I thought I was going to roll my eyes a ton.
I thought I would feel catty and jealous.
None of that.
Wednesday, I took .75 of a vacation day after working from home for a couple of hours. I went back, for the first time in three months, to the mom/baby connection group at the hospital. There's usually discussion, a speaker, that's about it. Moms talking to moms, some breastfeeding, some bottle-feeding, babies napping, babies crying, moms laughing, moms crying. It's beautiful.
The discussion leader asked everyone if they had anything to say about depression. The room got quiet. I weighed in my mind whether I wanted to speak up or not. I raised my hand (regressing to grade school) and said, "I've gone to therapy."
And then I just kept talking. I said what I wanted other moms to know: "It's not some big, scary, awful thing. They're not going to lock you away or take your baby from you. You talk to your doctor, then you talk to a therapist, and then it gets better. Just do it if you need the help. Don't waste another minute wondering if you should. If you're not you, if it's not getting better, if everything's OK but for some reason it's not—do it."
Then another mom volunteered that she's been on Zoloft and it's made everything better. That she hadn't been herself. She held back tears.
Then the discussion leader herself said that she'd been to counseling.
I wondered if anyone would've said anything if I hadn't.
There were about 18 of us in that room. Three of us acknowledged our experiences with PPD. Three of 18. Even more than the one in eight that studies show. One in eight of the moms you know have struggled through PPD, maybe more. Maybe it's you.
And even if it's not you, it's hard. Babies are a blessing. They're the biggest, greatest, most wonderful blessing a family can wish to have. Lean on whomever you need. Love them, too.
Stay-at-home moms, working moms, part-time working moms—all moms, we're all working hard to make our children the best little people they can be, to give them the best lives they can have, to make things better for them than they may have been for us. We're raising a generation, all of us. And we all deserve to have each others' backs.
We all deserve to have mom friends to sit by the pool with every now and then, we all deserve to talk about our labor stories and laud the wonders of the epidural together, no matter what our choices have been since we painfully, blessedly became mothers. We deserve the support, the help, anything that helps us to be better mothers to our children. We deserve hobbies and blogs and nights out. We deserve a long bath and a glass of wine. And by being kind to ourselves and to other moms, we'll pass that kindness along to our children.
That's an incredible gift.
P.S.—Lana went swimming for the first time, at the pool with the other moms and babies. It was all I could do to keep her from diving in completely. She loved it. I loved it. We're lucky ladies.