Stressed, a bit anxious and depressed.
How many children do you have?
Twins and an angel baby 🖤
How old were you when you had your first child?
Do you remember your initial reaction when you found out you were pregnant?
Yes. So excited but very anxious. We had a miscarriage with our first, so getting a positive after losing our first baby was extremely anxiety provoking.
What first comes to mind when you think of mental health?
Advocating for yourself and others. Our society is not very good at taking mental health serious until something terrible happens: shootings/suicides/etc.
Do you suffer from any mental illnesses yourself?
How was your mental health before you became a mama? How has motherhood changed or improved your mental health?
My mental health was okay prior to motherhood, I have had an eating disorder since I was a teen and have dealt with some situational anxiety. After I had my twins, my disordered thinking related to food has improved- I didn’t have time or energy to think about food I just ate. But I have suffered from postpartum anxiety and depression. Much more than I expected.
How do you self care?
Wine. Ha and watching tv with my husband after our babies go to bed. I try to workout too, but that has only happened twice since having our twins 8 months ago.
Do you have any stories you’d like to share?
Our twins are now 8 months old and as they continue showing us their personalities, it is the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced. Our daughter is all about crawling and walking while our son is perfectly content sitting and rolling.
Any advice for other mamas?
1. Ask for help. Over and over and over. Don’t be afraid to remind those in your life that you’re still struggling, even if it’s 8 months postpartum. You’re allowed to feel all the emotions you have, you are not a bad mom for feeling the way you do. I had to tell my husband the other night that I feel like I’m back to being one month postpartum with my anxiety and depression, when he just didn’t understand why I wanted to go to bed so early (a lot of days in a row). Sometimes this depression is barely there, and other times it makes me want to only lay in bed and sleep. And that’s okay! You just need to find support from the people in your life, and let them help. 2. No matter what anyone says: fed is best. Breastfeeding looks different for a lot of moms, it could be direct baby nursing, exclusively pumping, offering donor milk, or supplementing with formula. Or strictly formula feeding. As long as your baby and YOU are doing okay with the way you feed your babe, nothing else matters!! I decided to exclusively pump At 2 months postpartum due to a ton of issues and still struggle with pain/blood blisters/etc. But switching to exclusive pumping was a huge relief for me and my mental health! 3. The house is always going to need cleaning, but your babes will never be this age again. Try to enjoy your time with them. The dishes can wait.
Do you have anything else to add?
Sleep train your babies. It is an absolute lifesaver. I wish we had done it sooner. Our babies are happier and so are momma and daddy! We joined a Sleep Training group on Facebook and our twins now sleep 12-13 hours a night, along with 2 2-hour naps a day. They no longer use pacifiers (haven’t since 6.5 months) and it’s absolutely glorious. They are such happy babies because they are sleeping through the night and are waking rested!
What’s the scoop on Ashlan?
What’s your drink of choice?
Cabernet Sauvignon! Or non-alcoholic would be: Coffee with brown sugar and whole milk.
Do you have a favorite TV show?
Currently watching: 911, Blue Bloods, and Hawaii Five-0.
What’s the cutest thing your kid(s) has done?
Smile and say dada (even though this momma would do anything for a mama sound!).
Sweet or Salty?
Sweet, but also love salty!
We had two Pitbulls for 4 & 5 years who we loved so much! We re-homed them when our twins were 4.5 months for a lot of reasons but mostly so they could have a home with lots of yard to run and play in. They are happier than ever in their new forever home.