motherhood · postpartum

Support Plan

My husband keeps asking what we need to do to make me better. We’ve had this conversation for almost 5 months. My depression/anxiety started when Baby J was 4 weeks old after we’d spent the first 3 weeks of his life in and out of the hospital. At 4 weeks, it was that I needed time out of the house away from baby. At 4 months, it was that I needed a part-time nanny and my husband to take the baby more so I could concentrate on work.

Maybe I was just fighting the inevitable thinking that my mental health was wrapped up in how much I was doing for my family- high needs baby, demanding career including a switch in careers, household chores, finances, and daily management. I really was not interested in trying drug treatment for it and therapy did not feel right. At this point, I am trying to figure out what else I can do to alleviate the burden though.

  1. Get out of the house! I know this is a huge piece of why I have spiraled in the last month. Going from an office with coworkers and friends to being almost exclusively at home has been hard. I didn’t prepare for that. I go to La Leche meetings once per month, family usually visits once or twice a month, and the husband and I go to dinner or do things when we’re not working. My plan is to take a walk every afternoon that the weather is nice (which in Texas is most days lately) or bring the laptop outside for calls. I also would like to start working out of the house a few hours each week but I don’t know how that works yet. Maybe it’s going to Starbucks on hubby’s day off while he takes the little man. Today, I just worked from the back porch for an hour and got some sun and fresh air.
  2. Routine for time away: I am guilty of staying around the house either doing nothing (something my brain needs these days) or trying to clean up if my husband or family take Baby J. I need to make a point to actually take that time to get out of the house, take a bath or go to the gym. Something outside of staring at the baby and my husband play (something that does bring me great joy).
  3. Exercise! My mom had this suggestion last night that I should try exercising, specifically yoga, before trying therapy. I am actually a certified yoga teacher but since getting pregnant, I’ve done nothing exercise related with the exception of trying to walk that baby out. So I’m going to try 2 classes per week for 2 or 3 weeks and see how I’m feeling. I just need to put a plan in place for when to go and how to get coverage for the kiddo.
  4. Meal Prep: A friend of mine had meals delivered 1-2x per week for a couple of months after Baby J was born and it was incredibly helpful. Another friend just did Once a Month Meals for 30 days of frozen meals where they cooked all day to put away frozen dinners. I want to try it for a week or two week period, but I just need to find the time for someone to watch the baby while I do the meal prep side of it.
  5. Organize This Dang House: One thing that is stressing me out is that our house is in disarray. We built a new house while I was pregnant and moved in just 2 months before the little guy was born so I was big and pregnant and my feet were swollen so I couldn’t unpack and organize the way that I normally do. My mom and mother-in-law came up to help but things are a mess. Closets have random things thrown in them and there’s a whole room that never got unpacked. We also didn’t get around to landscaping so part of our front and backyards are dirt, which is not helping keep the floors clean. I want to get this house done. I plan to take some time while the nanny is here in the next few weeks to work through the house room by room.

Today, I am feeling a bit better with the maid having just spent 5 hours on a deep clean, being outside for so long, and I’m about to hit the grocery store after the nanny leaves. There’s still a cloud looming, but it’s not as big of one and I haven’t cried once today! Progress.

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