Thursday, September 25, 2008

i'm angry.

i'm forewarning any men that might read this entry: this topic might not make any sense to you whatsoever. but it will to your wives and daughters. and since i express best in a chronological order, i'm going to include the thoughts that led up to me being angry.

Noelle, you might appreciate this most.

i just got an email from a friend who wanted my opinion on which Hooter Hider to select. this item happens to be an apron-type contraption that ties around the neck and provides privacy for a mother while nursing her baby. so, i went to the site that sells these items, browsed, made a selection and offered my opinion to her. that was that - or so i thought.

i began to be upset, first, that 4 years ago when Lucy was born, and even 2 years ago when Peter was born, they didn't make these contraptions. beginning motherhood was so difficult for me in every way - that anything, and i mean anything that might have helped me wade through those waters would have been invaluable. but as it stands, i missed out on the Hooter Hider, the Bumbo Chair, the Papasan Swing, etc...

but the frustration, and furthermore, the anger, mounted when i was reminded of all the other components that were missing in my early motherhood. whether or not a Hooter Hider would have come in handy, i can only speculate. but other priceless necessities that would have helped were missing.

for instance, i could only nurse both children for four months. just didn't have it in me, i thought. come to find out a year after Peter was born and eight months after i couldn't nurse any longer, i found out i was deficient in an element called 'Manganese', the key component in breast milk, something that could have been resolved with a simple vitamin supplement. and today i was reminded of how essential nursing is to building a healthy attachment between the mother and child.

also, nearly every friend i had would say they witnessed my misery during Lucy's first year of life, but not a single one suggested seeking help for postpartum depression. instead, i found refuge in a Brooke Shields book. and today, i discovered that had i sought help within that first year, i might have stalled, stopped, or possibly even corrected the damage i was doing to myself and my baby because of the depression i was drowning in.

but, i can't go back to the day Lucy was born. i can't do april 1, 2004 any better. and now, i have no need for a Hooter Hider. maybe i should get one just to remind me that someone else was in my broken boat once - frustrated with what was available for the new mother - and instead of being angry, they were inventive. instead of drowning, they swam. they swam to the other side of sorrow and went back for survivors. they came back for me.



noelle said...

This did bring tears to my eyes. Why do we think that we have to do the hard part of mothering alone? Why is it so hard to reach out and say "I know how hard this time is. What can I do for you?"

I'm pleased to say that I choose my current vocation based on my own experience. I know the gift an empty dishwasher and clean countertops can be when you are exhausted and barely functional. I know the freedom that comes when another mama tells you, "it's OK. Your season of life IS really difficult."

Today I have 3 extra children at my house because their pregnant mama just needs a minute to sit on her couch by herself. She may even take a shower, wash her hair and shave BOTH legs today!

I do understand. And we all just keep swimming and helping others as we can.

:::No Longer Mute said...

I've learned that anger and grief are two sides to the same coin - and both sides make up the whole of our sorrow.