If there’s one thing I learned over the past few months in my struggles with postpartum depression, it’s that it’s pretty important to not forget what brought forth a child to begin with: the relationship with your partner. Now, I understand that there are many out there without the luxury that I have: having a partner still around for the entire duration of the pregnancy. Unfortunately, this is not a blog that can help with those that had to struggle through pregnancy and/or birth alone, and I apologize for that. But for those that do have your partners around? Do not forget precisely that: your partner is still around.
Things can get incredibly hard when the darkness of postpartum (and any depression, really…) starts to swarm you. You feel alone swimming in a see of empty and guilt, and there’s not always a logical reason behind why. In fact, when it comes to postpartum depression in particular, there’s almost never a logical reason. And it’s important to realize that because that’s the first steps to knowing that none of this is your fault.
Talk to someone! Especially if your partner is still around, don’t leave them in the dark that you are swimming in the abyss. They cannot help you if they do not realize you are suffering; you can’t always expect them to see things when they are dealing with the same things you are. Work, a new baby, the normal stresses of life: all of these are not just your burdens to bear, and they can easily blind our other halves. So speak up, and let them know. It will make both of your lives much, much easier.
Part of the reason downfalls occur after the birth of a child is a couple can forget about each other and their passions with the introduction of a newborn that takes up all of their spare time. A newborn is a precious thing, and they make our lives better. However, focusing so hard on a new baby in the house on top of the original responsibilities can lead to the beginning of the end of a relationship if you are not careful.
Do not forget each other and the love you share! It is important to continue to make time for alone time together. Do what you must to have at least one night a month alone. Whatever you two enjoy doing most together, find the time to make it happen: have a dinner and movie date, spend the night playing games, or even just go on a romantic walk through the park. Whatever will bring the two of you closer together and help remind you of the love you share, make. It. Happen. Even if you have to save up a little bit out of each paycheck to hire a babysitter for the night, then do it!
I struggled with postpartum depression, just as I did with my other two children, and this time I beat it back in under six months. A large part of that is due to finding the time to spend with my husband so he could help heal a part of me that I didn’t understand why it hurt to begin with. Did I rely solely on him? No, and no one should. But ensuring he and I continued the bonds of our relationship helped keep me out of darker places due to waning strength of what we have: something I dealt with when it came to both of our previous pregnancies.
I understand that not all are fortunate enough to have an understanding partner, but if you believe you are one that does and are upset because you feel they are not being there for you? If you have not come forward to them, then are they really the ones to blame? Only by working together can the two of you become stronger in your endeavors. By spending time alone together, it is easier to make those revelations that you can beat through the darkness that has overtaken you.
Spending time with your other half is both for the better of your own suffering, and for the survival of your relationship. I speak of this from experience: having watched my friends have children with those they believed they would spend their lives with just to split after the birth of a child. It’s heart-shattering, and I cry with them every time that it happens. Many of them lost chance to spend time with their partners in a one-on-one setting and it led to their downfall because after a time, the spirit to fix things gets too damaged to even try.
Don’t let the spirit get damaged and fight with all your might to better yourself and pull through the darkness. Work with your partner and keep the strengths between you strong enough to stay together.