And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Last week, Lotta over at Mom-O-Matic wrote this post. I thought about commenting, I thought about writing a post about it, I thought a lot about it, but decided that I really couldn't say anything about it. Now she has written this post. I still don't feel I have any right to be commenting over at her place, because she has every right to write what she feels the need to write without someone coming in and wrecking it. But I have so much to say about it.

Basically, her posts are about how terrible it was living with her mother, who had severe depression. That's not fair. Her posts are about how difficult it is living with someone who has depression, and how it has affected her life. I believe her. I can't argue. But Lord those posts hurt, as do all the comments she has received from people who have had to deal with similar situations.

You see, I worry a lot about how my issues will affect my Sprouts. I KNOW that I am not as good of a mom as I would like to be. I KNOW that sometimes I am impatient, that I isolate myself from them, that I am not as affectionate as I should be. But I try SO HARD not to let my depression hurt them.

I remember after I had my mini-breakdown, Big Sprout would ask me if I was "sick again" whenever I was short with her or just seemed not happy.

I hate that. I mean I REALLY HATE THAT!

I don't want my Sprouts to grow up and say "I know Mom really tried, but..." I want them to always know that I love them no matter what. It scares me that even though I am trying so hard, I might not be successful. It scares me that my best might not be good enough. I wonder why the powers-that-be ever allowed me to have children.

The hardest part is knowing that all I can do is my best, hoping it is enough, accepting that it might not be. I don't want to be the mother who fails her kids. I don't want to be that selfish woman who puts herself before her children. I don't want depression to become an excuse for being a poor parent.

I comfort myself by thinking about all the "normal" parents in the world who make mistakes (every parent I have ever heard of), but somehow it doesn't help. I try to believe that by openly seeking help, and being clear to the Sprouts that mommy has a disease that makes her like this, I will somehow provide them with the tools to deal with me being a little nuts.

Big Sprout knows that mommy takes medicine because she has a hard time with things. She seems to deal with it okay. I try to put it on the same level of diabetes or something similar. I try not to show how terribly down I sometimes feel.

Will it be enough?

I suppose I will never know.


Mysti said...

My mother is bipolar as was her mother. The depression she suffers if awful! I have taken care of my mother most of my life. The first time I had to have her hospitalized, I was 14 years young. It's been a very hard life to juggle.. kids, spouse, mom, and hospital admins. But i've made it work much to my own personal neglect. And honestly, when you you've been the caretaker for so long, you become desensitized. In my opinion, you have too or you become one who needs medical attention. That is what I get from Mom-O-Matic's post. I hear myself in her. You are doing your best, taking your meds, STAYING on them.. being honest about your needs with your family and children. My mother is one who does well and then comes to a point of going OFF the meds.. We just got over a 3 month hospital stay due to it. It's not easy... but trying is what matters. Your Sprouts will thank you for it. Believe me. :) Big hugs of understanding dear lady!

barefoot gardener said...

I kind of understand what you're saying. I hope my mom will forgive me for saying this, but she has struggled for years with depression, too. I never had to take care of her, but looking back I can tell the times when it wasn't so good for her. I think Lotta's posts got to me so much because it is a very sensitive nerve that she hit. I am terrified of being a "bad mom", and her posts brought into focus how easily I could fall into that.

Anonymous said...

My mom suffered from depression and severe depression for all of my childhood and adolescence. Are there things I wish could have been different? Sure. But you know what? She *did* do the best she could. And over the past 15+ years we've worked through a lot of those issues, and have become very close. I'm so grateful she got help, and took the meds when she needed them, because if she hadn't? She probably wouldn't be here, and my sons would have missed knowing their grandmother.

Normally I just lurk on blogs, but I really felt compelled to comment on this entry. Hang in there, never give up, and just keep looking at each day as a fresh start.

barefoot gardener said...

Thank you for the encouragement!