fast. My son will be 3 in August.

Hugs, S.

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S.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Christina,

This is a big transition in your life. Think about it. You have a new baby and you are going from working to being at home full time. Your friendships are changing and although you did not mention it, your marriage will go through a transition as well. Everything about your day-to-day life is changing. And change is hard.

You mention you are taking medication. I hope you are also seeing a therapist. MD's these days rarely provide therapy and as you say, the meds can only do so much. I think it would be really helpful for you to have someone who can help you set some goals at this point in your life. There is no more difficult time to set goals than when you are feeling depressed and have no support system.

Friendships are usually for a season in life and it's not surprising that your friendship with your work pal is strained. You two are moving in different directions. In a few more months your daughter will be ready for a play group which will allow you to meet other moms. I encourage you to push yourself to take this step even if you don't "feel" like it. Often the good feelings will follow when we take the right actions.

It's a shame that your mother is so difficult. I can see that you very much want the relationship to thrive. But it may never be the kind of relationship you would like it to be, especially since you have tried to talk to your mom in the past and have seen no changes. Again, this would be a great thing to work through with a therapist. He or she may suggest that your mom come in for some sessions to see if you two can work things out.

I think you might mention the way you are feeling to your doctor to see if this is post-partum depression.

Have you shared this with your husband? Some men are better able to cope with sharing their wives feelings than others.

You also mention you like reading, swimming and walks in the park. Keep those things up. They are things you enjoy and even if you don't feel any particular enjoyment in your life right now, all of these activities are edifying to you and two of them involve exercise which will be a boost to your mental health. Hope this helps. Hang in there. It WILL get better. S.

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E.B.

answers from Spartanburg on

You are not alone. I know all about depression. I think a lot of us have gone through depression at one time or another. Do be careful of the medication you take and keep your doctor alerted if you think it is not working or making you feel worse. There is a site I would like for you to take a look at. It is www.FLYLADY.NET. The FLYLADY actually lives in Brevard, NC, and she developed this site after years of depression, feeling like she never accomplished anything in her house or her life, dealing with being put down by her mother, etc. You can just browse the site or you can sign up for the email testamonials that come regularly, which I would advise, because you will hear from people who are saying exactly what you are saying and how they are dealing with it. Please take a look at it. And any other Moms out there with young children should look at it, also, because I just can't say enough about how you can start feeling better after doing what she recommends. AND you will have a clean house and more organized life. Sometimes just being at home with a little one all day and trying to keep up with all the demands of the baby, the house, etc. is enough to make anyone depressed. So you hang in there and things are going to get better. (By the way, this site is free and I am not affiliated with it in anyway. I just do it and highly recommend it.) As for your support system, I promise you these people on this website will give you plenty of support. You know, sometimes I think some people have to make other people feel down to make themselves feel up. So remember that when your Mom is putting you down. Hang in there and I hope you have a wonderful day.

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J.L.

answers from Atlanta on

Christina, I too have been going thru depression and my son is now 17 months old. I tried meds but they did not work for me so just be really careful!!! You do have issues with family members but who doesn't!! You are NOT alone!!!! Sometimes it just feels good to vent. I know! Where do you live? Could we possibly get together? Coffee,walks, etc. Iam always looking to meet someone new to get to know. Good luck to you!
Johna
P.S. keep your chin up, I have to tell myself that there are others out there with worse problems than mine. (doesn't always help though)

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L.G.

answers from Spartanburg on

Christina,
My name is L. and I am new to the site and while reading all of the comments made yours hit home to me the most. I have one son who is 3 and being a mother is wonderful and has absolutely changed my life for the better. However, I remember right after my son was born I felt sad and then due to the sadness I would feel embarrassed. I am an ER nurse and my OBGYN is also a colleague of mine and I felt to talk to her about this was to mean I could not cut it as a mother. I never talked to my doctor at first like I should and a small baby blues turned into a full on depression. I had to call my mother and best friend whom I thank God for daily in the middle of the night because I had racing thoughts and moments of panic. I am very proud of you for standing up and getting medication that was needed and being able to share your feelings openly. I am sorry that you do not have the support systems that you need and hope you can find some friends near you that you have things in common with. A good place that I made friends is at Mother's Morning Out which most churches run and also at the gym. I wish you the best of luck and do not let your mother bring you down. She is lucky to have a daughter that brought her a precious gift of a grandchild in her life. If you ever need to talk you can email me at [email protected]____.com and hope your day is brighter knowing you are NOT the only one to ever feel this way.

