Oxygen Stat!

It’s time once again for Heather from Family Volley to share with us some Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips Series with Heather Johnson” here on The Idea Room. I for one, really enjoy all her great tips and advice on things that most of us as parents struggle with. Here’s Heather in her own words…

–Amy {The Idea Room}

 _______________________________________

Nine weeks ago, we had our fourth child. The delivery was great, no complaints about the recovery, and I love seeing her in the middle of the night when she is hungry. I tell myself I don’t suffer too badly from “the baby blues.” The first few weeks I feel very anxious. Then it starts to wear off and I am able to manage pretty well as my body adjusts. Some days are better than others, and there are tears here and there, but overall I try to fight through the depression.

Until…I have a day like yesterday.

Yesterday I sat down to calendar out the month of August. I have some big speaking engagements that are coming up, we have family coming to visit, the kids start school, I start teaching again, and that is just the beginning. I am not ready for my speaking engagements, the house is not ready for company, nothing is ready for the kids and school, and I still have a syllabus to write. Not to mention I am not ready to get back to the stressful grind that comes with the school year. And don’t forget, the laundry is not done.

As I sat in front of the calendar watching the days fill up, I could feel the walls closing in on me. I could feel the tears welling up, and the helplessness that can so easily take over after having a baby.  Over the next hour, it got worse. By dinner, I was in a very dark place. I was fighting off the darkness in my mind. I knew what was happening. I knew I was just tired so I felt overwhelmed. And even though I knew everything would be okay, I couldn’t get myself straight. I headed upstairs to nurse the baby and cried the entire time. After getting everyone in bed and cleaning up the kitchen, I climbed into bed. I lay there with tears in my eyes wondering if I could take care of our family and manage the month of August, and all the months that would follow. Laying there, I recalled a piece of advice my father gave me right after we had our first child (our son).

My parents were in town for a few weeks after our son was born. They could tell I was feeling overwhelmed by my new responsibilities. Not to mention the post part-um hormones had me completely sideways. As my dad and I sat on the porch talking, he asked me if I remembered the instructions they give you about oxygen masks when you fly on a plane. “Yes, if the cabin pressure drops, oxygen masks will fall from the ceiling.” I said. ” Do you remember the part about traveling with children?” He asked. “Um, sort of. Something about your mask and then their mask?” “That’s right,” he said. “They instruct you to put your mask on and then put the mask on the child.” “Why do you think they tell you that?” “Well, if the parent doesn’t take care of the themselves so they can breath, then how can they help the child.” I said. “Heather,” he said, “it is the same way with being a mother. Remember to take care of yourself so that you can best take care of your family.”

As I laid there thinking about this analogy. I realized that it had been a long time since I had put my oxygen mask on. Doing things for myself can make me feel guilty, but it shouldn’t. The oxygen mask is to give us life sustaining energy to do what has to be done better. When we think of it that way, it takes away the guilt. It also lets our conscience guide us so that we are not avoiding our responsibilities all in the name of “oxygen”. As mother’s and women we have a natural instinct to take care of everyone else’s needs. It is in us to nurture, and in doing so we push aside what we need so that we can care for those we love. Our responsibilities are so great, when we don’t feel like there is time to get everything done (which is everyday for me), the first thing we cut out is what we need. I am happy to report that today I am going to get lots of oxygen. I can feel the walls lifting and the sun is shining bright again. The darkness has faded and I am ready to take on August, and any other month that wants to be crazy busy.

How about you,…
DO YOU EVER FORGET YOUR OXYGEN MASK?
DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?

 

DO YOU EVER FEEL GUILTY DOING THINGS FOR YOURSELF?
 
Have a question or just want to say hello.


Comments

  1. says

    Dont’ you worry darlin. This is completely normal and natural. You will surely get your groove back in no time at all, this happens to all of us! We love you and are here for you. Take the time you need, make your kiddies more of those awesome pancakes, breathe breathe breathe lots of oxygen. And take care of yourself!!!

    xo
    Kate

  2. says

    thank you. I so needed to hear this today. I have been struggling on and off with ppd ever since my 3rd child was born, and he will be 4 in November! I keep wondering when I will “snap out of it”. but it has yet to happen. I love your dad’s analogy. I love that it came from your dad! He is one smart cookie. thanks for reminding me to take some me time!

