Recently, Matt has been doing everything he can to read up on post partum depression, post partum anxiety, and post partum OCD. I am so proud that he has taken the initiave to research how to better help me and our family.
Immediately, I suggested he read Katherine Stone's blog Postpartum Progress. Her blog was instrumental in helping me before I was even diagnosed with any post partum issues after Kate was born. Specifically, I remembered seeing a post Katherine's husband had written with advice for husbands of post partum patients.
It was a great post and I think it helped Matt a bit. At the very least, it got him asking me questions that he would have never asked me before. It opened up some new communication and dialogue between us.
Anyway, I was thinking of the 5 things that I would want him to know and decided I would write them down.
1. Please continue to help around the house. I can easily feel overwhelmed and just emptying the dishwasher or folding clothes takes a load off of my back.
2. Pay attention to our girls first when you walk in the door after work. Some days I lose patience with them more than I should. I don't mean to. Regardless, I want them to know we both unconditionally love them. I want them to see your face light up when you see them upon walking in the door. They deserve that.
3. Encourage me to get help. And if I can't reach out and get help for myself, please reach out and get help for me. It's in the best interest of the health of our family. I love our family more than anything but I can't always see the forest through the trees.
4. Please help to educate those around us about post partum issues. Some of the people we are surrounded with seem to think my post partum issues are about them. They aren't. However, I don't have the time to educate them when I am trying to get myself well. And I don't need their additional guilt on my conscience. I can make myself feel guilty enough. Mommy guilt is a powerful thing. Even more so when you are trying to do it perfectly (since perfect doesn't exist).
5. Continue to love me unconditionally - like you always have. It's one of the sure fire things to get me smiling every day. Besides those 3 beautiful girls you have given me. The 4 of you truly light up my world.
I have to thank Matt for knowing that just because I suffer from post partum, it does not mean I suffer from being a mother. I love our girls and love being their mama.