So far I've kept this blog focused on activities with my daughter and haven't really talked about me or my motivation in writing this blog. I decided today to change that.
By the time Chiquita turned one I was a mess. I thought my marriage was falling apart, I was convinced I was a horrible mother and getting out of bed was a battle, let alone getting out of pajamas. I never really contemplated suicide but I routinely thought how much better my daughter and husband would be without me in their lives. I'd been living like this since my daughter was born. Because I believed it, I didn't talk to anyone about it, and it took that entire year to begin to consider it could be post-partum depression.
Finally after dragging my husband to counseling and long talks with my dad, I talked to my midwife and got on anti-depressants. It was like opening the curtains and letting the sunshine in. For the first time in almost a year I could clearly see that my husband loved me and my daughter loved me and that I could be a good mom. Anti-depressants aren't for everyone but for me they brought me back to reality. Honestly. Our second marriage counseling session was after I got on anti-depressants and we thanked her for her trouble and didn't go back. I could finally see that we were good, but I was still working on me.
I had to actually do something now that I was thinking straight. I resolved that to feel like a person again and the mother I wanted to be I needed to get dressed every day, leave the house every day and do some sort of activity with my daughter every day. The first two resolutions were easy enough but I'd never tried to do activities with an 18 month old before, so I turned to my friend, the internet. I began reading blogs and trying out crafts. It was great! I don't care how it sounds, having a concrete activity, even if it was just coloring or playdough, gave me a sense of accomplishment, something to point to and say "I must be an ok mom, look what we did together." I wasn't competing with any other moms, just the voice of depression inside my head.
I really appreciated those blogger moms, without knowing it, helped bring me back to myself. Yes, with toddler crafts. I didn't want to lose motivation or sink back into the early days of 9 hour tv marathons, so I took them as an example and decided that the best way for me to keep motivated would be to "report" to the world.
It's been a year now that we have been doing crafts/activities almost daily and I can't tell you if Chiquita really loves crafts or if she's any smarter because of it, but I can tell you that her mom feels like a better mom and we both love that.