It Takes A Village

by Cookie

I haven’t been posting much lately.  I know, I was dedicated to my Monday to Friday routine, but there is a new Sheriff in town these days.  His name is Little Buddy and he works me to the bone.

Over the past week there has been a terrible tragedy here in Winnipeg.  A mother diagnosed with postpartum depression has apparently killed her two small children, and then police recovered her body from the river two days ago. It has been shocking to all of us.

And as a mother who is 4 weeks postpartum, it has been frightening.  Because obviously, something took a grip on this poor girl, and she was unable to control her thoughts and actions.  And as a mother who loves her babies so fucking hard, you wonder how that love couldn’t have been enough for her.

But as a mother who felt a little nuts in the first few weeks after having a newborn with a couple of complications, I could understand how you get to a dark place like that.   It’s exhausting.  It’s overwhelming. It’s defeating.  But all of a sudden it should start to fit together slowly, and you feel like you can breathe again.  Each day seems a little more manageable.

Do you remember that saying “It takes a village….”?  It really does.  I am fortunate to have an awesome village around me, and it’s that support that helps pull you through the hard days.  But I think a lot of people misinterpret the saying.  ” It takes a village to raise a child” , because I think it means that it takes a village to support the mother in raising her children.

And that support comes from having someone to bitch to.  Having someone recognize when you are struggling and jump in without having to ask what needs doing.  Making sure you get out of the house every single day without a child in tow.  Leaving a plate of cookies for you because you need a snack and are out of arms.  Calling just to see how things went today.

At least this is what my village does.  And knowing that even if I need a break my children will be looked after well for that hour or two gives me peace.

Because you know what happens when you spend 24 hours a day caring for everyone else except you?  You create a perfect storm to feel insane.  And some days, when the symphony of crying children begins and lasts all day, insanity feels like a perfectly reasonable alternative to the current situation.

Post partum depression is a real thing.  I’m sure I’ve been feeling a bit of PP anxiety myself.  But I feel confident in knowing that if I should start to feel or act a little off, I have a village of watchful eyes around me that would step in.  Because they’re watching closely.

So watch your moms out there.  Love them enough to realize that everyone needs help now and then.  Realize that a mother who loves her children is still gonna have days where she questions being able to do it.  Recognize when the question of being able to do it becomes a realization that she can’t.  Step in.

Become her village.