• Amanda

    With all the comments already posted, I doubt anyone will ever read this, but oh well.
    I hope you’re right, and I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and give this a bit more of a chance, because I want you to be right.

  • Shelley

    That was a perfectly wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your words and experiences.

  • http://stolistyle.livejournal.com Carina

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is exactly what I needed to reconfirm my belief that kids are worth it. Beautiful, hilarious post.

  • http://shinyrandomredhead.blogspot.com/ Just me

    Please, oh please, post a picture of Ms. Leta covered in lip gloss …

    I don’t have children yet (actually the thought terrifies me), but reading through your struggles, and the outcomes of those, inspire me to think that maybe, just maybe, I won’t be horrible at it. (Though I may snap and lock them in the closet. I kid, I kid!)

    Thanks for writing. And putting you out there – it isn’t easy, but we appreciate it.

  • http://rodneypeterson.blogspot.com/ Brandi

    Very well said Heather, you made my eyes water up. I agree with you, My 2nd screamed for over a year and I hated every minute of it. Now he is the most fantastic little guy I have ever met and I cherish every second of both of my kids.

  • Teresa

    Thanks Heather!

    and on a very different not…
    sorry to put it here, but the caption today with Chuck’s picture made me laugh so hard that my office mates came to check on me!

  • http://www.lightsweetcrude.typepad.com Trish

    This post should be required reading for all parents-to-be.

    What am I saying? Your entire blog should be required reading.

    I only had my kids in 1998 and 2000, but there was nobody else out there saying the stuff you’re saying, so I was completely alone in my desperation. I wrote a diary instead, but it was only to myself.

    I had a few friends in my parents group, but they were all new friends – my old school friends have waited until now to have kids (we’re all 37 this year). The new friends in parents group weren’t well enough known to me to be able to confess the things I wanted to confess.

    You really are providing a valuable public service, in addition to all the other joy you give.

  • http://notinsaneperse.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    It’s good that you let others know it gets better. Great post. :)

  • http://strawberriesandwhine.wordpress.com Kathie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. My 3 month old son was up every 2 hours again last night, and I am just so bone tired that I sometimes can’t imagine ever not feeling this way again. I love him to bits, but sometimes I really, really just feel so angry with him, because he should just sleep for the love of all things holy, and then I feel guilty because what kind of a mother is angry with a 3 month old because he’s permanently hungry? I really needed to read this today, to hear somebody say what the majority of people won’t – sometimes it just really sucks, but it won’t always be this way. So yeah, just… thanks.

  • http://zakaryw.blogspot.com/ Zdub

    What a lovely post.

    My friend and I had babies last year a few months apart and she is going through a very hard time right now. I have a hard time understanding it because after my father passed, I came to terms with how fantastic life is in general. And a healthy baby? Well, that’s just about the luckiest thing ever.

    And Leta rocks.

  • vaptor

    Heather – thank you so very, very much for all that write. You do such a great job helping all of “us” to realize that even the worst situations will eventually be “OK”.

  • darcie

    oh, lord! i don’t even ~have~ babies and i’m all teary and ridiculous at the thought of how i just know that i probably wouldn’t like a new baby. i would be scared, depressed and inconsolable, but then would fall so in love with her over the course of four years that i couldn’t try and imagine my life without her. and you’re saying i could be excited and happy every day about her potential? …like giving selflessly to another is the secret to my own happiness?! what the hell, heather?!

    so, geez. thanks. i’m going to have to re-rethink this self-centered, child-free decision.

    …but in all seriousness, this is a gorgeous post. thank you.

  • jkopftwins

    Aaaamennnnn. The exhausted tears that flowed when trying to feed an infant on one side while pumping on the other side. The days and nights of tag-team sleeping. The memory of sitting on the bed, sobbing and gulping air, trying to explain to my husband that I felt like I was trapped inside my body somewhere, but that all I could feel was the freaked-out shell of myself and panic that I would never, never stop crying again. The isolation of feeling that way in the midst of people who were trying to help. The sorrow that nobody had told me it would be like *this*, and that I was essentially missing my kids’ first days…

    Thank you for being so honest and forthright about the tunnel, as a friend of mine calls those first days (weeks? months?) Somewhere — probably in many ‘somewheres’ — this post is being re-read, printed out, posted up as a glimmer of hope.

  • Anonymous

    Good posts this week! Happy Friday!

  • http://evilbunnies.vox.com Mariko

    Am indescribably happy for you :) Thanks for sharing your life along the way.

  • sabrina

    thank you. please tell me your recent manuscript has something to do with how to make it to the other side.

