An Open Letter to my Children

My dearest Lacey and Ben,

I love you both so much. Neither of you will understand the joy you’ve brought to my life until you’ve had your own children. I’m constantly amazed at how I ended up with the two most perfect children ever! You’ve both slept through the night at a month old, eaten like champs, been healthy as could be, and you’ve both loved me since the day you were born. You mean the world to me, and that’s why you need to understand.

Mommy is sick. It’s not a sick that makes me cough or gives me a fever. My brain is sick. It feels like I have two people’s thoughts in my head. I have my own thoughts of love and happiness. But I’m plagued with thoughts from somewhere else of anger and frustration and sadness. These thoughts make me want to leave. They tell me to leave my happy life with you and go somewhere else. They tell me to forget you and move on. They tell me to be a person that I am not. They tell me that you don’t need taken care of. They tell me to ignore your cries and requests. They tell me that my life is not a happy one.

I know these negative thoughts aren’t mine. I fight against them every day to try to be a good mom. Some days are better than others, but some days the thoughts are too much to fight. Some days we color and giggle and play together and have so much fun! Some days I struggle to get off of the couch while you binge watch Sofia the First on Netflix. Some days I can’t get enough of you! And some days I’d rather clean than be around you.

 
Even though you’re both so young, and probably won’t remember this, I want to tell you that I’m sorry. Since Ben was born, I have been under a lot of stress. And I, stupidly, decided to keep it all to myself as to not bother anyone. This factored greatly into my developing Postpartum Depression (PPD).

PPD is what causes these thoughts and makes it so hard to be happy. It’s what makes it so hard to be your mom. I wish you could understand how much I love you, and how guilty I feel for any negative thought I have about being your mom. I pray constantly for this to go away. I’ve plead with God to comfort my mind. It helps some. He’s helped give me strength to fight the thoughts that I can’t escape. He’s also helped me not become a danger to you.

I know I don’t feel like myself. And I know that life shouldn’t feel this hopeless and miserable. I promise that I will get better. It might not happen quickly, but it will happen. I don’t like feeling this way. And it takes a lot out of me to constantly fight it. But you both give me strength!

PPD is not something to be ashamed of. A lot of women deal with it. It is possible that you both will experience it, whether Lacey develops it or Ben’s future wife does. It is important to remember that life is not meant to be suffered through, no matter how hard our trials may seem. “Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured,” as President Hinkley counseled.

I love you so much. I’m so grateful for the love you’ve shown me even through these hard times. I’m so blessed to have each of you.

I love you.

Mom

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