• http://www.thehappypill.typepad.com sara

    I was parented by someone whom I believe never fully understood that she was experiencing postpartum depression or that she would forever. On rare ocassions she made this love and amazement known to me, and when she did, it was a part of one end of the manic spectrum which quickly made itself known as the other end. Not to be a bummer, but there’s a point:

    Leta is so lucky that her mother CHOSE to be better for her. That she has a father whose patience and unconditional love helped to heal and support that choice. And that now, she is the child of a wonderful woman whose choice will empower and change the otherwise dire paths of others.

    These writings lift my outlook on parenting and the kind of parent I could be, even if I follow in my mother’s footsteps chemically.

    Thank you.

  • Mia

    As a single mom of a now 18 year old, I’d just like to say AMEN. Only, just be prepared because somewhere in their teenage years it goes very badly again. There were about 8 months where I didn’t even want to come home. I didn’t want to be around him at all. And we’d always been really close, so I wondered where I’d gone wrong. Apparently, this is nature’s way of making them horrible again so you don’t feel badly about kicking them out of the nest. He’s wonderful again now, so I will definitely be sad when he goes. But it’s what I’ve done all of this work for. To see him become a good man. Ah shit, now I’m crying again.

    Oh, and read Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. She was the first person I heard speak out about how motherhood often times just sucks a lot and how you might not be instantly in love with your child and how no, I would never hurt my child, but yes, I can see why it happens…

  • http://www.kerryrobb.com Kerry

    This post is exactly why moms should blog. I’m not a mother yet, though I’m feeling the ache of wanting a baby every single day. I’m scared of the realities of child-rearing, terrified that my future child’s screams will make me want to go stick my head in a wood chipper. But this post, after reading all you’ve dealt with, gives me the brightest hope that it’s going to be worth it after all.

    Thank you Heather, posts like these are why I believe in the Internet.

  • http://www.digitalcatharsis.com the mighty jimbo

    can i just be a parent from ages 3 – 6?

    i’ve got five neices and nephews and those seem to be the fun years.

    pooping and puberty, yeah, well those years i think i can live without.

  • brandy

    bam, like an arrow to my cortex. i needed to hear that like you read my mind. thanks you’re an oracle

  • http://rivetergirl.blogspot.com Robin

    And it does. It gets so much better each day.

    Lovely post.

    Thank you.

  • http://www.deathchic.com Steph

    What an awesome thought to share. I wish more women who’ve experienced post-partum depression or have simply been overwhelmed by the whole motherhood thing would share their experiences. It would sure save those of us who went through that “I’m not so sure I like this being-a-mon thing” a lot of guilt and heartsickness.

  • http://lemonologie.blogspot.com Lemonologie

    That was a lovely post. You know, other than the snot. You continue to amaze me daily with your strength and determination. Thank you.

  • Laura

    Then…

    You’ll wake up one morning with a 9 year old and it will take everything you can to muster up those feelings of overwhelming parental joy — and most days, you will not have the strength.

    Enjoy these years – it gets much more complicated and, dare I say, manic as they grow older.

  • http://lester-sez.blogspot.com Lester

    “If you’re going through hell, keep going”…. Winston Churchill. Though not warm and fuzzy I think he said it very well. Lester.

  • Kim

    You are doing a great job girl!

  • http://princessnebraska.wordpress.com/ Elizabeth

    Thank you. It was really good to hear this today.
    Sometimes it just doesn’t occur, in the midst of it, that it does get better.
    But when it does, the better is so much better as to make the bad seem almost worth it.
    Thank you again.

  • Jessica

    I’m not a mother or a mother-to-be, but I needed to know that too. Thank you.

  • http://www.talesofmikkimoto.com/ Princess Mikkimoto

    Thank you and well said Heather!

    I was the same way. Very depressed after I had my son and didn’t think I would ever feel that Mother Bear Love people talk about. But I did and I do. Not to mention, no one can make me laugh like my kid. Who is now 8. It really keeps getting better too.

    From,
    someone who is also On The Other Side.

  • Lucy

    Beautiful post (well, except for the “worms of green snot” comment)…I don’t have kids, don’t plan on having kids, but know what it’s like to go through some dark times and I think that feeling of “getting to this point is so much better and so worth it” still happens, whether it’s with a relationship, your job, your hobbies.

    Thanks for reminding us.

  • Amy

    I also have a 4 year old and I’m shocked at the conversations I have with her. My daughter is all about finding the loophole in the rules. For example…she knows she’s not suppose to say “shit”, so she’ll come up to me and say “mommy, we don’t say shit do we” or “mommy, shit is a bad word isn’t it”.

    I didn’t experience postpartum depression, but I’m a single mom and I’ve had my share of bad days. But then my little one comes up and says “mommy ship…shit…ship…shit…same!” and it’s hard not to smile and realize all will be okay!

    Thanks for the post Heather.

  • http://suddenlysixty.com Chadda Rhu

    Thanks Heather. I am such a fan of your ramblings even though I am now a grandmother of two deliciously mischievous boys.

    I can relate to your sentiments about Leta as well as your desire to soothe other mother’s fears, not quite as far down the path of motherhood as you are.

    My daughter reminds me of you so I can only imagine how proud your mom must be of the way you have turned out. It does keep getting better even if your miracle creation is 41 years old like my beautifully delightful daughter Christine.

  • http://caliente-fusion.blogspot.com well-intentioned heartbreaker

    thank you.

  • Ali

    Thank you.

  • Sarah

    Wow Heather,
    That actually gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes. I am really jealous of your friends and family, I hope they all know how lucky they are to have you. You put things into such a wonderful perspective and I look forward to reading your posts each and every day. I love children and hope to have a few in the next few years. I have battled depression and wonder how I will ever be able to bring a child into this world. You have just given me the hope that it really will be okay and I will be able to do it.

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you. I needed this, not just in general but today in particular.

  • http://redumbrellla.blogspot.com/ Bella Rum

    Wonderful post that will reach a lot of people.

  • Michelle

    Thank you for your honesty! I also felt so alone in my thoughts when my daughter was born. I loved her, woulda killed for her. But it was not all Lifetime Network, Hallmark card love that EVERY Mom told me it was like. And yes, it DID get so much better. Ava is 15 months old and each and every day gets better. I also wonder what her talking voice will sound like! But those first 2 months…WHEW!

  • Anonymous

    4???????

    Puh-lease. It gets SO much better than 4. wait til 6! 7! 10!

    But 11 is tough.

  • http://sallyb-spot.blogspot.com/ sally

    I really appreciate this. Currently my daughter is 2 1/2 and life couldn’t be more horrible. I keep thinking I’ll get through this but then those days of where she screams all day. It’s nice to see Leta has turned into a nice girl because sometimes I wonder if they’re related by reading and then seeing my daughter do the same thing. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.goodbooksnw.com Hillary (no, not her)

    Heather:

    You are such a good real life champion of moms and children. Thanks for throwing out a tangible line to some people I am sure need it about now.

    I have been reading your blog for 3+ years now. My son is 8 and so many times I have thought while reading what you write just wait, it keeps getting better. When I still occasionally struggle I remember that and tell myself just wait, it will keep getting even better, and it does. Helping human beings grow up is a great gift.

    Thanks for all your softness – and your smartassness. I enjoy them both!

  • Angela

    I cannot tell you how much I appreciate blogs like this. I don’t have children yet, but the more and more I hear stories like this, the more I can’t wait to have one with my husband.
    I almost tear up, and… I gotta tell you… when you posted those two videos of leta, (the older and the one when she was a baby,) I played the one of her as a baby a million times, and almost cried every single time.
    Just… thank you. heh.

  • http://petuniafacedgirl.blogspot.com Susannah aka Petunia Face

    What a wonderful post, the words a glimmer. I second every single thing you said, right down to the mental hospital. Thanks again for being so honest.

    Oh. And my daughter is only 2 and already she insists on sleeping with her Princess Lip Balm. I’m afraid I’m raising a contestant on Flavor of Love: Season 17.

  • bevskid1

    Heather, today while I was researching resources to deal with a family member’s hoarding issues, I almost fell over when I read that two of the measurement tests are called the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A).

    Surely, this is just a twisted coincidence, yes?