03-25 I read all of the updates that you have had and am glad to know that you are feeling better than the last time you wrote. Continue to build your relationship with your sister as I know they can be some of the best friends God can send no matter how young. Also your friend must value you greatly to admit her feelings as well so nurture the healthy relationships and sadly distance yourself from the negative energy. You may continue to go through these sad boughts at times but do trust in God and your loved ones. Wishing you much joy in your life.

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M.F.

answers from Atlanta on

Hello Christina, I feel you delima. I know what it feels like to be lonely and isolated. Although my exeperience is different none the less we have some things in common. I am new to GA and initially, often I felt lonely and depressed. I have a three year old. I really felt for her I did not know anyone or any children she could connect with.

Anyway, I have been successfull meeting other STAH Moms through meetup.com (this website list all sorts of hobbies, activities and connections). I have met great people this way. Also Google Moms Groups and see what comes up. It is important to connect with other moms and get out of the house. I also found a GREAT moms group through a church. Dont be afraid to reach out to other moms. Moms understand and are often times going through similar situations. Sometime our prior friends, esepcially those that do not have children - DO NOT UNDERSTAND and our connection with them is lost. I have lost several friends after the birth of my daughter, but I have gained many, many more who I can relate too even better. Seek and ye shall find! Good luck

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E.G.

answers from Atlanta on

Christina,

I can relate. I moved here from California about two years ago with my husband and then two and a half year old daughter. We have since added our one-year old to the mix (via a LOT of fertility work - I'm 43). I have these people in my life who, when all is said and done, are my touchstones in this world. What I do NOT have, though, is much of a family connection to speak of. I've got family, but it is a veeerrrryyyy delicate relationship, filled with a lot of years of hurt and pain, the majority of which I struggle every day with, trying to master the fine art of forgiveness.

Your mother sounds remarkably insensitive, bordering on emotionally retarded. To take your announcement of your pregnancy ... really such a blessing, Christina, and spit in your proverbial punchbowl .... man, I just wanna slap people like that.

As for your anxiety/depression issues, well, gee, I wonder where those came from. Seriously, Christina, I can relate. Where do you live? I'm absolutely available to talk, either by phone or in person. I live in Canton (Harmony on the Lakes). Gimme a shout girl!

E.

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M.B.

answers from Augusta on

Christina,
You sound like a really loving mom! You want to do what's best for your family and your baby and you want to enjoy this time. I know the feeling. Though I'm a mother of five now, my first was REALLY hard. Long labor, fussy baby, clueless husband and family far away. From the distance of nine years it seems obvious why and that I was depressed, but when your in the middle of it, it's really hard to see what there is to do. First of all, don't blame yourself(and don't look a baby magazines and think everyone else is blissfully happy staying at home with their babies!). Second, take time out, even in little increments. Hand the baby to your husband (even if she's screaming) and go to the store for 30 minutes or an hour. You will be amazed how even little escapes recharge your batteries. Your baby will be fine without you for short absences and you will be better for it. I don't know how supportive your husband is, but don't let him give you the "she wants you" look everytime the baby cries. You give her sooo much of yourself, and you need to insure your sanity to be a good mom. Take care and take heart that no matter what you feel, your not the only one who has felt it!!!
M.

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M.H.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi Christina,

You have gotten a lot of good advice here and I won't repeat it all. Yes, we all go through depression, especially after the birth of a baby. Friendships and relationships can not dictate your happiness though. They are an integral part of life but like someone said, there are seasons. Just remember the good times and go forward.

I do want to caution you about the meds. They have a tendency to turn on you when you least expect it. Anti-depressants and drugs of that nature have a common side effect OF depression, and other uncontrollable behaviors. They also have to be weaned off of because they are so dangerous to the brain.

Exercise, not for your weight, but for you mind. Exercise causes endorphins which alleviate stress and cause a feeling of contentment. It will help with general depression and also post partum will go away sooner...A good absorbable multivitamin will also help because it will balance your body.

Don't worry about anything but the baby now. Enjoy her and know that that is a relationship you will have forever. And nobody loves you like your kids love you!!!

God bless!

M.

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A.W.

answers from Atlanta on

Christina,

Try finding a moms group or maybe if you don't already start going to church. You can build great friendships with church. My family is my church. I have no one close by and my mother and sister are in Pennsylvania and we have a better relationship being so many miles apart then if they were nearby.

My son is 2 but I'm trying to lose weight and get pregnant, but if you in the Tucker area maybe we can meet for coffee or a walk in the park.

I work full time by Saturday mornings are great especially with spring coming. I plan on using Spring and summer this year to my advantage and being outside with my son every chance I get.
A.

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D.B.

answers from Augusta on

Good morning Christina, you said it best. You don't need anyone to solve it for you. Sometimes just saying things out loud or writing them down makes it all the better. Don't think that you are alone in the way that you feel; a lot of people go through emotional ups and downs; the difference is that you realize it and are doing something about it. Continue enjoying swimming, reading, and your long walks in the park; there you will find little pieces of happiness hold on to it. I want try and push God on you; I don't know your walk with Him, but I will tell you that is the way that I deal with everyhting I talk to Him and I know that He understands. See the world through the innocent and clear eyes or your baby girl until your eyes become clear enough to see through. Hang in there and know that God really does have everything in control. God Bless, Lenay

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L.K.

answers from Boston on

I know what it's like. I'm a SAHM and all my family & closest friends live over 1,000 miles away. I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl and wanted so much to be happy and enjoy it, but I was so overwhelmed and really missed people. I felt alone and isolated. I was stuck at home more than normal due to my c-section recovery and then needing another surprise surgery which made it impossible for me to care for my daughter for a couple months. I also felt like people were too judging in their comments rather than supportive. Most people learn to knock it off once told it's annoying and not helping. I actually told some people to focus on the things I'm doing right and only offer advice if I ask for it, or to think about how what they're saying will be perceived.
Anyway, I've now been home for 15 months and am loving it even more. My daughter is communicating and showing affection, which she couldn't do as an infant. And I'm taking her to Toddler Story Time at the library which helps me meet some people who might turn into friends. Getting out of the house has really made me a happier person and seeing how much my daughter loves it and how people respond to her is helpful to my emotional well being. I actually make myself leave the house and interact with some people everyday or every other day to make sure I don't fall into a rut.
I think getting involved in a couple programs, or developing some sort of routine will help you. It might be hard at first, but you'll most likely realize how helpful it is and feel better. Enjoy the simplicity of just being with your child, don't overwhelm yourself with chores or contemplating other people's negative comments. Focusing on negatives will always lead to a negative outcome, so BE POSITIVE. I know it's possible to feel better if you know yourself well enough to know what you need and do it. Take care of yourself-- That little girl is depending on you and your feelings/mood will form her future. Let it be a happy and optimistic one.

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H.T.

answers from Columbus on

My heart goes out to you. I have also dealt with depression since i was 14. I also have a troubled relationship with my family. My husband is awesome, but his job leaves me alone for long periods and it is difficult without a good support system to get through the rough times and even just the lonely ones. Creating your own sense of self esteem is difficult if you havent been brought up to value your own self worth. Counseling may or may not be an option to help you with that. Venting is ok. It helped me to join a moms group, not only online, but also a local one I could take the kids to and also see other moms, and make friends that way. Sometimes you have to create your own family when life doesnt provide you one that meets your needs. Dont feel guilty from distancing yourself from your mom especially if she treats you that way. Also keeping a journal helped me to release pent up emotion when I had no one to talk to or that could relate. Music also help distract me from my mood swings. Exercise in any form was also a great release when I make time to do it. It is difficult with an infant, so dont put pressure on yourself right away. Take everything in babysteps. It usually takes me two years to lose babyweight especially if I am nursing. Whatever you do, remember that the way you may be feeling now will change. Creating a support system will help it change faster. Even when I think I have had a handle on my emotions, occasionally I will have a set back and think I am back to square one, but I have learned to look back on what I have been through and know that I can get through most anything one moment at a time if that is what it takes. I hope you get through this difficult time and come through it learning more and more about yourself, including your strengths!! with which you can use to get you through whatever comes ahead, the rough times and the good ones to come. If you ever need to vent I am here!

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J.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Christina -

Oh sweet girl...I'm so sorry you are suffering. Relationships are so incredibly fragile - especially with those closest to us. I sure wish you had more support and more people speaking life to you. I went through post partum depression for a year after my third child was born...it was the darkest time in my life. It felt like I had a black rock just sitting on my chest that I couldn't remove no matter how hard I tried. I could not think myself out of it, pull myself up out of it...it was a constant presence that felt like it would never lift.

That being said, here's the good news. This too shall pass. No season lasts forever, even though it sometimes seems like it will. I have found that the best way to deal with these times is to focus on others. Looking for ways to do service for others, even little things like bringing a neighbor's paper up to their door for them or putting money in someone's parking meter that had run out, was medicine to me. When we focus on others, our problems just seem to get smaller somehow.

I will be praying for you...those are not empty words. Christina, you are a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, friend - know that joy is just around the corner and never lose hope of better days to come. In Psalms it says that "he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." psm 11:25

I'm not trying to fix you, just encourage. May you find some sweet joy in your life today to be thankful for :-)

Warmly - J.

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S.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Hey Christina!
I've been there. I had a friend who was such a wonderful buddy and when I got pregnant, things turned so odd between us. She would never come over to my house and had no interest in the baby. She wanted to hit the bars and gossip about things that had no interest to me anymore. In short, I grew up and she didn't but that didn't mean I didn't miss her terribly.

