This is a guest post is written by Kim who blogs at The Truth About Homeschooling. She writes on her days teaching her kids at home, her faith, and on her severe PPD after 3 children.
In April 2010 I woke up.
I was sitting on the sofa in my living room, still in my pajamas, with my three children on the floor watching TV. Violet and Sarah were talking about wanting to switch bedrooms. We’d been talking about doing this for over a year. I just couldn’t do it, though. It would take at least a month to switch bedrooms for three kids and sort out all the toys. I looked at them through my usual fog, and then it ….just happened. I was absent. And then I wasn’t.
This past January my husband and I started talking about home schooling our kids. There are so very many reasons we wanted to do this, and ultimately decided to do it. One of the reasons I was so for it was the feeling that I’d get to make up for the years I lost to postpartum depression. The idea that I’d have my kids back with me, back to doing all the daily things and activities I missed with them because I was so sick was very appealing. I wanted to read with them, to paint and craft, to cook and bake. I wanted to be silly and have them like me. Not just love me because I was their mom, but I wanted then to like me because I was a good, kind and fun person.
I have a two year gap where there are very few true memories. When I see pictures from this time period (about January 2008 until April 2010), I really don’t remember much. Sometimes I have what I call ‘shadow memories.’ It’s as if I dreamt it. Colors are muted or black and white, the images in my head are fuzzy and there aren’t any scents associated with it. Can’t you look at a picture of your child and smell that fresh from the bath baby smell? After about eight months of age I don’t have that with John.
So I was worried about regressing with the depression, absolutely. This was going to be a huge change to both our physical world (All three kids back at home with me every day) and our emotional world (All three kids plus me, together. All day. Emotions. Hormones. All day.).
Since ‘waking up’ in April 2010 I have back slid. But everybody does. This healing is a process. It began with my daughter Violet and the PPD after her, and it did not end in April 2010. I have had to learn that every fall and spring my meds will need to be adjusted and that’s ok. Obviously I have to be aware of obstacles- and homeschooling could be a major obstacle.
Since that April I’ve been trying to soak up every single minute of every single day. I have such intense guilt about the time that I lost. If John is cuddled up next to me and we’re reading a book, I think, “Did I do this with Violet when she was six? I don’t know. I can’t remember.” I play this little game all day long with all three kids.
Now home school is in full swing. We are up to our necks in everything. It’s been a little crazy, and we’ve had some pretty awful days. But we are loving it. Throughout this adjustment I’ve seen my hopes coming true. I’m getting to know my children – as people, not just as my kids. And while I can’t hold a six year old Violet on my lap and read her a favorite book, I can still sit with her –and she’ll read to me. I can’t rock Sarah to sleep the way I hope I did, but I can cuddle with her and watch Star Wars for the first time. I might not remember John learning to dress himself but I can watch with pride as he learns to write his own thoughts down.
Find Kim on her blog The Truth About Homeschooling.