I've been thinking a lot lately about how far I've come as a mother. Most people know about my battle with Post-partum depression, and how horrendous it was. It may get deep here for a quick moment, so bear with me. Shortly after Emmalyn was born, I was convinced I was going to die--that something was terminally wrong with me. As time went on and I wasn't feeling any better, I wanted to disappear. I wanted to float away on a cloud, have my mom take care of my daughter, and return when I felt like myself again. Flash forward (to almost) four years, and I haven't returned to myself again. I've returned as a much better person.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helped me immensely. It aided me in becoming a better "me". I was at the lowest of lows. You can't get any lower than being brought to the emergency room, stating you're suicidal, then being admitted to a behavioral hospital. On the ambulance ride from the ER to the behavioral health hospital I kept demanding answers from God, "Why? Why is this happening to me? I'm a good person, so why? Why?! Why?!!"
I now know why. God challenged me in ways I never knew were possible. He was stripping down my insecurities and building up my strengths. He was doing this so I could be the best mother possible to my daughter, and future children.
My spit-fire of a (almost) four year-old (!??!!) challenges me nearly every day. She can sometimes make me question if I'm doing a good job as a mother. She can overwhelm me and get my blood boiling with her gold medal temper tantrums. But she's also tangible proof of my triumphs. She was put on this Earth by God to make me a better person.
I needed help. I couldn't do it on my own. Life isn't easy. It's hard! No one should have to carry all the burden and do it alone. Sometimes reaching out for help is the kick-start we need to becoming our better selves. I know it was for me.
The other day when we were putting Emmalyn in the car, my husband called her a "doll baby." Emmalyn shouted back, "I'm not a doll baby--I'm a human!" We laughed because it was so cute and innocent coming out of a three year-old's mouth, but it stuck with me on a deeper level--because it's true: We are human.
First and foremost, we are human. There are going to be days where we question if we're doing the right thing. That's "only human," as the saying goes. If you and your baby are fed, bathed, and clothed, you are doing the right thing.
We cannot be so hard on ourselves. I know I am doing the right thing. YOU are doing the right thing, my friend. Because after all, we are human.