My Struggles With Anxiety, Depression, And Being A Stay At Home Mom

I think that there are so many other mothers like me that have daily struggles with anxiety, depression and the challenges of being a stay at home mom.  The problem is most of us aren’t talking about it.  I think this is because in many ways we feel weak or that somehow it’s our fault that something isn’t right in our head.

People who don’t suffer from it don’t understand it.  They think there’s just some kind of switch.  And the most common stereotype are those who look at your life, the life where you have more than most do, and they say to themselves “What in the world does she have to be depressed about? She has everything!”

Everything except the correct chemical balance in the brain.

Depression anxiety chemistry
I was put on Zoloft after I had finished nursing my 3rd baby.  I had an appointment with the doctor and I suggested to him that I hadn’t been feeling myself and he instantly just wrote me a prescription for the anti-depressant.  I had read a lot about post natal depression and especially from dissolving breast feeding, so I really had no concern.

I was on Zoloft for 3 years.  200mg a day.  And one day I realized I still wasn’t feeling myself.

So I decided to go off of it.  My mood swings were horrible, I still didn’t feel like doing things most days *like getting out of bed*, and so as most people would do, I decided to make the decision to quit taking something that I felt wasn’t doing a damn thing.

After experiencing brain zaps, body twitches and any other withdrawal symptom, I was finally returning to what I felt was normal.

About 3 months passed.

One morning I woke up and I thought I was having some kind of heart attack or mini stroke only there was no pain in my chest.  My heart was palpitating, I was shaking, my stomach felt like I needed to throw up, and I was dizzy and couldn’t focus on much of anything except trying to breathe.

Of course I didn’t go to the doctor.  I looked up my symptoms on the internet and everything was telling me to meditate, take deep breaths, and try some yoga positions because I was having a panic attack.

After several hours I finally was able to calm myself down.

In the mornings remaining I would always wake up in a state of panic.  Like feeling like the plane was going to crash, only I wasn’t on any plane.  I was in bed and just waking up.  But the feeling of dread was there.  Like literally I felt plagued with it.

Depression anxiety chemistry
About a week later another panic attack occurrred and I went straight to the doctor.  My blood pressure was through the roof and he confirmed what I already knew.  He said that being on the Zoloft must have kept the panic attacks at bay and even though I had been off of it for 3 months my body was still adjusting.

He put me on Kolonopin, an anti-anxiety medication.  I was to take it twice a day, morning and night.  Haven’t had a panic attack since.

In the beginning of 2016 I decided it was going to be my year to finally get in shape.  I started going to the gym, sometimes twice a day.  I found a love for Zumba and watched 28 pounds melt away.  I even got my Kolonopin down to once a day.

But even though I was feeling better, had more energy, and getting a good nights sleep, there were still days I was fighting with myself just to get out of bed.

The warm weather started to roll in and by end of May I couldn’t stand the temperature inside the Zumba room so I quit going.  And then a few weeks later the kids were out of school and so there went going to the gym too.

Now I realize they were bad choices.

But we had a busy summer planned with camping, swimming, and hiking.  But facts are facts and as the summer passed I felt myself feeling worse and worse.  I also found myself “self-medicating” by consuming alcohol on almost a daily basis and justifying it with the fact I wasn’t getting drunk, just trying to wind down from the daily struggles of being a stay at home mom of 4 kids.  Three of which were still very dependent on me every 2.5 seconds.

By the end of last year I started noticing that I had lost interest in everything that used to be important to me.  I stopped blogging.  I stopped being creative through my photography and designing.  I started distancing myself from family and friends.  I even stopped doing craft projects with my kids, which has always been a passion of mine.  And instead I started binge watching TV…something I just don’t do on an everyday basis.  Sometimes confining myself to my bedroom.

But yet the ambition to do any differently just wasn’t there.  I did the bare minimum of what it took to be a mother and a wife.

Depression anxiety chemistry
I decided to go through a series of medical testing through my OB/GYN and my family doctor to see if there was anything that would be causing me to feel so fatigued everyday.  I even started seeing a therapist hoping she would have some answers.  All my tests came back normal, which was good but I knew that this also meant I was faced with the fact that I will probably have to spend the rest of my life on some kind of an anti-depressant.