  • Anna

    I think you just wrote the most beautiful thing a woman can say to another woman. Thank you from the bottom from all our hearts.

    Anna from Finland

  • http://csquaredplus3.typepad.com Csquaredplus3

    Your candor regarding mothering was one of the reasons I continued to follow your site. A friend of mine gave me “The Mask of Motherhood” by Susan Maushart. Susan Maushart is from Australia and the book will either speak to a person, or offend them. “…the early years of motherhood are physically difficult and can be emotionally devastating.”

    You’re so right. The sky turns blue again, and anticipation is almost always the greater part of joy.

  • Margie L

    My daugther is 28 years old and yes it does just keep getting better and better. Today she is not only my daugther but also my friend. I only hope you and Leta have the same type of relationship as she continues to grow and experience things and you come out the other side of puberty/teenage years . . it is sooo worth it. You brighten my day everyday, keep it up. Huggs to you and your family.

  • http://lessthanlucid.blogspot.com lucidkim

    For a very long time I felt like my parenting was based on sense of responsibility but not love or enjoyment. It seemed tedious and horrible and I couldn’t imagine why anyone would have children on purpose. My daughter seemed to spend the first entire year crying – always always crying. Now that she’s nearly 9 years old it seems hard to imagine when I didn’t love her to pieces. It does get better. kim

  • http://sheernaughtiness.blogspot.com Antipodeesse

    You are so right! Thank you for reminding me that I too was in that horrible place and thought I wouldn’t make it. My babies are now 12 and 14 and – to my astonishment – thoroughly likeable human beings,loaded with wit and talent. We made it!

    Most importantly, they are Good Company for their old ma. It was worth it!

  • http://evaporated.livejournal.com Andrea

    Nice post, dooce.

  • http://letter9.us Julie @ Letter9

    Heather, someone sent me to this post because I am currently struggling with PPD and I’m at that part where the medicine has helped temper the bad things but there still aren’t a lot of good things and I feel like I WANT to cry but I can’t anymore and this is supposedly improvement… Enh. Anyway, it’s good to know that I’ll look back on this one day and say, Hell YEAH! I got BETTER!

  • http://utroukx.blogspot.com kerry

    this made me cry. in a good way.

  • http://runningwithbooks.com bellevelma

    Well said, Heather. And so very true. I’m one who made it too.

  • http://www.sillylittlegirl.org Kate

    One time about a year ago after reading your archives, I sent you an email. It was really brief, and it basically said that I applauded your willingness to publicly document your experience with mental illness, and that I was going through it, too and it was kicking my ass. You wrote back, and it was also brief, but the resounding tone of your email was “It gets better.”

    You weren’t the first, or the last person to say it to me, but I include you in my thoughts when I try to remind myself of it. And now I’ve got my own kid, who is 5, having conversations with me that blow me away. And even though it’s still hard, it’s getting easier to say “it gets better.”

  • Lauren

    Heather, I know plenty of people give you crap for how you live your life and raise Leta but you’re doing such a good job. Being a mommy when you have a problem that requires medication like that is really hard, so I’m glad that you’re much happier now and you and Jon are able to both be there for Leta.

  • Anonymous

    I’m totally that mom ! Worked as much as possible when my son was small to keep busy, 10 years later stayed home with my daughter. I loved them both to pieces as babies but OMG grown up is BETTER !!!!!!!!Wait until she’s 14 and publicly berates you !!! You’ll want to kill her but thank GOD she didn’t poop her pants too!

  • Anonymous

    thank you

  • heather

    Thank you. The first month of my daughters life I thought was the most difficult of mine. She’s now 10 months and some days are better than others. Thank you for letting me know that I will find my way through. I need that. A lot.

  • clare

    leta sounds like a really fun kid. i am 21 and have realised over the last few years how lucky i am to have a funny, interesting mum who i can talk to about everything. it sounds like leta has one of those too. i see lots of awesome conversations in your future.

  • Emma

    Thank you, Heather. And thank you Leta.

  • Deborah

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you. You’ve been an inspiration to me. Thank you for telling me it gets better. There has to be a light somewhere and some time in the future that I enjoy my children.

  • Donna

    Beautiful post. You truly are a gifted writer and storyteller. Thanks for an uplifting story and wonderful tribute to motherhood — a job that is all too often undermined and overlooked.