  • michelle

    Thank you. I see all of the other mothers in playgroups and daycare fawning over their children at 2, 3 and 4 months old. I felt guilty dropping my son off at daycare 3 days a week and couldn’t leave daycare fast enough. I felt even more guilty that the other parents stayed and lingered with the kids. Each month has gotten better, and I always loved looking back at your old newsletters to see what’s coming up in a few more months and how the future, month by month gets better. My son’s 7 months old now, and I’m starting to see it. But, we truly can’t wait until he’s four! Thank you.

  • http://www.shoesonwrong.typepad.com Annie

    I think I might be related to Leta because I, too, have trouble hitting *just* my lips with the lip gloss.

  • Chrissy

    Oh god, you have no idea how much I needed this post today. My daughter is 15 months and has been quite “spirited” lately. Now, she’s always been a pretty chill kid but it’s like she woke up one day and decided that pulling everyting out of drawers and cabinets and off of tables and anything else that requires me to chase after her all day would be her full time job. Now I know this is actually a good thing because she’s learning and exploring. I’m also learning I need to get out of the house more. I feel like the biggest pussy complaining about my beautiful, perfect daughter but it’s amazing how exhausting such a little person is. I feel like I’m having to relearn how to parent in this new phase. I’ve felt myself get into a slump and having the support of other women and hearing their storied is really the only thing that helps me in this crazy journey motherhood. I guess the wine after bed time helps too. :)

  • Jorjabelle

    Great post. I was never able to have children, however, I met an awesome man who was raising two sons on his own and we happened to fall in love.

    Much to the disappointment of my parents, we married and I raised these two young boys. They’re now in their mid-20′s and I have a 5 y.o. granddaughter who is amazing.

    We were very lucky to have her for ten whole days at Christmas (she lives in St. Paul, “2 plane rides away”). My parents came through and this child had a Christmas that was totally out of control. On a pre-Santa visit to my folks, she comes running into the kitchen with a package that says her name from Santa. So now it’s my fault because I didn’t tell my mom she could read. In my defense, I told Mom to put the packages away so she wouldn’t be confused.

    I taught her air guitar, let her wear her favorite outfit for three straight days cause Nannies can do that (Ugg boots, black tights, and black “skinny” shirt). My son said she looked like a street walker. So then I took her upstairs, spiked her hair, taught her some more awesome air guitar moves, just cause I could.

    And she was writing!! In her purple notebook with pink notebook paper, she asked me what I wanted her to write. I said how about the alphabet? She replied, “Upper case or lower case?” Blew my ass away. Then she sorta’ got hung up around the “y” so I suggested singing the song. She asked what song? So, very off-key, I started singing the abc song. She informed me that was NOT a song and finished writing her letters, both uppercase and lowercase. She put me right in my place.

    Long comment, but watching children at this age begin to process is amazing and scary. You and Jon are so very fortunate. And I do consider these young men I raised my sons and their biological mom and I have a very good relationship and have from day one. Though I don’t understand why she didn’t want to raise these two very handsome young men, I am so blessed to have met their dad and been accepted unconditionally by them.

    Your post is my daily crack fix since I can’t have coffee anymore. Even though I’m older, I relate for some reason, on so many levels.

    And, for some reason, I’m starting to feel all liberal ….

  • Danny

    I think this is the most beautiful post I’ve read so far.
    Thank you.

  • Lovebuzz38

    Great post! And I agree… Its totally worth it!

  • http://www.mamieknits.blogspot.com mamie

    thanks for that post. the last 15 months with twin boys has been wild and hard and just now, some little bit of equilibrium is being established. those scary dark early months are receding a bit from immediate memory and the joy of watching them start to talk and communicate and give something back a bit….well, it is still hard most days, but i am not always breathless.

    it is good to hear that even with a rough and rocky start and a lovely but occ. challenging child, you have found an equilibrium of your own. your writing has really changed in the last year and i like it. i like it a lot.

  • Anonymous

    God, I hate to burst your bubble. But just as you are chugging along, it’s getting better, it’s getting better just like the little engine that could. BAM ! Your kid turns 16- wants a license and talks about going to college. My son will be a senior this year and his cousin just left for college. As I think about these things the bile begins to rise in the back of my throat and I feel sick!!! You don’t realize that when you have little ones and you think “oh that was the first time we did this together” That there will also be a LAST time you do that together.. Before you know it your baby is all grown up. Enjoy every minute !!

    Sorry but I had to get that off my chest. I think you website is great. LOVE the pics, I look for them everyday !!!

