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How I am dealing with the baby blues

I wrote this post over three years ago when I was suffering from anxiety and the baby blues. Looking back, I totally had postpartum depression (PPD) yet I was scared to own up to that. I was blessed with two healthy kids – why should I be sad? This post goes out to all the moms who are trying to accomplish one thing – dealing with the baby blues. Moms, you have time – you will be you again soon.
It’s 12:06 AM. I finally have a chance to sit down and write. I have missed writing this blog.
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Damn it has been a crazy nine weeks. Nine weeks ago, Brian and I welcomed our second daughter, Juliana Rose, into the world. On the day she was born, Brian switched jobs. Yes, huge life changes all at once. Now, we are the parents to not one but two kids. Yep, 2 kids!
Brian works longer hours. He has a longer commute.  It gets dark so early now. I had cabin fever. I still have cabin fever. Getting two kids out of the house in January with snow on the ground is a huge task. It’s easier to just stay home. I get anxiety every time Juliana cries in front of others. I would get a full body rash when Madilyn would cry as an infant.
Some would say I have the post baby blues. Maybe it is postpartum depression but how do I know for sure? Add this to the after-holiday blues and way too many cookies… yep, I have been feeling blue.
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For 9 weeks I was hard on myself. After the baby arrives, not only do you have to take care of the little one with less sleep, YOU are not the same. Nope, I am not the same. I cut my hair when I was pregnant and now I am trying to grow out my bangs. This is never fun. I still have about 10 pounds to lose. My jeans will probably never fit again… I need to buy new jeans and that is extra money that I hate spending… I had to stop this way of thinking.
Sure, I am not the same person as I was before kids but that is what is so beautiful about it. Plus, now I have an excuse to go get all new makeup and maybe some new jeans.
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Check out this post baby belly. I am embracing it. I am sharing it with the world. Sure, it is not a six pack but this beautiful belly helped me grow my two beautiful daughters. I have time to get my body back. I have all the time in the world.

I have even thought about reading books about this exact topic but decided to enjoy my babies instead. I have time. Right now, my focus is on my girls.
No, I am not the same person I was before kids. I have stopped trying to be.
Now more than ever, I am trying to find that balance. That daily rhythm. I am trying to find that work/life balance that we are all craving. 
Most days, I love being home with the girls.
Some days, I wish I had a day job to sneak away to. Some days, I wish I could get a sitter so I could just sleep the day away.
Every day, I try my best to count my blessings. Suffering a miscarriage in-between my girls shows me what a gift each baby is. These days are tough but at least I have my girls.
I consider myself a stay-at-home mom but I also have this strong desire to help women get back in the kitchen and cook real food. I know that when I do get a chance to cook, I feel better. When I am connected to my food, life just seems to make more sense to me. I am more grounded. I want to help other women feel this way too. I am still trying to find that balance. My goal everyday is to be present in the moment. Enjoy what I am doing when I am doing it.
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I cook some nights. Some nights, we order pizza. Some nights, we have apple slices with peanut butter. Some nights, I make a beautiful soup. Some nights, Brian makes eggs. Taking care of two kids has been the most challenging yet amazing job of my life. My house is a mess most of the time. Madilyn’s playroom is covered in Cinderella stickers, dolls, dress up clothes and sippy cups are all around. Play dough is stuck in the carpet in the playroom. That playroom was once my office space.

Some days, I am overwhelmed and cry. Some days, I just watch Madilyn do her crafts and I am in awe that she is my daughter. Some days, I hold Juliana and can not believe how blessed I am. Some days, Juliana is crying and Madilyn doesn’t make it to the bathroom and she pees her pants. Some days, they both sleep in and I can sneak downstairs and have a few minutes to myself.
Every day, I try to count my blessings.
Lessons learned so far as a mother of 2:
1. Something’s gotta give. I like things to be organized and planned out. Not gonna happen with two kiddos. What matters is that I do my best to care for the girls. Anything else is not important right now.
2. Ask for help. There is no award for doing it all yourself.
3. Let your mother-in-law do your laundry. Or clean your fridge. Before two kids, I never would allow her to do those things. Now, I say “YES!!” when she asks if she can do things and I love her for being willing to help us so much.
4. Let your mom take down all your holiday/seasonal decorations. Again, say “YES!!!” when others are willing to help. Thanks mama.
5. Sneak away by yourself whenever possible. Leaving the house with two kids in the middle of winter is like preparing for a trip around the world. When I have help, I sneak away for an hour at the gym or grab a tea at Starbucks. I come back refreshed. I come back excited to see the girls.
6. Pump and schedule a date night with the hubs. Get away with your husband for the weekend if you can. If breast feeding, you know that it is alot of pressure to always be the one to feed the baby. Every time Madilyn would cry when Brian held her, he would say, “I think she’s hungry.” I was always nursing Madilyn. It’s OK to let someone else feed the baby.
7. If breast feeding, buy a double electric pump. Worth every penny.
8. Chill the heck out. If they are both happy and breathing I must be doing something right.
Know a mom who does an amazing job? Nominate her here:
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18 Comments