  • http://iris-is-learning.blogspot.com/ Iris

    I have 6 children of my own. And I’m an only child. So raising them is a learning process. I go through times like what you describe. I go through ups and downs. When I’m in the down times I tell myself, “It won’t last forever”. And I breath deep and try to take alot of quiet times. I have had little one’s who love to wear the lip gloss, and eat it. They make it smell so good and it’s close to lip stick, so they start the process of feeling “grown up”. Which is another whole process, battle, experience, whatever you call it, within it’s self. And talking to them, in a conversation and not just giving instruction and teaching all of the time is a big deal. Sometimes I crave an adult to talk to, so when I do have these resonalbe conversations with my children it makes for a nice change of pace. I’m new to blogging and I’m glad to find other women who I can relate to. you take care, Iris

  • http://eleanorstrousers.wordpress.com Eleanor’s Trousers

    I cannot say enough thank yous to you and all the women who have started to come out of the closet about PPD. Now, when and if I have children, I’ll know it’s not abnormal to think you’re losing your mind. I hope Leta continues to grow into a woman who knows how lucky she is to have you as a mom.

  • Sarah

    I spent last night at a BBQ with a screaming 4 month old. I was so very happy to come home with just my 7 year old.

    Glad you are able to share the good times now, sounds perfect!!

  • http://www.suburbanmatron.com/ Becky

    Amen, sister. Four is SUCH a great age. That was when I realized that I was lying on the couch reading a magazine while my daughter did who-knows-what in her room, and that it was okay.

    Thanks for that post. It does get better. Except for the lipgloss–that part gets worse.

  • Momstrosity

    Oh, oh, oh. You don’t know what you’ve just done. Thank you.

    I almost ended up taking myself to emergency this past week, finally unable to cope any longer with my very difficult 4 month old and a nasty case of post-partum depression.

    It helps to be reminded that I will one day walk out of this fog.

  • robin

    Thank you Heather for a great, honest post, and thank you post #69 for your response. Proof that we are all going through the same thing here, and we can all be there for each other.

    Heather, this is what you were put here to do. The obstacles you have overcome in your life, were there for a reason. You were strong enough to deal with them head on (along with a very supportive husband) and in turn have been able to help others with your writing and WEB skills.

    You should be proud.

  • http://www.brotherandlittlebitty.blogspot.com melany

    I love it. Your posts make me laugh, cry and just feel good about being a mom. And it is hard. And you acknowledge that yet celebrate the amazing parts. Thanks.

  • Jenn C.

    What you say is so so true.

    I was the same way when my daughter was born, chewing the walls with I don’t even know what.

    She’s seven now, and it just gets better and better and better, ever day.

  • Lisa S.

    Amen, sistah.

    As a longtime lurker who discovered Dooce in the deepest depths of PPD – and who never believed I would make it out – once again, Heather hit the nail on the head.

    I needed to hear this all so much 3 years ago. And now, looking back, it seems so foreign that I didn’t believe life could ever be this wonderful.

    If you’re in that abyss right now, if you’re not sure you will ever get out, just hang in there, honey. Heather is one very public example, but there are thousands of us out here. We made it. You will too.

  • http://knaphrodesiac.blogspot.com Karen

    I so needed to hear that. I actually filmed a tantrum that my 16-month-old had last night so that I could look back in a year and breathe a sigh of relief that he’s finally over me not giving him the french fry that was deep inside the sofa cushions.

  • Beth

    I found your site when I was pregnant with my son, read all your archives to find out you were pregnant too. I always wanted to have kids, always thought it would complete me as a person, fulfill me. I didn’t feel the instant love and connection either, sometimes I didn’t even like him (but would never have admitted it). I’m sure, looking back, that I had some depression. Two years later, I found out I was pregnant again. It was still hard at first, but this time I knew what I had to look forward to after the baby stage, and I knew just how much I would grow to love this child, even though they still sometimes drive me crazy. My son will be four in November and my daughter will be two in October. I stay at home with them, and won’t say I enjoy every minute of it, but a lot of them I do.

    I appreciate your honesty, and the way you put things into words.

  • Nora

    Thanks, Heather. Am having my first baby any day now and this is great to hear. I am prepared (I think) for it to be hard and it is very nice to get this encouragement right now.

  • http://www.purelyanecdotal.com PA

    Thank you. You have no idea how much I need to hear that right now.

  • buttercupyaya

    thank you, really.
    thank you.

  • http://designingux.com erica

    You know what, this is exactly why I read you. I am so glad finally someone out there can say “you know what, sometimes motherhood SUCKS HARD” and still obviously love their child so much. I’m so happy to be reminded we can get past the “wanting to drown myself in the tub because my kid is STILL screaming” bit and really truly believe someday it was worth it.

  • http://itcouldtakethreemonths.blogspot.com/ Ms. C

    About 500 people have said this before me, but thanks for writing this. It is exactly what I need to hear these days.