Me and my girl walking together
In March of 2020 when the world shut down and everything began to stop, my world changed rapidly. Three weeks before we were forced into quarantine, I became a mom to a beautiful baby girl. In the months that followed I went through a breakup, was laid off from my job, and moved back home to Michigan after living in North Carolina for the past few years.
Once we got settled back home I was finally able to be still. Suddenly a wave of sadness washed over me. There were days when I would sit in the bathroom while my baby slept and just cry. I was unsure of why I was sad at times and I often felt guilty for how I felt. I was in a space where I had support and I spent my days loving my little one, but I still felt empty.
I wasn’t sure if I was experiencing postpartum depression or the same depression that I struggled with most of my life. During my pregnancy I struggled with depression, but felt a strong responsibility to keep myself in good spirits because I did not want to transfer that energy to the tiny human with whom I shared my body. After she was born all the feelings I had suppressed resurfaced.
I knew I had to do something to lift my spirits, so instead of being in the house, we got outside. Every day after bottle time I put her in her stroller and we would walk until she fell asleep. It was my time to breathe and just be. Walking has always been like therapy to me. There is something about the wind blowing on my face and my feet hitting the pavement that calms me. Now it was something I shared with my daughter, and with every step I began to feel better.
We walked into the year 2021 and I went back to work for the first time since I gave birth.
I started to feel like myself again and it was a reminder that even though I am a mom, that is not all I am. Being a mom is my favorite title, but it is important that I do the things that are just for me. Those things are writing, going to the gym when I can, sometimes listening to my favorite song, and taking the long way home from work just to get an extra few minutes of “me” time.
Being a mom is a selfless job, but over time our babies need less of us as they grow and find their independence. I think it is important that we take care of ourselves just as much as we take care of them. When we have those feelings, allow ourselves to feel them and find healthy ways to express them.
On my low days, I still walk.
But now I no longer walk alone, but with two little feet beside me.
This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers,
About Jasmine. . .
My name is Jasmine and I pride myself on being a writer, teacher, and self proclaimed world’s fastest diaper changer transitioning to a potty trainer. The title I hold that is my favorite of all is mother to an amazing toddler who makes all my days bright and full of non stop energy.
Read Jasmine's other blog post:
Want more information on this topic or others like it? wichealth.org has a free online category packed with lots of lessons and postpartum information titled Pregnancy and Baby's First 6 Months. We invite you to check it out!