Choosing happiness

24 11 2011

As some of you may or may not have figured out, I’ve been struggling with depression.  I’ve never suffered from depression. Yes I’ve struggled with hardships, but never the type of depression I was in. I was completely not motivated to move, not motivated to interact with my child or converse with my husband. Heck, I even lost motivation for this blog.

Being a mom is hard work, we all know that. But hat we don’t know is how isolating it is. Especially for typeA-hell no I do not want to be SAHM person like me. Our culture still puts enormous amount burden on women to be ideal mothers or mothers who would want nothing more than to be home with their baby all.the.time. Our society feel its OK to judge mothers on their choices, whether that be to use a midwife or to breastfeed or not, to put children in daycare. Lets just say I’m the pariah for not LOVING being home with my kids and for missing work.

Strange how no one expects Mr.SM to give up his life outside of children.

Whatever, I’m over it. I’ve now attending journal club and loving be able to use my brain scientifically. I’m reading all about ImageJ and figuring out how to use it for my science. Most importantly I’m not feeling like a bad mother for all the things I’m not doing.  Instead I’m choosing happiness. I’m choosing to engage with my kids how I enjoy it. Which means that if monkey watches TV for 2.5 hours this morning so that I can surf the net, drink my coffee and spend time with bear its OK. It means we’re going out for walks, playing lego and dancing and pretty much having fun. Which really is more important than teaching him to read and write.  He has the rest of his life to be educated.

I’m also choosing not read stupid shit like that Natures article everyone is talking about. I’m glad that there are amazing science men and women who have so eloquently said why the story sucked major ass.  i cant fight those battles anymore.

What I can do is be visible and show that it can be done.

So here I am sitting at Starbucks reading my ImageJ manual while I breastfeed bear.  This is what a scientist is.

I am

 

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8 responses

24 11 2011
Cath@VWXYNot?

Good for you! I’m so glad to read this post and learn that things are turning around for you.

Now get on that pumping thang so you can come to fun events with me! (I mean, y’know, if you want to… 😉 )

24 11 2011
Brigindo

Motherhood is judged from start to finish and you will never end up on top. It is best to ignore the whole shabang. I’m glad things are turning around for you. I made many of the “deals” you describe while raising Angel and he turned out just fine, thank you very much.

24 11 2011
Alyssa

Good for you! So glad you’re starting to feel better about things.There’s only so much you can do, and so much you want to do, and it sounds like you’re choosing the things that make you happy. YAY!

25 11 2011
becca

oh *virtual hugs*
Depression is ugly, and postpartum emotions can be bizarrely intense. I hope things get better.

If my kidlet would watch 2.5 hours of tv, I’d totally spend the time online. In a heartbeat. But yeah. It’s hard to be *happy* about it. Even if you know, on one level, it is actually a pretty great thing (according to the all important “everybody’s happy, kidlet’s not destroying anything!” criteria)

28 11 2011
chall

Good to read you’re taking care of you! it’s the most important part – being good in you to be happy with the relationships around you with Mr SM and children. I’m sure bear is happy as a clam eating while mommy is reading science papers.

I think the “not give up on all things outside of the home” is the best way to stay slightly less insane… then again, I don’t have the children but am quite stressed and not always happy anyway… don’t think I’d be any better considering all the “know how and what” ppl who always have things to add to mothers “who aren’t doing this and that as you _should_ do it”. pah.

28 11 2011
Girlpostdoc

Good for you SM! You will make it! I struggled with depression after my divorce during my PhD and I made it out alive. Do whatever you need that takes care of you!

29 11 2011
Anon

I had my first baby a year ago and retrospectively I certainly suffered from post partum depression. As an established investigator I wondered if I would ever be able to think clearly and do my job ever again. It was scary and confusing and horrible. I felt extremely conflicted about wanting/needing to be at home and wanting/needing to be at work. It took me a year to feel “me” again and figure out a new normal at home and work. Give yourself time.

5 12 2011
bean-mom

I’m glad things are turning around for you, SM. I’ve been there, too. My time at home with both my girls was hard and lonely, even though I made the decision both times to be with them.

It’s always hard when the voices of others are ringing in our ears telling us how we should be as mothers… it can be very hard to separate those voices from your own inner voice.

Glad to hear you’re feeling better (*hugs*)

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