And your mom needs to stick it! Defiantly limit your time with her. She is not the pal you need in your life. That was hart for me to admit to myself too. I went through a period where every time my mom said something I would say "why do you ask?" and then I just let it roll into some other subject.

What about your husband? Are you friends with him?

And when I went out to look for new buds in my life I realize I had looked over some good people who were right in front of my face.

And lastly, I'll say this. I know now that you have to look deep inside people and "play the ball where it lies" in other words - truly love them and look deeper than what hits the surface. Your mom and the weight thing is just her own insecurity about herself. She thinks you'll be loved more if you are thin, she doesn't get that that is just not true. This bit of advice gave me the most peace.
Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi Christina,
First of all, congratulations on becoming a Mom and on the birth of your daughter! What a blessing.
When I read your e-mail, I was very compelled to write because I, too, suffered from depression with my first child, even though he was everything we could have hoped for and I was so excited about being a Mother. I also worked full-time beforehand, and then quit when he was born. Being a SAHM was so much harder than I ever thought it would be! I felt so isolated and lonely. I would get so depressed that I couldn't clean the house or even be happy about being with him. It was because, like you said, I didn't have much of a support system. My parents were helpful at times but I didn't get along with my mother at that time like you, either. AND she put a LOT of pressure on me to lose weight. And I was only a size 10 at that time! My husband started a new job that took him traveling quite a bit, that left me basically alone to handle everything. It was a really hard time. However, with my second child, who came 15 years later, I had figured out what I needed to make me happy. Here are some suggestions:
1) Get into a good church or whatever religion you are. Even if you are not religious, you will be amazed at how many other SAHMs you'll find there who are desperate for companionship just like you. No one will pressure you to become their religion, and if they do, find another place that will let you decide those things for yourself and do what is right for you. When your baby is walking, you can get her into a good Mother's Morning Out program at one of the churches and have a break for 2-3 hours. They're very affordable and the people that run them are gifted with kids and consider it their calling or they wouldn't be doing it, believe me.
2) Don't take your friend's distance personally. NO ONE can understand what it is like to be a parent until they become one and your lifestyles are just radically different now. That will change when she has kids, but if it doesn't then maybe the friendship wasn't as deep as you thought. I had several friends who I thought were close but it turned out they were only close as long as I was working with them. They just don't get it.
3) GO BACK TO WORK? I'm sorry, that one drives me over the edge. What do they think you are doing all day? YOU ARE WORKING!!!!! You are working to RAISE A CHILD, and that is the hardest job on earth and don't EVER let anyone accuse you of not working. You work 24/7 365 a year with no paid vacations, no lunches with your girlfriends, and no yearly reviews or even an "attagirl". It is no cakewalk having children. BUT, it IS the most important thing you will ever do and one day, the results of your decisions will be apparent to all when your kid is a healthy, well-adjusted, smart, loving, great person.
4) Speaking of lunches with your friends, do try to find good child care just so you can get out and have a break once in a while. Get back into the "land of the living", you know? Just a couple of hours to be your own woman again does wonders for your psyche. Get your nails done. Have lunch with a friend. Reach out to other moms!
5) Do try to get some activity in your life. Even just putting the baby in a stroller and walking around a mall is good for you, and it makes you feel more connected to people. Another good place to find other SAHMs is at your local fast-food restaurants where they have playgrounds. That's where we hang, baby!
6) Just remember that this time when your kids are infants and so helpless is TEMPORARY. It will pass by and you'll turn around one day and wonder what happened. Quicker than you think, too. Persevere. It'll get better, I promise.
7) Get your husband or whomever to take you out to eat once in a while. They key is to find reliable help with the baby. She won't like it at first, but don't worry about that because they are born manipulators and they never want you to leave them. But you HAVE to leave for your own sanity, and when you get back, you'll be a much better Mom for it.
8) The Internet has helped me stay connected to my friends and family a lot. If you don't have DSL or Broadband, GET IT, and stay in touch that way.
9) Do not hesitate to find good help when it comes to cleaning your house or doing that kind of stuff that just takes so much energy right now that just the thought of it makes you cry. It doesn't cost that much to get your house cleaned once a month and it is well worth it just for your mental peace of mind. It'll make you feel like you're more in control, too. I know didn't complain about that one, but as women we are so trained to think it's all up to us, when in fact it isn't! There are plenty of other ladies out there who do this for a living who would love to have you as a client and they are mothers, too, so they understand your situation.

Well, I know I have really gone on a long time but just also know this: WE ALL UNDERSTAND BECAUSE WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE. I hope this helps and keep in touch!

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