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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.