  3. says

    I’m not a mother, and I know your post is dealing with something that is far beyond my grasp at this point. But I could relate to parts of it. I’m 23, and lost my mother 6 months ago to cancer. I’m living in a new city, have my first “real” apartment, and just finished my first year of grad school in May, which wasn’t easy. I’m often overwhelmed and depressed and have been hard on myself for not getting everything done and doing the things I enjoy the way I did in undergrad. Sometimes I feel like I just can’t keep up and everything is a huge mess. It’s been hard to prioritize grad school and two jobs with my family, my feelings, and all the other things that make up life. Thanks for your post- today was my mother’s birthday and another tough day. I appreciate the reminder that it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. I just have to take things slowly and as they come.

    • says

      Sarah, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. We don’t have to have kids to feel overwhelmed. As women, We feel we must be perfect, and that we have to juggle everything. I can’t imagine how difficult things are for you, but know that time for ourselves is vital, no matter what stage of life we are in. It sounds like you are doing wonderful things. I know you mother would be proud.

  4. Sandra @ My Bella Rose says

    Oh I can so relate! It is true that us mothers tend to take care of everyone else and forget about ourselves. What an inspirational post that we need to take care of us. Thanks for posting.
    Blessings,
    Sandra

  5. andie says

    I had a day similar to that actually today! Your dad is so right, never would have looked at it that way. thank goodness for dads! I think all mothers at some point throughout motherhood have experienced this. thank you for posting this blog made me feel better about my day :)

    • says

      Thanks Andie, your comment made me feel better about my day. :) There is comfort in knowing that we are not alone. Sounds like we could both use a little oxygen today.

  6. says

    Thank you for sharing that analogy. I may not be postpartum, but I do feel the walls closing in once in a while. I needed to read this. <3

  7. says

    I completely agree with and relate to your post. It is easier said than done, to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. I know I am usually last on my list. Unfortunately, then everyone suffers, because I then become quick to yell and scream at my kids. I get frustrated with my husband. I isolate myself from my friends because I just don’t feel happy. It is hard to get away from the guilt of taking care of yourself, but you have to find away. Glad to hear you are putting a positive spin on what could be a really hard thing to push yourself out of! Go take care of yourself, and I guess I better too!

    • says

      Laura, you’re so right, it is easier said than done. When we don’t take care of ourselves our families suffer. The exact people we want to help the most. It is a balance for sure.

  8. Maggie says

    You are NOT alone. My worst bout of PPD came after baby #2, I had a hard time even bonding with my beautiful baby girl, I couldn’t even give her a name! I was a wreck. My PPD always peaks around 6 weeks, and then the hormones tend to finally level off, but boy is it rough. I totally agree with the advice, we each need our own ‘oxygen’, vital to our survival. You can’t be a good mom if you aren’t being taken care of. It will get better. Just take more day at a time. Also say ‘no’ if you can’t do everything, and ask for help I know you have friends you can lean on do it, that is why we have friends and family to help us when we need it most. Prayers and hugs.

    • says

      Maggie,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I didn’t think after three kids that it would hit me at all this pregnancy. But then, just like you described, it hit later. I am not good at asking for help. Thanks for giving me the courage to start with that simple principle. The virtual hug was much appreciated. Thank you.

  9. says

    What a great analogy. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful post, I needed to hear it. I’m trying to pull through it, taking things a day at a time. Thanks again so much. Keep up the great work, I love reading your blog.

    • says

      Lindsay, thank you for your comment. I appreciated Amy letting me share on The Idea Room. It sounds like you are trying to pull through similar feelings. Your right, one day at a time really does help things be more manageable. Looks like we could both use more oxygen. I hope things get better for you. xoxo

  10. says

    I used to be the exact same way. My kids always came first…in everything I did!. It wasn’t until they grew up and started having children of their own did I realize that it was time for ME. Then I realized..I’m almost 50 yrs old…I don’t have the energy to do what I want. I’m too old to do a lot of what I’ve wanted to do.
    So…take care of you now. Put you first. I’ve seen other moms do it and their kids turned out great. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
    Great analogy from your father. Smart man. And he’s right..put on your oxygen first.

