One silly little piece of paper really got me thinking.
Every time Kris and I take Jackson to the doctor, the checkup begins with a single piece of paper. The worksheet is basically a breakdown of your baby's life since you last saw the doctor. You record their eating and bathroom habits, sleeping schedule and any concerns you might have. The answers are recorded in their file and used to facilitate the appointment. On the back of the sheet is a survey for the moms to take. Each question has four simple answers. These answers are what got me thinking!
As much as I ever did
All the time
The questions range from the casual, I laugh and find things funny, to the more serious, I blame myself for things and I find myself annoyed with my baby. The entire time I fill in the bubbles, I find myself annoyed and rolling my eyes. I think this is because I am uncomfortable discussing my feelings and the answers are so vague. For example, I blame myself for things a lot but that doesn't signify post-partum depression because I did that before I had a baby.
I can't believe a five question survey can help determine if a mother needs extra support or predict if they're going to do something harmful to themselves or their child. It all seems a little ridiculous to me; the doctor's office seems to be doing it because "that is what they are supposed to do."
The last time I completed the survey I bluntly stated that I didn't feel like killing myself (until I did the survey) My joke was in poor taste because Jackson's pediatrician immediately came to the surveys defense. Apparently several parents would never say anything until taking the survey, leading the doctor's to believe that things were fine.
Well, that upset me even more. Yes, I am tired. Yes, I miss sleeping. Yes, I miss my stretch mark-free tummy. Yes, there are times when I just beg Jackson to quit screaming. Yes, there are times when I have to let the hubby take care of the situation so I can just breath. No matter how frustrated or tired I get, I still love my son and my life and could never imagine doing something to jeopardize either.
No one is perfect. No one is super-mom. The key to treading water is to keep going, even if you are tired. The same applies to motherhood, only it is OK to use a float every once-in-awhile. Utilize those around you and ask for help. Support is key! I used to feel like I had to do everything myself because I was the mom and that is how it should be. I have realized that asking the hubby for help does not mean I am failing, it means I am smart! I hope that every new mommy comes to realize her worth and that everyone has good days and bad days.
I have just accepted that my house will never be spotless again, I will never be caught up on laundry and dinner may not always be on the table at 5 p.m. You know what? I have plenty of coos, kisses, snuggles and games of timothy tickle to help me cope!
What do you do to relieve stress? Who are your "floats" and support?
Jackson's two-month wellness check-up in numbers:
23 1/4 inches
1 oral vaccination
1 heel prick
1 screaming baby
2 sad parents