I have often wondered why only some women get postpartum mood disorders if we all go through the same hormone changes, etc. I discuss this in my book some, but lately I have been wanting to blog about how this compares to how people are dealing differently with the current COVID-19 pandemic. I have heard it said more than once during this that we are not all in the same boat right now. Some have lost their jobs, some are still working but fear getting sick, some want to work and can’t, some have small businesses and may lose everything, some have gotten stimulus checks and/or unemployment, others have not. Some of us know people who have died or have been or are sick, some of us do not yet. We all know of someone though, including some famous people.
Some of us are enjoying time at home, some are sick of being home and it is affecting their mental health. Some wish they could be home and working through this is affecting theirs. Some already have a history of mental illness, others do not. Although I do suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder with anxiety and had postpartum depression years ago, I am actually probably doing better than most during the pandemic. I am making more money during the pandemic than before. I am still getting paid by my work while babysitting for essential employees and received a $2,900 stimulus. My husband is still working and my daughter is 12 and doing school from home. She is a very good student, is gifted and hardly ever needs help, so that is going well.
I can still walk the dogs, I get to swim with the kids I babysit with and play video games and board games with them. I have actually caught up on all my TV shows and started some new ones and watched several movies. I have even re-watched some of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some challenges. For one, like everyone else, I have been scared at times. I have never experienced anything like this in my lifetime. I am scared of high risk people I know getting sick, I am scared of me and my family getting sick. I also regularly get massages to help manage pain from an injury from falling down the stairs years ago. I have gone a while without one and I am feeling it ,and having to use every other way to try and manage it in the mean time.
Of course I miss going to the movies, and out to eat, and getting my hair cut and my dogs bathed and their nails trimmed, those last two are torture to do myself, let me tell you. I miss my work babies and my coworkers so much. Also, the kids I babysit do not willingly do their school work, so that has been a fun challenge, that may have given me a panic attack one day. They are also siblings who fight a lot and I am used to an only child.
When women have children, they do not all have the same support from their spouse and family and friends. Some have none, some have a lot, some work, some stay at home, some have more money than others, some have a history of mental illness, some have a great birth experience, some have a horrible one, some planned their pregnancies, some did not, some had an easy time getting pregnant, some had a very hard time, some experienced deaths or layoffs or other sad experiences around the time they had a child, while others did not, some already have several kids different ages, some have none, some are younger when they have kids, some are older, and all have different life experiences. Some babies are great sleepers, others are not, some babies are happy all the time, some have colic and cry all the time.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, my real father died. We had not spoken in three years. Less than a year after she was born my grandfather passed and I was laid off from my job. My daughter was not a good sleeper and I did not handle sleep deprivation well at all. When my daughter was 2, my husband left me and I finally lost it enough to not hide my depression anymore and got help. I knew many had been through worse, but it was the worst I had ever been through. I once had a dream where I had a rash, but other people around me had a worse rash. Mine kept getting ignored because it was not as bad, until it got worse and worse and I could not stop itching. We are not all in the same boat. Regardless of our religious, political or other beliefs, this is affecting everyone differently, so we should all try and have some compassion for everyone. No one knows the right or wrong way to react to this yet. Most of us are trying our best though.
Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook, or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here. Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor