Yesterday Little Man and I started to watch the film Elf during our quiet time. The premise is Buddy (Will Ferrell) is a baby in an orphanage who manages to climb into Santa’s sack and is taken back to the North Pole and raised by elves. If my memory serves me right, later, as an adult and after being told he is in fact human, he ends up going to New York to find his birth parents and where he gets up to all kind of lovable fun. Sounds light and cheery right? Well, we watched it last year and everything was cool so I didn’t really think anything of it. That is until LM, looked at me teary eyed and said “where’s his mummy?”
Wow. I totally forgot about any awkward questions that could arise from the first two minutes of this film. I quickly explained that maybe his mummy wasn’t well enough to look after him and so the other nice lady was doing it until she could, then silly Buddy got in Santa’s sack.
This explanation did not seem to soothe him in the slightest and I was met with a sobbing LM repeating “he’s lost his mummy” over and over again.
Now, the reason I’m telling you this is not to fill your heart with festive cheer due to a happy Hollywood ending. The truth is he became so upset that I had to turn it off and cuddle him on the couch while we watched Wallace and Gromit to calm our nerves.
The point I’m getting to is it’s funny how some things happen in our day, seemingly small but give you exactly what you’ve been missing. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and frustrated this week, Hubby has been working away and the girls are teething and teething hard. Copperhead is going through a particularly clingy phase and my Tuesday was all about juggling two screaming, unhappy babies. When I was holding one the other would cry and so began my spiral.
My patience was wearing thin, I was starting to wonder if I could keep getting through days like these. To be perfectly honest, I started to believe the PND hype that I wasn’t good enough, that my children would be better off without me because I’m just not enjoying any of it. In my darkest hour I even thought about how I could end things to cause the least pain to my family, what could I do so that Hubby didn’t have to find me. All the while my head is doing two things – quickly working out my options AND appreciating how my priority was still my family. How it wasn’t something I really wanted to do, it was simply me believing that I wasn’t good enough, that my children deserve something different, something better.
I don’t need to have the cliched story book ending where I tell you that simply seeing my children smile and laugh lifts my mood instantly. But seeing my son cry his heart out at the thought of not having me in his life, well that, THAT, was enough to make me never consider that scary option again.
This post has taken a darker turn than I envisioned at the beginning but that’s how I roll. I won’t celebrate mediocrity in regards to parenting but I will always speak from my heart. I will tell you when I’m struggling at times – even around this joyful period – but also when I’m not because that’s just life. I appreciate this post may seem scary to some, the subject matter is confronting. I’m okay with that but it’s fine if you’re not. All I can say is please don’t be scared of my PND darkness because I’m not. It’s part of my journey and with each passing down day comes two good days. I’ve been able to turn something nasty into a gift many times and quitting is simply not an option because it’s not just me I’m fighting for.
Merry Christmas Post Natal Depression, may your future be merry and bright.
If you are feeling down and/or suicidal then please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.