  • Nora

    From the mom of a ten-day-old baby girl,

    Thank you.

  • Jessie

    This coupled with yesterday’s article have me bawling. I work with kids who have been abused, and seeing how awful people can be to such innocent little things has made me unsure if I will ever have my own. But reading today’s post made me think – no one does a perfect parenting job, and it is SO inspiring to hear the reality of it all.

    So maybe, just maybe, I’ll reconsider.

    Thank you so much for this powerful peek into your life.

  • Anonymous

    I have often wondered if it will ever get any better or any easier.. It’s good to know there is hope!!!!!

    Thanks for being so real!!!

  • http://cobblestonelife.wordpress.com Cobblestone

    Thank you. You may have been writing for me. My surprise pregnancy left me zombie depressed for the first few months, then in a tremendous state of denial, and now {11 days from delivery} inching back towards zombie land. I am counting on the idea that parenthood will be rewarding even if I never intended or wanted to experience it.

    I am going to meet a little guy who gets to experience this amazing ride through life, first through me, then next to me, and finally in a Sunday phone call that I initiate while he is out there zooming through it on his own.

    In the neutral moments {I have had litterally less than a minute of “excited”} I think it will all work out ok. In the zombie moments all I can do is apologize that I’m not interested/excited/happy.

    Thank you for writing today, I needed to read what you had to say.

  • Kim

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. Love this.

  • Anonymous

    This made me cry. Thank you for reminding me that it gets better.

    I really, really needed to hear that today.

  • http://www.thebutterflymind.com Tammy

    You nailed it. I went through pregnancy kicking and screaming, never getting those maternal feelings. “What if I don’t like this little alien life-force?” I wondered, I asked out loud, even. I told my husband, “If she’s not a girl, exchange him in the nursery for the cutest one in there when no one’s looking!” I’m sure my hormones made me say that. Honest.

    Now I’d keep her (27 years later) even if she was a boy. Honest.

    http://thebutterflymind.com/ramblings_0036_wedding1part3.htm

    http://www.thebutterflymind.com

  • http://www.raisingsteamboat.blogspot.com/ Tracy

    Thank you. That helps. My son is almost two. I had postpartum depression, but thanks to medication I am much better now, although sometimes with all the WHINING and the SCREAMING I feel like I want to jab my eardrums out with a pair of scissors. At times I get small glimpses into how great things can be in the future, but these times are usually punctuated with a lot of SCREAMING. It helps to read about what I have to look forward to.

  • http://www.thehuckablog.com/ Grammy

    This is a marvelous write-up about the challenges, but also the immense joys, of parenting. Our grown daughter has struggled with depression since our 2-year old grandson’s birth and is currently weaning herself from medications. She is also a faithful reader at this site and uses blogging as a cathartic to work through all the emotions that come with the responsibility of parenting. It is her blog that I’m linking.

    Thank you for your good work in assisting so many Heather.

  • http://losetheidiotfriend.blogspot.com/ LoseTheIdiotFriend

    This post allowed me to stop thinking about my fiance’s idiot friend for a few blissful moments. Thank you!

  • http://phhhst.blogspot.com/ phhhst

    Wonderful post and wonderful writing.

    From someone with a nineteen year old daughter, it just keeps getting better.

    My daughter was a month premature and for the first three months cried and screamed from 9PM to about 2 or 3 AM. It was the middle of summer and the only thing that kept it down to a whimper was walking and bouncing her. My husband worked nights and when he got home around midnight I’d be streaming rivers of sweat mixed with her tears. Back then a shower by myself was heaven.

    Last year, after I started chemo for breast cancer, I came home from errands to find my house filled with my friends, food, balloons and flowers. My daughter threw me a hat and scarf party to cheer me up and pulled off the whole surprise thing. She even had made a bunch of dishes from recipes I’d downloaded off the food network for when I got my appetite back.

    Like I said, it just gets better and better.
    But watch out for a few curveballs in the beginning of the teen years.

  • Amy

    Thanks – I really needed that.

  • Lisa

    omg. Thank you Heather. I have a 9 week old monster that thinks I’m only good for one thing and it seems impossible that she will be able to talk to me let alone hold a real conversation. Thank you for the reminder that it will all happen!

    Now I’m going to go read your first post with Leta to comfort myself.