    • says

      Tina, thank you for your advice. It can be so hard for me to see the reality of things when I am in the situation. You have helped bring peace of mind, the kids will be okay if I take some time for myself. Thank you thank you.

  11. says

    Beautiful post! I’ve got a 6 month old, so I kind of need reminders like that myself right now. I know I should use my oxygen mask first, but often forget when I’m in the middle of the chaos of life. Your dad is smart!

    I also think it’s important to define self care. A lot of time, when people talk about mothers taking me time or time out for self care, they talk about going for a mani or to the hairdresser’s and things like that,. They’re all nice and important, but I think it goes deeper than that. It means going to bed a bit earlier if possible so we’re rested, trying to eat properly (not just graze) so we are fit and healthy (and have enough energy) for our kids, that we keep educating ourselves on parenting issues so we’re proactive not reactive, that we work on deepening our spiritual beliefs…

    • says

      Carin, . Thank you for the reminder. Those things like our physical and spiritual well being are the things that seem hardest to find time for. There always seems to be so much to do. I know that one of the best ways I can put my oxygen mask on, is to go back to the basics.

  12. says

    Fabulous post! Thanks for sharing your feelings. There are so many of us out there that suffer from mild to severe depression for one reason or another. In addition to just plain feeling overwhelmed as a momma. We’ve got to stick together and remind each other to take care of ourselves. I personally am the momma to two wonderful kids on the autism spectrum whose needs seem to never end. Though it took me a while, I did finally develop a testimony of taking care of my self first (spiritually, physically and emotionally) and then my marriage. Everything else seems to fall into place more easily when things are in balance.

    • says

      Annessa, it is comforting to know that none of us are alone. It sounds like it is a process for all of us. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to keep my testimony of taking care of myself, strong. xoxo

  13. Amy says

    I have suffered from depression routinely throughout the years. When I read things like this I am always so fortunate that other people are willing to talk about it. You can do it!

  14. says

    This is such an amazing post and a wonderful analogy. I have a 6 month old- he is my first and there have been more than a few times where I’ve needed to put my oxygen mask on. I’m really glad that you were able to remember back to when your father said that to you. Keep breathing and you will get through everything!
    And I’ll keep breathing too :)

    Bekah

  15. Heather says

    First, love you already because you are a Heather Ann just like me…yep! Without the E on Ann too! Never met another, but now I have to follow you! How Lovely! :) (Gotta call my Mom tomorrow–she will love this!)

    Second, your post arrived at just the right time…I am still up at 1:41AM writing this and tonight I am up late because I took that break for myself and did my crafts! Look who got lost in time! What a treat even though I will be tired tomorrow—its a great trade off for me because I look forward to these rare times now. I realized after all the mommy stuff I needed to create to calm myself from the chaos! I have a 2 yo daughter who taught this former “60/hr work week-stay connected always electronically-work is what defines me-work will fall apart if I am not there” power junkie to stop and just breathe. She was just what I needed…I now love my life as a SAHM, trading in my power suits & shoes for upscale sweats and sneakers, my perfectly done hair do to a pulled up pony tail, and why waste time with full makeup when I have more important fun things to do with my daughter that I just adore. I did a complete drastic change & I love it! Sage advice from your father…don’t we just love our dads! ;)
    -Another Heather Ann

    • says

      Heather Ann, I love it. I have never met another Heather Ann either. I have always loved my name. I hope that is not a bad thing. :)
      It sounds like you have made major life changes and you are loving it. I am happy to hear that it isn’t just me who stays up late to get a little oxygen for myself. And yes…we love our dads, a lot. Happy late night crafting.

  16. Sandy says

    I struggled with terrible PND after my first child (a boy), none with our second, (a daughter) and the moderately so with our third who arrived seventeen years later (another boy).

    I worked full time with the first two, going back to work in a very short space of time because I felt we wouldn’t survive if I didn’t. Looking back I realized how ‘oxygen deprived’ I was. It was a miserable time for all of us and I wish I’d made wiser choices for myself.

