Unpopular Opinion: How to Plan for a Newborn

“Hhumm, hhumm” she motions with her outstretched arm and curled fingers.
She wants me to come. I’m not sure where but chances are she’s wanting a snack.

She’s talking more and more. Words like, moon, boy, drink, tea, pee-pee (no, she not potty trained yet), ME, MINE, I eat, outside, I onnn know (I don’t know), and several people’s names, like on repeat and so much more.

He does several chores. Emptying the silverware caddy from the dishwasher, setting the table, putting the toys away. Recently he’s been feeding the dog and letting him out each morning. He’s growing up so much.

We only have afternoon naps to plan around if we go away. My kids are at a very flexible stage. Even those nap times are a variable and an option for Gavin. I like that my kids are getting older, growing up, more responsible, workable.

Come September, a short 4 more weeks it’s all going to change. We’ll be back at the beginning again. With a newborn.

– Being house bound with 3 kids.
– Rigorous naps + loud kids
– Teething + sleep loss.
– Baby wearing + tired shoulders.
– All the baby gear + clutter.

It gets me downhearted thinking about it. If you’ve had a baby, you know how it is. Life revolves around baby 210% of the times and life as you knew it is pretty much gone.
Out the window.
MIA.
Sabotaged.
Held hostage
…. until further notice.

I know this to be true. I know I suffer from postpartum depression for roughly the first 6 weeks. Not a severe case but the dark cloud is there. Maybe you feel it too. Most times more prevalent on days running low on sleep.

My husband has a friend who talks about ‘planning her depression’. In her case she plans it periodically. And on that day(s) she eats junk food, watches sad movies and lets herself wallow. All. Day. Long. I love that this friend is OK with being depressed. I love that she even invites those unwanted, unpopular emotions in. Our Western culture forbids depression. Looks down on it. Gives meds for it. Ignores it. Can’t handle it.

Why invite it in and plan it?

Nobody can live life from birth to death and not feel depressed or sad EVER. It’s a part of life. A part of our emotional handbag divided out in the beginning. God created man and said it was good so he must have meant all of us. Even our sad and depressing feelings. Just because something feels uncomfortable or others don’t know what to do with our feelings doesn’t make them wrong. We can’t deny our feelings.

Of course we don’t always have to act on our feelings or make decisions based on them. I’m not saying that. The point I am trying to make is that sometimes it’s OK. It’s OK to be sad. It’s OK to feel helpless and hurt. It’s OK to be depressed (I’m not talking in a clinical sense) for a season. What I believe is not OK, is pushing through feigning optimism. Posing all is well.

Sitting with our sadness some place private or alone and journal, think and talk to God is a good practice. Lean into it and see what God has in this season. Maybe it’s hard to go there or to feel those feelings, like perhaps my husband’s friend who plans her depression day.

Own it. Life sucks sometimes. We ain’t in Eden yet folks.

If you can practice being OK with our sad side, chances are you’ll be better equipped at being OK with your spouses sadness, your children’s and your friends. Think of the times you are feeling down. What’s more annoying than a person trying to cheer you up and tell you what to do when all you want to do is just be sad and eat the box of ice cream.

 

  

I’m planning my depression.

Four more weeks of this pregnancy and I’ve given forethought to the season post birth on the home-front being difficult. I’m hoping to hold my glum and being stuck, feelings of helplessness with an open palm and surrender. I’m hoping to give myself in to the circumstances around me and live in it. Embrace the chaos. Loss of control. Lean into the tears and pain and headache.

This is not a very natural thing for me to do. I love getting out. Chasing fun, making plans and living life chalked full of experiences. (I’m a full-fledged 7 on the enneagram) I’m more times than not looking on the bright side, planning the next fun thing. Enthusiastically collecting all the experiences appealing, ever the optimistic.

But this phrase, planning my depression, challenges me to be realistic about my circumstances. It grounds me and creates a desire within to connect with my whole self. Not just the good but hard as well. I’m challenged to accept the things I can not change. To experience all my feelings, rich and poor, crummy and charming. Just because my feelings are uncomfortable doesn’t make them wrong.

This is going to be hard for me to do.

Never the less,

I am

planning my depression.

 

Have you done this? Any experience with preparing for a hard season ahead? Does this idea freak you out? Is your theology on life to avoid hard feelings or face them head on? I’d love hear your thoughts in the comments or on Facebook!

 


 

This post, these thoughts are more an overlay or explanation of an idea. I know I didn’t get into the details or mechanics of what all in letting go of during my planned depression in postpartum. It’s the idea of surrendering to the baby blues and not getting frustrated at myself because of my limitations.

I know I can live on the hope that it, I, will get better and in the past I have. Eventually I will heal and recover but I need to rest and care for my body first.

Accepting help (and my tears of frustration) is hard for me to do. So this might feel extreme or sound like I’m a drama-mama, know that it is, in my case. Because it’s where I have to go to accept my circumstances. It feels extreeme to me yet, for me it’s where I have to go to allow myself to see clearly how and who I am. It’s like I’m swinging way to the left to hopeuflly someday be more balanced or in the middle with accepting the blues. I usually believe in my reality I have everything under control. But the truth is I don’t.

If you’d like to know more leave a comment, email or private message me on FB. Hopefully I can follow-up with a post later on about how it went to answer some more questions.

 

 

 


 

 

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If you’d like to contact me personally with thoughts, suggestions or ideas, please email me at thenwedancedblog@gmail.com

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