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No longer faking it through depression

The days on which I had my children live in my mind as two of the greatest days in my life.  Granted, I didn't really think that before the second they came out and the doctor told me "It's a girl!" and "It's a boy!"  But, in those seconds where my babies were set on my stomach and I looked at them for the very first time, I felt pure joy.  Unfortunately for me, that joy didn't last the way I thought it would.

The joy of being a parent hasn't come easy to me.  And, as I grow more and more in my parenting, I've come to realize that I have am living a life where I'm faking my way through depression.  Granted, I'm not living in a continually depressed state, but there are days and weeks where I struggle just to make it through the day.  I get angry.  I get frustrated.  I know that my emotions are sometimes all over the place.

This depression didn't just start one day.  It came on slowly - stemming from multiple factors in my life.  Primarily, it came from periods of disappointment.  This disappointment wasn't always with my expectations of other people (although this was a contributing factor).  A major part of my disappointment was with myself and situations of feeling like a failure as a parent through periods when my health or the health of my children weren't all that great.  During these periods, I felt like a failure because I couldn't be the mom that I had always planned to be.

In my daydreams, I am a mom who is active and involved with my children.  I continually have healthy snacks and meals.  I balance a life filled with time with family and time for myself.  My children are well-behaved and respect me as a parent.  My husband is supportive of my parenting efforts and defaults to my parenting decisions.  My children are thriving in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  I am thriving in these areas, too.

But, this is just a daydream.  The demands of being a parent often prove too much for me.  I do not have enough hours in a day to be all that I want to be.  I disappoint myself as I fake my way through depression.

But, in the past several months, I've learned you can't always fake your way through depression.  Even though it's hard (in every area of your own personal health), you have to take a stand to stop it.  You have to seek help and guidance.  You have to let friends and family know what you're going through so that they might be able to lend a helping hand.  You have to let go of the pedestal on which you have set your parenting goals and accept the mom that you are.

I've found that my children are more responsive (in a positive way) since I have starting owning up to them my true emotions.  They are learning that it's ok to not always be happy.  They are learning that sometimes Mommy just needs some quiet time.  It doesn't mean that I don't love them...it means I'm taking care of myself so that I can then take better care of them.

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