    With our unexpected but never for a second unwanted, third, I’d already decided that there was no way I was going to keep up my insane self-imposed schedule of being everything to everybody. I took six months unpaid maternity leave with an option to extend which I did. At the end of twelve months, the structure of the business had changed and my position no longer existed. At first I was worried about us coping financially, but it worked out. Our boy is now going on 13 and I’ve just this year increased my hours to about 20 a week. Making these decisions has allowed me to keep breathing and stay out of the deep dark depths.

    Your dad gave you some sterling advice. It reminds me of the scripture: love thy neighbour, as thyself – so glad to see you’re remembering to love yourself. :)

    • says

      Sandy, thank you for sharing your personal experience. It means so much, and gives great hope. I have never thought of that scripture quite that way. I am off to type it up and put it on my bathroom mirror. Thank you for the enlightenment.

  17. says

    I can not even begin to tell you how much I needed to hear this right now. I have struggled with ppd since my 3rd child and she will be 5 this October! I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS put everyone else first, never take time for myself and it shows. I hate what a bad example I am setting for my 3 little girls but I can’t seem to snap out of it. I ALWAYS feel guilty indulging even for a second at putting “my own oxygen mask on” I know I need to but it is sooo hard to break away from what you have done your entire life. Here it is 5am and I am unable to sleep because those walls keep coming up around me. But I must say I am so grateful that I grabbed my laptop, opened it up and saw your post. It made me cry, realizing I really need to change my ways and put my own “oxygen mask” on first, even if the first few times kills from guilt! It should get easier with time, right? :) Thanks again!

    • says

      Amelia, I am so glad that this helped. Recalling the advice brought hope to me also. Now the task is remembering it everyday, before the walls start to close in. :) It will get easier with time, I know it. Here’s to fighting the same fight.

  18. says

    P.S. I needed this so much I’m going to print it out, place in a sheet protector and place it somewhere I will be sure to see if not read everyday to remind me that I need to take time for myself, guilt free. :)

  19. says

    I remember crying in the middle of the night with my first. I’d never sleep again, I was sure of it. I had to go on Prozac for a few months with my second. I kept feeling like I’d never have enough time, love, etc. to take care of more than one child. My third is four months old and I’ve been lucky to not have anything this time.

    I love your dad’s analogy of the oxygen mask!! I hear moms say they feel guilty for buying themselves new clothes or for taking a few hours to themselves. But we need it. You cannot take care of your family if you don’t first take care of yourself!

    Thank you!

    • says

      Jenica, so happy to hear that things with your third have been better. The guilt can take over so quickly if we are not taking some time for ourselves. Here to taking a nap today with no guilty strings attached. :)

  20. Trish says

    Wow! That’s a great story. Sometimes I feel that way too and right now is one of those times so thank you for sharing because I think I needed to hear this today.

  21. Shandra says

    This post could NOT have come at a better time for me! I had baby #4 5 months ago, while my husband was home on leave from a year long deployment. I feel like I had stayed strong for that whole year and when my husband came home for good about 7 weeks ago, I fell apart. I had a year where I HAD to put everyone else first because I was being mommy AND daddy, but I need to remember now that he’s home, that I need to put ME first sometimes. Thanks for the wisdom from a kind father. Hopefully we can take it to heart!

    • says

      Shandra, what amazing strength you have to sacrifice your husband for our freedom. I can’ imagine going it alone like you have been. I hope that you can find some time for yourself, and for you and your husband. Thank you for your comment. Your strength gives others hope.

  22. says

    This is a great post! I wish more people would talk about how overwhelming it is to have a baby. I was so overwhelmed after the birth of our first daughter. I just cried nonstop and was so completely exhausted. But everyone always portrays those first few weeks as such a wonderful bonding time, nursing looks so easy (it’s not) that you rarely see how hard it can be. I know try to tell expectant moms to expect some challenges after giving birth. I have heard others use the oxygen mask analogy before (Suzie Orman uses it when talking about finances and saving for your children’s college fund) but I love how you used it and it is a wonderful reminder that we need to take care of ourselves. August is a time of vacations and fun for many but also a time of anxiety as you try to pull everything together for back to school. Thank you for sharing something so personal and givins us all a great piece of advice to remember.