  1. Very well said, Betsy! I can tell you that my 3 kids are the reason why i keep my day job! I love them to death, but i love having my “down time” too (which is my day job!)! And with both kids and work, i too have learned that you don’t always have to be perfect and organized… must be that Type A personality that made us so good at our big company jobs 🙂 I’m much much much better at this now – but it was a huge learning curve for me! Oh, and after having 3 kids and getting back down to the weight i was in highschool, i can tell you that my stomach still looks like a wrinkly elephant’s behind!!! Someday, after i’m done having kids, i will probably have this surgically “fixed” – because it is ok to ask for help 🙂 But, right now i’m ok with it for all of the reasons you talked about! Congrats on your 2 little girls and continue celebrating the small things!

  2. If they are breathing you are doing something right; they’ll figure out happy on their own! LOL – I’m only half kidding on that one Bets but truly – you are a fabulous mom. Glad to hear you’re getting some breaks; enjoy them knowing this stage won’t last forever – theirs and yours!

  3. Betsy,
    Well said! How brave you are to write what we all think and feel. Just remember you will have most of them back someday….I can tell you that first hand…you know I am a mother do 2. When Charlotte was 3 months old, it was winter and I thought all of the same things. You know all of the right things to do. The only advice I can give you is, when you can get away for an hour or two…..RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! Ha ha! Oh and the organization thing…you will get that back to! Just always remember ou are blessed 😉
    Warm Regards,
    Jes

    1. Thank you so much Jessica! Yes you are right, we are BOTH so blessed, right? I know, I do try to get away from time to time. It makes me miss the girls and enjoy seeing them that much more!

  4. Dear Betsy,
    I can so relate to all this. My daughter arrived when my son was not quite 2 years old and it was insanity for a while. I tried to be peaceful and breathe and work a little bit and I got help, but it was really hard. I, too, cried, lost my composure, stayed home because it was winter and so hard to get out. I was managing the post pregnancy hormonal changes, a ton of digestive problems and thought I was going to loose my mind trying to take care of 2 little ones when I could barely function myself…I was nauseous all the time… Eventually, I figured the food piece out and how it was making me sick and was able to heal my own digestive imbalances, got healthier, which lead to a much better place mentally, but it took about a year! Ha, ha, ha! The kids got a little bit older and with every month things got better and better. Hang in there. Breathe and definitely take every moment to yourself that you can! All will work out. Take care of the mama! P.S. Your belly will shrink more too. 9 weeks is nothing. Mine will never be the same either, but I love it too, it did give me my beautiful children! Love to you and all the best! Thank you for sharing so openly yourself … it did bring me back to that place and I even teared up a bit with you….

    1. Thank you so very much! Reading your comment makes me tear up a bit. I knew that I was not alone and wanted to talk about it in the open. Thank you!!

  5. Good luck to you. I have 4 kids and know how you feel. i remember the blues with each one of them….Lack of sleep never helps and a husband who works a lot…i know that, too. What helped me was increasing my B vitamins and Omega 3 and having a yummy protein shake in the morning. And having a little help from friends is always great. Hang in there. Know your kids will never know their life without a sibling..and that is a good thing in my book .

    1. yes you are right. We totally wanted Madilyn to have a sibling and she is loving her so much! I agree, protein helps a ton. Too many processed carbs really makes the blues even worse!

  6. Betsy, your blog was so refreshing to me. I felt like someone was in my head writing down my thoughts and feelings. I’m a new mom of an amazing 5 1/2mos old boy and the past few months have been quite an adjustment for me. Being very type A and routine driven I’ve had to overcome a lot. I find my release in cooking and exercise, two things I’ve struggled to do on a regular basis. After reading your blog I felt releaved and most importantly not alone. Thank you for you honesty and bravery. I love your recipes and am looking forward to your baby food info! Take care and keep up the amazing work!

    1. Awe thanks so much Carrie! You are exactly the reason I do the work I do. Thank you for letting me know you enjoy my work. Made my day!!! Yes, you are TOTALLY not alone. XOXO

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