Both my doctors and my therapist confirmed what I already knew.  Only this time I was put on Wellbutrin at 150mg a day.

I’ve been on it a couple months now and have started getting back to the gym.  I’ve even started keeping my alcohol comsumption to a minimal in order to give the meds a chance to work.  

I quit going to the therapist as I felt completely drained upon leaving her office because she constantly wanted to drudge up a past that I buried long ago.  And also because my insurance only paid for a certain amount of visits and in those 6 visits I felt like I was 20 steps behind from when I started.

Therapy isn’t for everyone.  And it wasn’t for me.

I made a choice to try and work this out with the help of a medication I hate, but any person with a chemical imbalance feels that way.  We think that when we start to feel better we don’t need it anymore.

This is the start of my journey and the end of me beating myself up over something that has, and never will be any fault of my own.

One Day At A Time,

Cuddle Fairy

7 Tips That Make Life As A Mom That Little Bit Easier

motherhood tips

Being a mom really is everything it’s cracked up to be. It’s amazing and changes a woman’s life in countless ways. Despite all the beauty of it, though, being a mom is incredibly hard. Here are 7 tips that will make life as a mom a little bit easier.

1. Resist the urge to go it alone.


Total self-sufficiency is the motherhood kiss of death. Raising kids is hard, exhausting work. If you’re co-parenting, make sure your partner is doing their fair share. If you’re a single mother, you need to have a network of support. Whether you’re a single mother or half of a parenting dream team, you need to say yes to offers for outside help and you need to specifically ask for help. Family members and friends are usually eager to help out. It takes a village, and if you try to go it alone, you’ll end up permanently exhausted and unhappy.

2. Forget about perfect.


Forget the dreams you had about motherhood. Forget the Pinterest boards full of amazing kid ideas. Forget the images of perfect lives you see from other moms on social media. Lots of days of being a mom will be perfect, full of that incomparable joy you felt the first time you held your baby. But plenty of days will also be hard and messy and not at all perfect. Throw the idea of perfect out the window and you’ll learn to appreciate the magic packed into all those messy days. Stop giving yourself a hard time for failing to live up to those Pinterest boards and celebrity mom Instagram posts. Those are staged glimpses at ideal moments. They’re occasionally achievable, but that’s only one little piece of the picture. Reality, in all its messy glory, is its own kind of perfection.

3. Every age is the best.

Don’t approach your kid’s childhood as groups of fun ages and ages to dread. Forget about the terrible twos and the terrible tweens. Even forget about the magic of babyhood or the delight of having school-age children. Every single age of a child is amazing and special in its own way. Every age is also hard in its own way. The cliche is true: it all goes by so fast. Find something to love and cherish about each age. Don’t miss the magic of right now because you’re living in the past or the future.

4. Remember that mom stuff can be cute and stylish.

Being a mom means owning and hauling around all kinds of things for your kids. Just because it’s for a practical purpose, though, doesn’t mean it has to be ugly! Choose products that fit your sense of style, products that make you smile, products that will make you the envy of all the other moms. Choose a cute diaper bag and you’ll be prepared to keep your baby clean and happy when you’re out and about, but you’ll also feel happy yourself for rocking some sweet baby swag. Shopping for kid stuff can have the same joy as shopping for shoes or handbags when you realize that kid stuff can be cute and fashionable.



5. Remember that being a mom is just one part of who you are.


Motherhood is amazing and can be all-consuming. It’s all too easy to let it completely take over your identity. Remember that there are other parts of you, too. You’re still a partner, child, sibling, career-woman, painter, yogi, churchgoer, sports fan, or whatever else makes you uniquely you. Be a mom, but not a mom to the exclusion of everything else. Take time for yourself. You’ll be happier, but as a bonus, your child will learn a pretty important lesson in seeing you do this.

6. Watch out for clutter.
Having kids means having a lot of extra stuff.

A lot of it is vital and a lot of it is imbued with all kinds of special memories, but a lot of it is clutter. Get in the habit of clearing out what you don’t need regularly or you’ll eventually be looking at a mountain of crap. Go through your kid’s clothing and toy collection and find a new home (donate, give away, sell, trash) for anything you no longer need. Kid art is particularly hard to part with, but you will amass a lot of it very quickly. Save the most special pieces and scan all the rest. You’ll still be able to look back at that scribbled drawing from age 2 and that self-portrait from age 5, but you won’t have to dig through 10 overstuffed bins of artwork to find it. You might even implement a rule that for every new item that comes in the house, one must go out. New toy in, old toy out. Decluttering kid things can get trickier as your child gets older, but it’s another great teaching moment. Involve your kid in the decision-making process for what stays and what goes and it will be less traumatic.

Children are hilarious and parenting is full of hysterical moments. Don’t forget to laugh. Laugh often and take the time to record some of the funniest stories. Keep a journal where you write down all the cute things your kid says or does and mark the date. Whether handwritten or digital, this will be a favorite thing to look back on for many years to come. You will not regret doing this. You might think that you’ll remember all of these moments, but you won’t. Sure, you’ll remember many of them, but a lot of gold will slip through the cracks of your memory. As your kids get older, they’ll love it as well and you can belly laugh about it together. Of course, some of the stories you’ve recorded are sure to be embarrassing to your kids as they get older, but sometimes that makes it even more fun.

Disclaimer:  This post was sent to me as a guest post and none of these words are that of my own.

Domesticated Momster

How You Know It’s Time For The Kids To Go Back To School

I don’t know about you but I am counting down the minutes seconds days for my little ones to go back to school.

I remember that I couldn’t wait for school to be out and not have to wake up to an alarm clock or rush around like a psychopath mad woman to get the kids up, dressed, fed, and off to three different schools.

We had all these summer vacations and fun plans and memories to make.   Well now here it is almost the middle of August and I am DONE with them being home all day. *pulls hair out*

And here is a list of reasons why:

*My wine budget has far exceeded any Christmas budget we have ever had.

back to school kids parenting humor

*The liquor cabinet is on rations.  Sometimes wine doesn’t cut it so I have had to get into the hard stuff.  Sometimes this is before noon.

*I have heard the word mommy, mom, mama, and mother so many times that I am contemplating changing my name to bitch so that they can’t call me by my name.

*If we are stuck in the house it’s like a prison sentence.  There is only so much patience that I have left for crafts, teaching, and anything else that doesn’t involve technology.  Have you ever tried doing crafts with 3 little people? It takes longer to get everything out and ready and to clean up the mess, then we spend on actually doing the craft.  Plus I have had to use some of the craft supplies budget to add to the wine budget.  Don’t judge me.


*It’s hot outside and the summer toys have lost their lustre.  Hell, they were bored with those 2 weeks into the summer holiday.  *misses the days of having a pool*  The outside cement has been decorated so many times with sidewalk chalk that when the dog lays in it she’s 10 different shades of color when she gets up.  My children have also discovered that chalk and water makes for great paint.  They will lay in it and then make little human body prints everywhere.  This is usually right after I have given them a shower.  Now I just play mommy dearest and they get the hose.

*I play referee more times in one day than an NFL professional referee does in an entire season of football.  God for bid one of them destroys something on the others Minecraft bullshit.  You would think that the actual house was on fire and all it is, is a video game that I still can’t understand their obsession with.

sex in the shower gif

*I can’t remember the last time my husband and I had sex that didn’t qualify as a quickie in the shower.  You know the whole “Mommy and daddy are going to go get dressed  now so don’t come knock on the door 5 gazillion times tattling or asking for something” routine.  And then you lock the door and pray that they don’t unlock it…because yes, my kids know how to do that with a toothpick!

*I am trying to get them back into an early to bed routine.  The. struggle. is. real. and some nights I just give up and go to bed myself in hopes they won’t kill each other destroy something while I’m sleeping.

*I need to get back to the gym and I would like to have time to write a blog post without 1,000 interruptions.  Oh and did I mention my hair is falling out…or maybe that’s from me actually tugging on it several times throughout the day.

