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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It’s Been a While

Three days. In just three days my little girl will be one year old. I never thought I would have kids. For a long time, it was a choice. I had decided that I couldn’t stand children. The sticky fingers and the sassy attitudes and being responsible for raising a human. It was all too much. I was never going to have kids.

When Alex and I got engaged, I broke down. I cried to him for hours because I didn’t think I could have kids. My reasoning had become more mature. This time it was because my menstrual cycle was so irregular that I was convinced it couldn’t happen. I felt broken. I didn’t think I could make a family with my soon-to-be husband. Thankfully, he assured me that it didn’t matter to him. And we got married.

When I didn’t have my cycle, I assumed it was because that’s just how I was. Then the sickness started and I discovered that, despite my previous expectations, I was going to have a baby. And I was thrilled! But along with the excitement, came a whole new kind of anxiety. This time it was real. I was going to be a mom!

Naming the baby, getting everything ready, moving, maturing, etc… it was all so much to do in such a small amount of time. But once my little girl was here, I knew I was ready.

I am very much an activist for gender roles. I believe that women are (generally) more feminine, and that men are (generally) more masculine. I believe that there are things women are better at than men, and things that men are better at than women. Otherwise, what’s the point in having a gender at all? That being said, being a mom came so easily to me. Changing diapers, making bottles, comforting a crying baby that refused to sleep… All of it came naturally.

I was able to receive my patriarchal blessing in November. What it says will always be very close to my heart. Members of the LDS church who have recieved theirs or have prepared to know of the sacredness of this blessing and know that it’s a very deeply personal message from our Heavenly Father. My sharing a piece is not to be taken lightly, which I why I will remain vague. In my patriarchal blessing, I learned, that everything I was made to do, every talent I was given, and every interest I have, all of it, was given to me to make me a mom. And I will always be grateful for that.

Unfortunately for my husband, that is a big factor in making me super baby hungry for #2.

I can’t even express how lucky I am to have my beautiful little girl. One year has passed so quickly. I wish I could go back and take a million more pictures. But I am so excited for all there is to come.

A big thank you to everyone that has been a part of my family’s life this year.