After I had Rylie (who is now 5), I knew I was struggling, but everything came to a head after J was born. I really wish I could say that I have all happy memories from the time that both of my kid’s came into this world until now, but that was not my experience. I struggled with my rage, anxiety, and depression (that was undiagnosed). I just figured this was what all moms experienced, right? Motherhood is so hard and takes so much of ourselves to care for these tiny humans who rely solely on you to survive every day. I just thought I was in the thick of it and it would get better eventually.
I will never forget one particularly bad day when Rylie was 2 and J was 1. Both kids wouldn’t take their regularly scheduled naps (which are a huge deal in my house because that is when I am able to decompress and reset myself for the afternoon) so my anxiety and rage were already off the charts. The whining and crying felt like it was piercing my ears and I could not escape. It almost felt like my home was a prison that I could not get away from and that these kids were just draining the life out of me. As difficult as this is for me to admit, my rage was so out of control that some times I would throw random objects just to take my rage out on things that were not the kids. On this day, it happened to be a hairbrush. One hairbrush. Now, that might not seem like a big deal, but when I tell you that it made me spiral out of control that day, that is not an understatement. It was a baby hairbrush so it was soft and small and we used it every day to brush the kid’s hair. And I threw it. And it got lost. Again, it might not seem like a big deal, but I remember thinking to myself “HOW COULD YOU DO THAT?! What are you going to tell Joe about where the hairbrush is?! How irresponsible. You are such a bad mom and you can’t control yourself”. These negative thoughts invaded my headspace for what felt like hours. Looking back, of course this was not normal. I was not a terrible mom for losing my cool, I was actually suffering pretty badly but I could not verbalize what I was feeling to anyone who I thought would understand it. It was such a dark time in my life that I look back on it now and I am not sure how I got there. I only wish I could have pulled myself out of it sooner.
A few hours later I did find the hairbrush. I was so happy when I found it that I cried. I cried tears of joy because I found a hairbrush that I thought was lost forever and that made me a terrible mother. How silly, right? But in the moment, it was not silly to me, it was a very big deal. That is what my PPD & PPA felt like. Like the world was ending over the silliest things that I did not have control over.
Of course I did get the help that I needed for my depression and anxiety, but I just wish I had known sooner that postpartum rage was a thing. Maybe if we had more open conversations instead of scrolling through Instagram and Facebook and seeing all of the “best moms” out there, I would not have felt so alone. So if you are a mom going through a postpartum period and are feeling like things are super tough, it’s because THEY ARE. And you are doing a great job. I remember reading once that if you worry about being a bad mom it’s because you are NOT ONE. I hope my page makes you feel a little less alone. 🤍