*I miss my alone time and can gradually feel my sanity slipping away.  I just might have to take money from the school supplies budget to hold me over on the wine since I still have 22 days to go.  *rolls her eyes as far back into her head as they can go* They don’t need new shoes right?  I can just cut holes in the ends of the old ones.  Again don’t judge me.

drinking wine humor

Counting the days to getting my sanity back,

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The End OF The School Year

Yesterday was the last day of school.  It was the last day of kindergarten for my little monster B, the last day of preschool for my little monsters M and Z, the last day of the 10th grade for teenage monster M, and this mommy will be embarking on the fall with a first grader, a kindergartner, one still in preschool, and a junior in high school.

To say the end of this year was crazy is an understatement.

preschool graduation learning ladder
Little Monster M receiving her preschool diploma.  She got best puzzle award which is no surprise to me since she LOVES doing them.
kindergarden teacher sonoma heights elementary
Little Monster B with his kindergarten teacher.  He got Best Tiger award which translates to best behavior for the school year.  

And the blogging has suffered as it’s always the thing that gets put on the back burner when life gets busy.

I have a white board that I keep all events that are coming up listed on so that I can physically and easily look at it everyday…several times a day.  For the last 3 months it has had at least 10 events at a time listed on it.  I am happy to say that as of right now I only have a dress rehearsal, a recital, and some packing,  and then we are off on our first big summer family adventure!

I will admit that I will miss my few hours of “me” time in the mornings over the next few months but I won’t miss the constant chaos that comes with 4 kids in three different schools who all participate in extra curricular activities and me being utterly exhausted by the time I crawl into bed at night.

I’m hoping to get some writing done as I think it’s been a couple weeks since I even wrote anything.

And even though the kids were up at the crack of dawn this morning, it was still nice not to have to get up and get rushed out the door.  I actually finished a cup of coffee.

Here’s to summer and all the new memories to be made!

summer pool swimming kids
The best $20 I have spent so far this summer.

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~My Chaos~

Daily Writing Prompt

What do I define as my chaos?

*Chaos is getting up and getting the kids ready for school every morning.  Although I put them to bed right at 8pm every night they don’t fall asleep right away and sometimes are still getting up with the “I’m thirsty…I need to go pee” crap well after 10pm.   Other nights they are out in 10 minutes and then usually up way earlier than my alarm.

*Chaos is shoving and yelling getting them all in the car and buckled and ready to go somewhere.  Sometimes this can take longer than it takes to get to the location we are trying to reach.  It’s always a fight over who’s going to sit where, or someones carseat is blocking the other’s seatbelt and they won’t move.


*Chaos is looking at the laundry pile that I decided to put off for a couple of days and now has grown to an unattainable unwinnable unreachable impossible state to get finished.  Like I seriously just see myself buying an incinerator to throw it all into.  The kids will be fine going to school wrapped in cloths and duct tape right???

*Chaos is my children’s rooms that never seem to be clean even 5 minutes after I spend two hours in each one of them organizing and getting rid of junk.  It’s like suddenly they have rediscovered all their toys because they have been organized and put away.

*Chaos is trying to plan an entire summer’s worth of vacations with my husband in one day.  Why you ask?  Well because my husband is like that.  When he gets going on something it’s get it done RIGHT.NOW….all of it.  Why put off utnil tomorrow when you can get 3 months worth of planning done in one day?

*Chaos is trying to get some blogging, exercise, and errands done in the few hours I have to myself in the mornings before I have to pick the girls up from preschool and a whole new battle of chaos begins.

*Chaos is trying to decide what’s for dinner EVERY. DAMN. DAY.  Then forgetting to take the meat out and having to make a trip to the grocery store where I then buy more stuff that wasn’t even on my list.

*Chaos is there’s 2 t-ball games this week and I am on the volunteer sheet for snacks for both games.  And then that thought reminding me that their uniforms are in that pile of clothes waiting for the incinerator.  Unless of course it didn’t make it to the hamper and is under the bed, folded up in a sheet, tucked under a stuffed animal.  Yes really.

*Chaos is at this very moment, that I am trying to get this post finished, my 5 year old wants to argue with me about why she doesn’t get paid for her chores.  WHAT?!?! She’s 5!  I quickly remind her that she lives here and everyone has chores to do.

*Chaos is looking at the list of things that need to get done before the end of the school year.  4 kids and 3 different schools. Ceremonies, graduations, and special days to attend.