    • says

      Kristen, thank you so much for your comment. We do seem to keep quiet about all the physical and emotional changes that take place when we have kids. It seems we only address them after something goes wrong, or the walls are already closing in. It is a hard thing to talk about, but it is easy to see, just from the comments, that talking about it is imperative.

  23. Megan says

    great post. I have an almost 4 year old and a two year old with twins coming next month! I am already feeling overwhelmed! This is great advice to remember during those “dark times”!

    • says

      Megan,
      Congratulations on your upcoming twins. What a blessing. Be sure you give yourself a little extra oxygen and surround yourself with help. You can do it!

  24. Jessica says

    I think you followed me around and wrote this! I, too, had my 4th baby–just 8 weeks ago. Swap out the speaking engagements for photo sessions and we are in the EXACT same boat. Thank you for sharing your experience with this. I really needed it today. You’re a lifesaver. <3

    • says

      Jessica,
      Congratulations on number 4. It brings comfort to know that other women understand, so thanks for your comment. Looks like we could both use a little time for ourselves. Glad to hear the advice helped. When I am speaking, I will be thinking about you talking pictures. :) Good luck. (our newest addition was born May 24th, how about yours?)

  25. JIll says

    Thank you so much for posting this! My baby is 10 mos now. I developed postpartum depression after he was born. I spent many days and nights in that “dark place”. You can read about my experience on my blog. The post is titled “Abide with Me.” I love the analogy! I’ve struggled with taking care of myself this go round. In fact, this month (Aug) I am pushing myself to put makeup on everyday, no matter what. That used to be easy for me, but dark times change a lot of things.

    I love your blog! I’ve made many oven mitts as gifts thanks to your tutorial. AND I’m always reading in my google reader as a subscriber. Keep posting!

    • says

      Hi Jill, thanks for your comment. Funny, I have “Abide with me” on a tile in our nursery. Boy has it provided comfort to me as I have spent many a long, dark night rocking babies in that room. What good advice to set small goals each day (like putting on your makeup). Talking things one day at a time. I hope things are getting better for you.

      Isn’t The Idea Room a great blog. I too have used Amy’s oven mitt tutorial. Love it. I enjoy checking in each day to see what she is up to.

  26. says

    just posted your blog to my fb. my husband and i JUST had this conversation yesterday. he instructed me that we’re looking at the calendar this week and getting time scheduled for me to have a day “off”. i just became a stay at home mom with our 8 mth old son. i had no idea how i would quickly feel like i was never “off” work! my husband is a college minister at a large church so we are very busy (as is the rest of the world). so when he gets home we’re off to do something and it is not time for daddy to take over or give me a break. we are VERY blessed and fortunate that both of our families live here so we have willing, ready, and open arms from 2 grandmas at all times. but i love my baby and miss him when we’re not together. i’m miserable though when things are messy and undone at home. it’s a dance to learn. and your post is another step in my learning the dance. thank you :)

    • says

      Melissa,
      That is kind of you to share the post. I am glad the analogy helped. Your right, Being a mother and wife, it is a dance. Just when I think I have mastered all the steps, they change. Yikes. What a sweet husband, he realizes the importance of “oxygen” also.

  27. Will says

    How can I help or encourage my wife to take care of herself better. I feel like as soon as the schedule is free’d up in some way, she finds a way to fill it back up. I love her and want her to be well. She is my best friend, I am so worried for her.

    • Heather says

      Schedule her a spa day, even if its just toes! Or just time alone in the bathroom in a hot bath can do wonders too! Look maybe to schedule her a lunch date with a friend, minus the kids…that will keep her “scheduled” and not be able to fill it up with something else like laundry or grocery shopping! I know that its tough at first if you aren’t used to it, but a little TLC can go a long ways. Kudos to you as a hubby for realizing this and for wanting to do something.

      PS. Date nights with you might be another idea…get a babysitter or wait until the baby(s) go down and then plan a date with dinner in and a movie. Just a few ideas…good luck!

