When Mommy is Not Up for It
I have been feeling really down for a while now. As much as I’ve been trying to just get up and get moving, the couch beckons, the bed calls, and I have retreated further and further. To an outside observer I’m still doing a “good” job. My kids are clothed, fed, well-rested, read to, and played with. But my heart hasn’t been into it. Everything has felt like a struggle. The words “depressive feelings” have been coming to mind more and more.
Thankfully (I think?) I’ve experienced these feelings before and knew that it was time to reach out. A friend empathized and started calling and e-mailing just to check in on me. My therapist helped me to feel hopeful that soon I’ll be feeling like myself again, she also helped me come up with some concrete things that might help. MrH has been (characteristically) supportive and loving, offering me grace for all the ways in which I feel I’m falling short. It’s funny how big the roadblocks seem when I’m feeling in a funk. I needed coaching just to call my doctor and ask for my vitamin/mineral levels to be checked. Thankfully, she did and it turns out I’m iron deficient. It’s such a relief to know that this time, the cause of how I’ve been feeling is likely to just be a shortage of iron and vitamin D, rather than a serious bout with depression.
For now, I’m working to balance the need to just push through some of what I’m feeling, and the need to have compassion on myself. I’m working to both motivate myself to get off my duff and do what matters, and also give myself permission to take a little nap while the kids happily play next to me. I’m remembering that my priorities are centered on my own and my kids’ well-being and that things like housework and extra-exciting activities are simply not essential for this short season. I’m realizing that cuddling on the couch with a few picture books takes less emotional energy than trying to focus on my own book and hope the kids will play independently for indefinite amounts of time. And of course, I’m taking my supplements! I’ll take it one day at a time, but right now I feel hopeful that soon the phrase “I’m not up for it” will be banished from my vocabulary except for under the most extreme requests.