I hate the cliche saying: "Where does the time go?"
It has absolutely no answer. Time is fleeting. Or is it?
Some days, 5 years feels like a lifetime. Some days....a day feels like a lifetime.
Welcome to parenting.
I know you parents know what I'm talking about....even you ECEs and daycare teachers and teachers.....
Something happened recently. Our tenant had a baby.
One night I was putting Emma to bed, and we heard the baby cry for the first time in her room. Just quietly...but still there.
Emma and I had the biggest smile on our faces. Awwww...
Who doesn't love the sound of the first time you heard a baby cry?
Something happened later that week. It was a Saturday night. I was chilling; reading a book in bed.
I could hear faint baby cries.
The baby stopped after a while. But then it started again....and again... until I realized that the baby had been crying on and off for several hours. My poor tenant (and baby).
Then something weird happened. I started to feel anxious. Like, really anxious.
What was happening?
All these memories of feelings I had. All the crying, Emma did.
I remember feeling so many different emotions. Not many of them good. Some of them, when I look back on it...pretty scary.
Annoyance and anger. (Just stop crying!)
A lot of anxiety about how feeding was going and Emma's weight gain... (don't even get me started on that).
Wondering how the hell was I going to stay home for a year, and do this.
I missed my friends. I missed work.
I missed sleep.
I missed my husband (he was working busy season, as an accountant, at the time).
Plus...it was a miserable, cold winter.
Not the best time to have a baby.
I don't know when I realized, after the fact, that I had post-partum depression.
I also can't exactly recall when I started to feel better.
It just was. There was no heroic realization or solution. I guess I was lucky that nothing really terrible happened. Some families aren't so lucky.
Everyone was telling me how great I looked..focused on the fact that I could wear my old clothes right after the birth. Who doesn't want to hear how great they look?
I look back at it now and can see it so clearly, but couldn't see it through the fog at the time.
And I was a perfect candidate for PPD....not exactly the award you want to win.
What's even weirder is that I am a huge mental health advocate. I deal with it regularly in my job and in my personal life. I knew about PPD. I read all about it..was educated in the risks, the symptoms, the signs... Where did it all go wrong? I think one of the hardest things is to admit to yourself that something is not right. You tell yourself it's the baby blues. Tell yourself that it will get better.
Until, one day it does. (I was lucky)
But, it felt like a lifetime.
So that night when my poor tenant was struggling...I think it was my body's way of remembering all these awful feelings.
(So strange isn't it? How our bodies and brains remember high-highs and low-lows so well.)
I am really not even sure how many people I know, realize I had PPD.
Maybe you had PPD too.
I feel ya.
So as the anniversary of Emma's birth approaches, I will take this opportunity to see how far she has come, but also how far I have come as a parent. (Only a touch cliche, no?)
I look back on pics of Emma as a newborn and wish I could hold her. Wish I really could have enjoyed that early time. Those snuggles and the feedings. Cuz I really didn't.
That's right..I hated it.
There, I said it.
That's just my truth.
Cuz 5 years sometimes feels like a lifetime, but it only takes a crying baby to bring it all back and make it feel like it was happened today.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl.