I don’t know how I got so blessed to feature such amazing people this month! Allison Hardy is an amazing woman, fellow Christian, Team INSPIRE teammate, and Huffington Post author!! Did you catch that last accomplishment?! She has earned that honor because has made a huge impact with her business to help other mommas ramp up businesses AND serving women to prioritize self care… not to mention her courageous writing where she covers real life topics that are not talked about often enough! Be sure to check out her links below… AFTER reading this amazing post on something that
It was August 24, 2013, my 29th birthday, and I remember waking up angry. Angry at the world, angry at my husband and newborn son, and angry at God. Like uncontrollable angry. I got up and washed my face and looked at myself in the mirror. I didn’t even recognize myself. My stomach was flabby from 38 weeks and 2 days of growing another human, my breasts were engorged and ached, I had dark circles under my eyes that no amount of concealer could hide. I felt like a shell of who I was.
I was a mom to a two-week old little guy, a wife to a pastor, and it was my birthday. Between being recently laid-off, to enduring a less-than-perfect birth, followed by a subsequent less-than-perfect healing process, I was a mess. And postpartum depression was creeping in.
I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing and felt like a complete failure in all aspects of my life.
I thought about heading downstairs to sip some coffee in silence and maybe catch up on the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Whatever, when my son started to cry for me. As much as I loved this little guy, I really resented him. All I was good for was nursing every four hours, changing diapers, and holding him so he wouldn’t cry. When would I get my life back? When would I start to feel like me again? When would it get better?
And the truth is, it got worse before it got better. Postpartum depression robbed me of those early months with my son. It robbed me from enjoying the newborn stage. All I remember is feeling overwhelmed and anxious all the time. I have pictures of me smiling holding him, but I don’t even recognize that person. I was a shell of my former self, lost and confused and I just needed someone to tell me that it was going to be ok.
But that never happened.
You see Mama, in our society we don’t talk about postpartum depression. We don’t recognize that it’s fairly common and actually a pretty normal part of postpartum life. Our doctors mention that it might happen, but when you’re a happy, pregnant-for-the-first-time woman, you think it’ll never happen to you. So when it does, you ignore it. You sweep it under the rug, put on a brave face and tell everyone that you’re doing great. And every single time you have to lie to someone, it puts you farther and farther down that postpartum depression rabbit hole.
You think to yourself, “No one wants to hear about my problems.”
“This will end soon.”
“I just need to think happy thoughts and I’ll get better.”
“It’s really not that bad.”
And then one day my husband sat me down. He sat me down and asked me to get help. Heck, he practically begged me to get help. He said that he needed me to make a change and that he would do anything I needed to help “figure it out”. He told me he missed his best friend and needed his partner in crime back.
That was my wake-up call. Someone else had noticed.
It was written on the wall for months. I just needed someone to tell me that it was there. I had postpartum depression and I needed to get treatment for it.
Mama, sometimes the hardest thing is recognizing that you need help. Surrendering and getting the help you need. It’s actually the greatest act of love that you can give yourself and your family, a fully-functioning mother, wife, and self. Because if you aren’t fully you, you can’t fully give to the ones you love the most.
Allison Hardy is a business coach who helps mompreneurs raise their businesses and babies simultaneously, so that they can give and live in the way they desire most. You can connect with Allison through her free community Self-Care Simplified.