As the baby squealed to life, I knew today was one of those days. Since Cameron died, they’ve become a staple. Early on it was most days. Now, maybe once a week or so. There’s no warning signs or way of knowing. They just come and go as they wish.
To say I’m exhausted is an understatement. I’m always tired! Just getting through a normal day puts me into overload. Days like this I feel unable to function. The demands of the day weigh heavily. My body screams at me to stay in bed. I do as long as possible. Until the necessities of the day force me to move. I call these my “bad mom” moments.
They are bare minimum days. My ability to “do” finds itself quite diminished so the only things that get done are the things that are required for life, so to speak. The girls get fed. The baby gets changed. We focus on low involvement activities where they can heavily entertain themselves. It’s a day for my mind and body to reboot.
I find myself on edge. Zero interest for anything! My focus moves to patience and parenting as best I can. On a normal day any small amount of stress impacts my overloaded senses and turns me into a Momster. So I am extra aware these days to keep it in check. The countdown to naptime and bedtime are at the forefront. Any moment of peace to sit and do nothing is a priority.
I know in my mind these are the moments I should ask for help. I don’t. I push through because it’s my way of dealing. We always used to tell Cameron sometimes there are things in life you don’t want to do, but you have to do them anyways. For me, these days are it.
I hear myself ask, “Is this what depression feels like?”
I assume it is. Depression after child loss is normal. Why wouldn’t it be? Regardless, I don’t really consider myself depressed. I believe these days are the price I pay for the trauma I survived. Part of my new normal. As long as I can still get out of bed and fulfill all of the necessities (safety, nourishment, love), I am OK.
Compassion is necessary in the grieving process. To allow yourself to work through the countless struggles that weigh you down every day. The ability to be patient and not feel the pressure of the outside world to be normal again. That is probably the hardest! There are certain things that I just can’t share because they would hurt so many people in my life.
So I continue my grief walk. Accepting my “bad mom” moments. Hoping the girls don’t notice. That there is no negative impact to them. Putting one foot in front of the other. Managing as best I can.
This is not strength. It’s my exhausted, sad, necessary survival.