    • says

      Will, how great that you realize that you need to help your wife get the oxygen she needs. As women we always seem to find a way to fill up our “me time”. I know that for me, I don’t take time for myself, because I feel guilty. I feel like there is always work to be done and that I should be doing it. I know that the most helpful thing is for my husband to forsee what needs to be done and help me do it, or even do it for me. Emptying the dishwasher, folding a load of laundry, etc. I can’t go find time for myself if I know I am going to come home to everything still undone. Then I don’t feel better, I just feel behind.
      Take her out on a date, but you call and arrange the babysitter and plan the date. Otherwise she might feel it is just one more thing on her plate. If you can’t be there, have the babysitter arrive an hour early so your wife can get ready for the date without having to juggle the kids. Help take care of the reasons behind why she “can’t” find time for herself. It will easy her mind, and her spirit.

  28. Jillian Mitchell says

    Sounds like you have a great Daddy! I did not have postpartum with my first child, but with my second child I suffered with depression at the very beginning of my pregnancy, and after. It was terrible, and I feel so much for you as you go through this. That me time is one of the hardest thing ever for a wife and mother to do. I still have a hard time with it and my kids are 6 and 9, I don’t think that ever really goes away.

  29. megan says

    What a great analogy! Thank you for sharing it, and for sharing your struggle. I’m glad the analogy seems to be helping you and I hope that you can continue to climb upward and take some time to care for yourself. {{{hugs}}}

    • says

      Madison, Your welcome. It is clear that we as women are in this together and that we can all use support when it comes to understanding the importance of taking care of ourselves.

  30. says

    Thanks so much for the reminder…I read this post and couldn’t believe what an immediate answer to a prayer it was! I am grateful to know that there are many women out there that feel the same way that I do! Thanks for helping me to remember to BREATHE!

    Love your blog!
    Shaunna

  31. Karen Peterson says

    Holy moly, I am not sure how you keep up with a website and tackle the other things you do! After reading your story and the importance of taking care of ourselves, I think it is also important to learn to say NO to things (even the good things ;) and take time for yourself and your young family! I wish I was there to encourage you and to give you a break!

    I think as strong independent can-do women, we all have a tendency to want to accomplish so much and help others and it is especially hard to overdo it when you know if you don’t step up it won’t get done, but I want to encourage you to take those moments to yourself and when someone asks you to do something state, “I will get back to you on that”. Enjoy that new baby and I will pray for you through those dark times!

  32. says

    Hey There! What a familiar story you share. Having a baby at 43… running two businesses, and a marriage under fire, I can completely relate. Here’s an idea for you… do an ‘Energy Diary’.

    Sit down and thoughtfully catalog where you spend your energy. Imagine that you are given $100/per day that equals how much energy you have to spend in a day. Because we have free will, we can spend our $100(energy) any way we choose. Keep in mind that every time a cell divides in your body, every time you blink your eyes, every breath you take costs some of that money.

    Let me give you an example of my day. I probably spend $10 on my patients, $10 on running my clinic, $10 on my jewelry company, $10 on daughter #1(13year old), $15 on daughter #2 (16 months old), $10 on hubby, $10 on house(including cooking and cleaning)… I’m up to $75 and I haven’t even blinked my eyes yet. You get the picture.

    We are all individuals and the energy it takes to operate our physical bodies is very different. I don’t know how much it takes to operate my body… but $25 is probably not enough sometimes.

    Here’s the interesting part. If you have a big project, event, or commitment and you need extra energy to get through your day, you can borrow from tomorrow. Oh, and I guarantee that we all do this. So, borrow what you need from tomorrow… but keep in mind that tomorrow you’re gonna start out with less money. So be prepared. Keep borrowing from your tomorrows and you will get to a point where you may become weak… physically, mentally, emotionally.

    But there is hope because the very best part of all… is that you can put money(energy) back in your tank. It’s called ‘putting on your oxygen mask’. Filling your tank can come in many forms… blogging, reading, praying, baking, creating… you name it. Whatever feeds your spirit.

    On days when I feel like a net has been cast over me and I’m not sure how I can keep going, I have to consider where I have been spending my energy. It is usually a time for me to insert some ‘no, thank-you’s’ into the equation.

    Hope you like the analogy as much as I liked yours. I’m wondering what you do to fill your tanks. Blessings!

    PS… any energy you spend on something that happened yesterday costs you Double… just another reminder to leave the worries behind!

