When did you wave your white flag? How many tissues fall before we take notice of our white flag that needs waving?
I don't know about you, but I didn't wave mine for help in a big enough way until I was about eight months postpartum. I felt like there were moments scattered all throughout my early weeks as a new mom that were clearly cries for help, but I was too proud and too scared to take ownership and act on them. "I'm normal...I'm normal...This is OK...I'll get through this..."
Looking back, it's insane to me how many tears were shed over breastfeeding, my birth story/trauma, sleep deprrivation, and ultimately the loss of my identity. I thought the babies were the ones who did all of the crying in those early months. Is "colicky mom" a thing?
My head was buried in this thick fog of my own thoughts and my own made-up stories about how I wasn't measuring up or enjoying this blessed role I was given. Anyone trying to pull me up or pull me out was just static for awhile. I HAD to keep pushing through the breatsfeeding thing. It's sick to me now how cunningly I persuaded myself to believe that if I wasn't doing "x" than I'd never be "y."
Not once did I pause for a moment, alone on the couch with my newborn, and ask myself if what I was doing was bringing me joy. I never sat in my own confidence long enough to shut Facebook off and stay away from those magazines/blog posts. I didn't know where my world went and I clung to the one that made sense to me at the time...the other moms.
I wish I could depict my "white flag" moment here right now but I honestly don't remember it. I can remember a few of my "rock bottom" moments, but I'm honestly not quite sure which time on the kitchen floor, sitting in a puddle of my own tears, I raised my white flag and told someone out loud that I needed help...that something had to change.
What I do know is that I wish I could go back and speak up sooner. I want other moms to know that the minute you realize there's a "white flag" to be raised, you raise the hell out of it and you do it without shame. I know you can't do it without fear (it's always scary to admit we need help) but you really have to do it without shame. There is NO shame in recognizing that this is something beyond baby blues and sleep deprivation. The best moms can find themselves in valleys even when they least expect it. Be the best mom you can by starting your journey back up as soon as you realize you've been slipping.