Baby Blues: I Can’t Be Honest With My Mom About My PPD Because She’s A SAHM Martyr
Baby Blues is a column about raising my daughter in the windstorm of postpartum depression. Though discussing the dark spots of postpartum depression, I also share my successes.
Iâ€™m having a hard time letting go of what happened that day at the mall, when I hesitantly told my parents that I have PPD.
I explained how depression was hindering my ability to really enjoy my daughter. I didnâ€™t ever get a break from her (at this point, I was a SAHM most of the time, and my husband worked 60 hours a week). No one else, including my parents, was willing or available to watch baby regularly so I could get some alone time. It was killing me.
After a few words of sympathy from my dad, my momâ€™s response was simply, â€œJust remember, I stayed at home with you girls for your whole childhood, and we didnâ€™t have help from any friends or family. I did it all on my own.â€
Conversation shut down.
Even if Iâ€™d wanted to, thereâ€™s no way I could have opened up further. Fine, you win, you did it all by yourself. Maybe you suffered more than I did, and I just donâ€™t realize how great I have it. Maybe Iâ€™m being a pansy for letting all of this get to me. Or maybe being a SAHM came naturally to you, and youâ€™re wondering why I didnâ€™t inherit the gene. Iâ€™m a woman, right? Am I not supposed to just ooze maternal aptitude?
Postpartum depression is foreign to my parents, especially my mom, who had always longed for a baby and finally succeeded in getting pregnant with me after eight years of infertility issues. Iâ€™m sure she canâ€™t even fathom why having a babyâ€”such an incredible bundle of joyâ€” would trigger a mood disorder. But if I could somehow remove the stigma of depression from society (right, letâ€™s just take care of that real quick) and get my mom to do some real soul-searching, I think she might admit that she actually suffered from depression, herself.