*Chaos is listening to my 16 year old and 6 year old fight like an old married couple cats and dogs, and wondering if they will ever obtain a bond with the 10 years there are between them.


*Chaos is my 16 year old wanting to argue with his dad and I about everything because, well, he’s a teenager and knows everything.

*Chaos is having a house that I can’t keep organized because I need about 3 clones of me or more hours in the day.  And before I had kids you could eat off my floor because my house was that clean.  All. The. Time.

So in the midst of all my chaos I find peace.  It might only be moments of guzzling a bottle of wine peace sometimes, but it’s still there.   The chaos reminds me that I am alive, healthy, and blessed to be surrounded by 5 human beings that love me.  That we have a roof over our heads and food in our bellies.  And so for all those blessings…I will gladly accept the chaos.

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Quote Of The Week ~ May 8, 2016

Today is Mother’s Day here in the US and while I was laying here in my bed debating whether to go back to sleep (my teenagers gift was to get up with the littles) or to stay in here and hide out a little while longer, I started to reflect on what Mother’s Day means to me.

Now of course there’s the side of me that wants to get in the car, drive to the city, go to the spa, eat sushi, get my kid infested Yukon detailed, maybe catch a movie, and then get home after the kids have already been put to bed.

For one my husband has to work today and I don’t expect my teenager to play parent all day.

But in reality I know that I have a 6 year old little boy out there that has been talking about his Mother’s Day gift he made for me for the last week and the excitement in his eyes when he talks about is just one of the biggest joys of motherhood.

On Thursday the preschool my girls attend, had a Mother’s Day celebration and when I opened the gift that my 4 year old made (a mold of clay shaped as her hand) I began to cry because as a mom I know her hand will not always be that small.

My 5 year old planted Baby’s Breath in a little pot she painted and decorated and we have been watering and taking care of it everyday.  She’s been waiting patiently to plant it into a bigger pot.  I will of course treasure the tiny decorated pot forever.

Mother’s Day is not just about a day, it’s about being a mother all the time.  Being a mother whose loved and adored by her children.  It’s about making sacrifices to ensure their happiness.  Being there when the world or life fails them sometimes. Putting your own thoughts and frustrations aside  even when they become adults.

To always be the mother they can turn to.

It’s about being the best mom you can be and being rewarded with their love and admiration.  It’s precious…never take it for granted.

Mothers Day 2016 motherhood
From one mother to another, hug your kids, kiss your kids, and always love your kids and show that love because they grow so fast and I for one never want to look back on my motherhood and have too many regrets.

Happy Mother’s Day,


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Cuddle Fairy

Throwback Thursday ~I Am A MomWho

 

From the time the little mini monsters come out of our bodies it is a constant cater to everything pertaining to their well being.  Our own well being suddenly becomes extinct.  We no longer have days at the salon or days spent window shopping at the mall…oh wait I didn’t really do that even before I had kids.

motherhood, mommies, parenting, humor

mother who mommy motherhood mom

*Gets to stay home and watch her children grow each and every day.

~This also means I am I am never away from you…well sometimes but rarely

*Loves to watch every exciting new moment discovered in your eyes.

~Especially when you decide to apply toothpaste to every crevice of the house…or peanut butter…oh and let’s not forget SYRUP!

*Couldn’t imagine her life without you in it.

~Just please let me sleep in for once!

*Watches you interact with one another and realizes the choice to have more then one was the right choice.

~Then you start fighting!  Thought destroyed…moment over, done, past tense.

*Sees how much you are growing up and starting to be more independent by picking up your toys.

~Oh wait that requires bribery and a big bottle glass of wine when we are done.

*Wants to love you, and squeeze you, and smother you with kisses.

~What’s that smell?  Is that fucking poop in your hair?

*Loves to watch you run and play outside as the sun beats on your beautiful face.

~Is that dog shit on your shoe?  GET BACK OUTSIDE!

*Just look how innocent you look while you are sleeping.

~Whats that on your sheets?  IS THAT PERMANENT MARKER?!?!

*Would do anything for her children.

~No you can’t have another sibling!

*Loves being your mommy.

~Through good times and bad…all the time.

Mommy Of The Year,

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