By Spring 2011, Bryan was nearing his second birthday. Early intervention was complete as far as speech and occupational therapy were concerned. Addison, our older son, was graduating from preschool, and I had returned to work part time. We hired a college age nanny who was fantastic, and I went back to work as a speech therapist. This time I found a lovely job at a nursing home one town over, and I was able to work two mornings a week. It was “perfect.” No…no it was not.
It was not perfect because I was struggling with post partum depression and severe anxiety. My anxiety would get so bad that I would spiral into depression. I worried about every aspect of my mothering. I also feared that I could not love my husband enough…I was too tired…to stressed. And yet, I would crawl into bed and “sleep” for hours. A shower was a place that I felt some peace, but I was a soul and body that was unrested. Nursing moms and moms of any child especially a special needs child are spent. I think after two years of many sleep disturbed nights and my personality to be “the perfect mom, wife, and professional” created a breaking point.
The breaking point left me suicidal and willing to go for inpatient time at a local hospital. Yes, my kids were cute and healthy. But, me, their mom was not. These words are hard to write. However, I hope they help you understand the story of our my journey and my blog. I counted my 1,000 gifts as a part of Ann Voskamp’s challenge, but that was not enough I needed medication, and help from my husband, family, and friends to climb out of this valley.
The valley of anxiety and depression is a really hard place to be especially if you are a mom. You can search keywords “anxiety” and “depression” in the blank rectangle to the right of this blog if you want to read past posts about these topics. It took years for me to find the right medicines for me and I went to four counselors in two years…all women, all wonderful. But, THE BEST counselor is The Counselor–Jesus Christ.
John 14:26 [Full Chapter]
“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.
Don’t be distraught. Easier said than done. After months of counseling appointments, psychiatry visits, and talks with my husband, we decided it was time to try to move back to Florida. We were not sure if we could afford to move to a higher real estate area or if my husband could find a job there. God provided. He provided a way back to the Sunshine State…a place that felt like home and a place where my mom and dad were near enough to support us more. It is okay to want and need places and people that make you feel happy!
Our kids were happy through this time, and as I look back at this point in our feeding of Bryan I know we gave him a lot of what he wanted: sweet and salty crunchy carbs. Those are easy to prepare. The pediatrician assured me “He’s fine. He’ll out grow the picky eating.” He looked healthy, but he was not eating a healthy or balanced diet. It is hard to feed crying kids. It is easy to give them what they want. So I’m pretty sure Bryan lived on goldfish crackers, Ritz, grahams, and peanut butter.
Had I known now, what I did not know then…I wish I had a pediatrician or friends to teach me about nutrition and feeding. Give this book to new moms: Getting to Yum-The 7 Secrets of Raising Eager Eaters by Karen Le Billon.
I also wrote an ebook on Amazon Eating Is Okay for Me
that describes developmental milestones for eating in 7 simple pages. I wish pediatricians would take a more active role in educating us about nutrition for our kids. Maybe your pediatrician does? We must introduce our kids to many tastes at an early age. Kids do not outgrow picky eating…they learn that they control what they eat. We as parents have to educate ourselves and learn that picky eating warrants early intervention too.