As I mentioned in my “cherry on top” award, I wouldn’t really change much about my life experiences because everything that happened led me to where I am today. And today is a pretty good place.
What I’d really like to do though, is go back and give some words of wisdom to the new mom that I became nearly nine years ago. Because she really needed to know that “today” would come.
As a new mom, I suffered from postpartum depression (PPD). Comparatively speaking, my case was pretty mild and running eventually pulled me out of it. I consider myself very lucky in that regard. Anyways, I spent the better part of the first months of Jones’ life sitting on the couch crying. I was exhausted (he was a poor sleeper). I was worn out (he nursed pretty much constantly.) I was stressed out (we were trying to figure out his food allergies.) I spent a lot of that time sitting in a semi-dark room feeling sorry for myself. I was convinced I’d never have time to run again and that I’d never get to go out and do fun things. Life was over. The rest of my life was just going to be dealing with this child with constant needs. Even after I began to recover, a night where Beer Geek had to work late or, even worse, had to travel for work would set me back.
A couple of nights ago, Beer Geek had a meeting after work, so I was alone with the boys from 1:00 until bedtime (plus I’d had Shoo for most of the morning.) And it was no big deal. My incredibly dependent baby has grown into a reasonably mature almost nine year old. He did his homework the minute he came home from school. He made his own sandwich for lunch the next day. He read a book. He played with his legos. He gave himself a bath. Even my almost five year old gave himself his own bath. Yes, there was some Wii, but in reasonable amounts. It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but I was able to make dinner, water the outside plants, clean up the kitchen. Heck, I even got a little bit of work done.
If I could go back, I’d tell my new mom self that it really wasn’t the end of the world. That even the most dependent babies (who am I kidding, he was an incredibly dependent toddler and preschooler and kindergartner…) eventually do give you breathing space and start doing things for themselves. That I would eventually get to run again (and that I’d even manage a couple of marathons.) That eventually my world would be bigger than my living room (and that it would happen sooner rather than later.)
I’m not sure if knowing how fast the time would fly would have made a huge difference in my PPD, but maybe it would have allowed me to appreciate those long hours stuck on the couch. Maybe I would have read more or watched a few movies. Maybe then I would have been able to appreciate Jones’ babyhood in the same way that I did eventually enjoy Shoo’s. Oh, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t tell my new mom self that Jones wouldn’t sleep through the night (by any definition) until after he was four or that at one month shy of 9 he’d still suck at sleeping. I’m not sure I could have handled knowing that piece of information LOL.
Is there a piece of wisdom you’d like to go back and tell your younger self? Do you think it would have helped you through a tough situation?