  33. Heather says

    Thank you for this post. It came right at the perfect time. Well not that feeling “this way” is perfect. I believe I hit a wall. And I have experienced a few through out my marriage and then with my two beautiful children. I start to bottle things up and get very angry, emotional, tired…..and then I kinda drop the ball on a lot of “family” time. I start to want to be by myself all the time. And I feel like I should never feel that way. Life is hard and when I’ve got two of the most gorgeous children in the world WANTING to spend time with their mom I need to suck it up and get down on the floor and make train and car sounds till I’m hoarse.
    I can’t thank you enough for this post. Reminds us all we need to step back and take a few breathers. I just booked a facial for myself. Granted it’s not until October, but still. Something to look forward to.
    Congrats on the new addition to your family. AND we have the same name! Except my Anne has an e at the end.

  34. April says

    So many people think you should devote every single second to your children and if you take one moment for yourself you are horrible….NOT TRUE. I love your dad’s suggestion about the oxygen mask. It will get better. A friend told me after my first child to take everything in two week increments. It helped tremendously. They grow so fast that your schedule will change in two weeks. I didn’t feel near as overwhelmed. I am a teacher to and people don’t realize how overwhelming things can get fast. If you get behind, you stay behind! Good luck and it will get better

  35. says

    This almost made me cry…I think because it hit home and the fact that it was your dad that gave the awesome advice. He is one good daddy! I only have one child and still deal with trying to fit everything in and still making time for myself. Take one thing at a time and hang in there. I’m sure all of us ladies on here are here to support you in any way that we can.

  36. Rachel says

    I have struggled with ppd since having my second and she is three now. I have found that taking SAMe and 5-HTP has been really helpful along with spending time out, prayer and exercise. Hope things get better for you soon. I think we stretch ourselves way too thin as moms. I am grateful for your honesty. It seems like a lot of moms go through this, but they are too scared to say anything and suffer quietly. I think it is easier to get through it when you know there are others that can completely relate to you!

  37. Katie says

    Thank you so much for this post, you brought tears of truth to my eyes. I have 4 beautiful children, work full time, and am now having to pick up a course through work with the results of that test, my jobs depends on it. With all that said, I am still the mommy, doing the household duties, caring for the kiddos, as my hubby handles his part. It’s definetly a team effort, however, as mothers, we take on too much and wear ourselves thin.
    Your father sounds like a very smart man and thank you for sharing his wise words. Tonight, as I walk through the doors of my home, I’ll remember to reach for my own oxygen mask.

  38. Krystle says

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. What a wise Father you have! I needed to read that…thank you!

  39. says

    Thank you so much for this post. It is so very true, and something I need to remember myself. We had our third (and last) baby in April, and with three children ages 3 and under, I get overwhelmed and fall into those dark moments more often than I’d like. I need to worry about my own oxygen mask first, you are absolutely right!

  40. says

    Thank you so much for all of your kind comments regarding the Oxygen Stat post. I was hesitant to write about the situation, but remembering the advice from my dad helped so much, I hoped it would help other women also. It is nice to know that none of us are alone. And that we have a lot in common. There is strength in our friendships and kindness. Thank you for all the oxygen you have given me the last two days. Your comments and kind words have filled my lungs, and my heart.

  41. says

    Thanks for this post. I’m due with baby #4 in 8 weeks and have been on bed rest for 10 weeks already. I’m doing okay at this point but I’m going to try and remember “oxygen” after the baby is born. I will have 9 months + of recovery a head (due to lost muscle), a new baby, and 3 others (ages:6, 4, & 2) to take care of. Just writing this comment might make me hyperventilate as I think about it!!! I’ll say a quick prayer for you tonight as I try and remember to breathe.

  42. says

    Thank you so much. A great reminder that sometimes we have to stop to breathe! I am in the process of moving into a new house, my 3 month old wants to be held ALL the time and is sucking the life out of me…and my toddler is finally “sleeping” in a big boy bed–which means he’s not getting enough sleep. So in turn, I’m tired. I don’t want to unpack anymore boxes. I know these are all great problems to have, I guess life is always going to have challenges….my biggest of all is: how do you grocery shop with 2+ children? If the baby is in the cart there is either a toddler running wild or no room for groceries. So, thank you for reminding me that other Moms manage too…

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