I had/have so many feelings of guilt about motherhood. Guilty that I miss my friends. Guilty that I miss my job. Guilty that I didn’t breastfeed my baby. Guilty that I didn’t take those cute hospital pictures of my baby. You know the ones with the cute swaddle and big bow, with the letter board showcasing the baby’s name and birth weight…. Guilty that I didn’t dress my baby in a “coming home” outfit. She came home in a white onesie with no bow, because first time mom here didn’t know bows come in different sizes, so all the ones I packed were too big for her little head. Guilty that I’m not enjoying every moment of my newborn’s life.
The list goes on and on, really.
I’m finally at a point where I can look back and give myself a little grace (15 months later). I can finally accept that I suffered from pretty severe postpartum depression and anxiety. I can say out loud that I CURRENTLY suffer from depression and anxiety. I can look back at those moments in the hospital and the days to follow coming home, and realize that I was barely holding on. I was barely keeping my head above the water, when my mind just wanted to drown and let go of how hard my life now was.
I have many thoughts and feelings of regret around quitting my full-time corporate job to stay home full time, but I’m finally accepting that in that moment (16 weeks postpartum), I was mentally incapable of returning to work. My depression and anxiety were too crippling to be both a mom and a corporate employee.
Accepting all these feelings of guilt and emotions of my depression and anxiety are what is helping me heal. I am still a good mom. My baby is so deeply loved, she is healthy and fed, and she is safe.