Well, since the babysitter quit, I have had to reevaluate some things... I got my new schedule from school and I have class 3 days a week. 2 out of these 3 days my kids are with the big Satan, so I don't have to worry about making arrangements for who will be watching them. The 3rd day (thankfully) falls on a day in which my Mom is off work (well, most of the time). So I decided to NOT hire another sitter. I keep the kids home with me on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
You may be thinking that this sounds *normal* or like an ideal situation. Don't most Moms watch their own kids when they are home?? Well, normally I haven't been that type of Mom!! My kids have always went to a sitter up until now, so them being home with me ALL DAY for 3 days in a row, SCARES ME!
All this panic started when my 2nd child came along... I experienced a crippling case of post-partum depression. I mean, it.was.bad. I was home with 2 crying infants for 12 weeks on maternity leave, and I could barely handle it. I felt isolated, trapped, and ill equipped to say the least. I had no energy, no drive, I cried all the time. I jumped at the chance to go back to work when my leave was over.
Fast forward a month later. I was back at work, but things weren't getting better. I felt guilty for working, I felt like I needed to be home with my kids. I thought things would be easier if I could focus on ONE thing, instead of being torn between work and home. So, I took an extended medical leave from my job. I started being home with the babies again. This time they were 4 and 15 months old. OMG, times were tough! I hit rock bottom again. It got so bad that some days when the ex got home, all 3 of us (me + 2 babies) were still in our jammies, or they were just in a diaper. He would chastise me. I would cry and try to explain to him that it was all I could do to get through the day. It was a vicious cycle of crying, changing diapers, feeding bottles, cleaning, cooking, entertaining fussy babies, it felt like it was too hard. (NOTE: at this point I went to the doctor, got diagnosed and was put on medication which made me a lot better). This went on for 4 months. I finally called my job and told them I would be back the following week.
I went back to work and I flourished! I was happier, the kids were well taken care of (my Mom was our Nanny), and the husband seemed to take more interest in me. I loved working, it gave me a purpose to live. I got a "high" from accomplishing goals, doing things for other people, having adult interaction:) But, this situation didn't last long. Once I was back at work I started to notice strange things that my husband was doing.... He was drinking more, hanging out at people's houses that were known drug dealers. Then I found out he was cheating (this was the 1st time I caught him). I left him! I packed the kids up and moved back to my hometown (30 minutes away). I worked, paid my own bills, took care of the kids... He gave me some money, but basically I did it on my own. He was beside himself because I didn't need him, he begged me to come back. I finally caved and went back.
He promised it would be different. He asked me to quit my job and focus on our marriage and the kids. I told him I didn't think it would be a good idea because of how I felt the last time I was stuck at home. He said it would all be ok. He said I could go to work with him and help out and we would still have a sitter. I finally agreed to his request and I QUIT my job! There was no going back this time. I started going to work with him every day. This lasted all of about 1.5 months. Then he started coming up with excuses as to why the kids couldn't go to the sitter's and I had to stay home with them. I was home with the kids sometimes 15 HOURS A DAY, by myself, and when he was home he didn't help AT ALL. He was under the impression that a father didn't change diapers, feed, bathe, or entertain the babies, that was "the mother's job." It was too hard for me to pack both of them up and take them anywhere, it was cold outside, the baby had asthma and stayed sick all the time. SO, the cycle started all over again, the depression, the isolation, the feeling of being trapped... Then I found out he was cheating (for the 2nd time). This was the reason he wanted me home with the kids. So he could run around with his girlfriend and I wouldn't catch him. He knew if I didn't have a job, income, or LIFE I would have no idea what he was doing (since I would be in a depressed fog!) and if I did find out, I couldn't leave because I wouldn't have any money.
Anyway, so I ended up leaving anyway, for good this time! We all know that story.
To make a long story shorter (I know it is long already), being home with the kids again scares the shit out of me! I am so afraid of falling deeper into depression. It is UGLY to be in some of the dark holes I have been in. I do not take care of my kids like they deserve (when I am depressed), I yell at them, I get aggravated really easy, I just can't find any motivation when I get that way.
My point is: I hope this time I can be a good SAHM! I am trying really hard to be the mother that my kids need. I am not cut out to do it, so I have to work at it. In a few years they will be in school, so this is my last chance to give it a go and make the best of it. I want my kids to remember a fun Mommie, a loving, happy Mommie, not a Monster that I used to feel like back then.
I hope you all can understand what I am talking about.... feeling this way is not a choice I make, I have no control over the depression I feel. I can only try to hold it off and stop it before it starts!
Do any of you have a similar story? Have you overcome this type of depression? What are some things you do with your kids to entertain or distract them so as to not get overwhelmed?? Please share:)