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Ask Rene: I’m Totally Overwhelmed!


Hi Rene:

 

I have a two-year-old boy, my first child and I love him so much. But I’m having a bit of trouble handling him, and life in general. I am bipolar and always depressed. For the last three months, my husband has been working from 3-11. I’m severely depressed and not sure what to do.

I cry everyday before he goes to work and sometimes my son, sensing my mood, cries too. My husband and I have been married just a little over a year and this is putting a tremendous strain on our relationship.

Add to that, I’m overweight, have chronic back pain brought on by my size “G” breasts and Medicaid won’t pay for a reduction.

I love my son, my “big ball of joy” but I’m home all day, everyday and it’s KILLING me! Please give me some advice; I need help.

 Signed:

 Sad mom

 

Hi Sad Mom:

WHOA! Slow down a second! You will get through this, I know it. When this happens to me, the first thing I do is devise a plan with small, attainable goals. That way the big, hairy situation doesn’t seem so daunting.  So let’s take a look at what you’ve laid out here.

YOUR HEALTH: You mentioned three things; your weight, your breast size and your mental health. First, get thee to a doctor. If you are bi-polar you need to be under the care of a professional in order to stabilize your mood. Next, I’m not sure what your activity level is right now but it’s time to get moving, if you aren’t already. If you are, it’s time to move more. Not only will it help your weight but as you lose fat, your breast size will diminish as well. Added bonus, the chemicals released in the brain during exercise will lift your mood to. Slowly you’ll see the weight come off (and that’s the way to lose it, a little at a time), which in turn will prompt you to make better food choices and feel more in control of your life. You don’t need to join an expensive gym either; you can put your son in a stroller and go on a fast walk or search YouTube for exercise videos. Aim to get out of the house for AT LEAST 30 minutes, every, single day.

 YOUR MARRIAGE: Time to talk. And talk. And talk some more. Of course that prospect scares the hell out of husbands but he’s your partner and needs to know what’s going on with you. Now my husband (and I suspect Good Enough Guy will say most men are this way) responds best to conversations when they are laid out in a non-emotional, declarative manner. So I recommend you first think about what it is that’s really bothering you (the hours on his job? You don’t feel like you’re getting enough support) and then tell him but with the intent of finding a solution. “Honey, when you work from 3-11, I get so lonely. Can we afford to hire a babysitter a couple of nights a week so I can get out and see friends?” This will probably go over better than tears and a conversation that goes ‘round in circles. Again, like the weight loss, come up with short, achievable goals with him.

YOUR SON: I think every new mother can attest to the completely overwhelming nature of childcare, especially when you have no help. But this is why you need to get help and STAT! The fact that your crying upsets your baby means your mood is adversely affecting him. He’s two now but old enough to know when mommy’s “not alright.”  My fear is that he grows up thinking that he was the cause of that, not all of the other things you have going on in your life. I know you want to be strong and try and handle it all on your own, but you’ve got to get help, if not for you, for him.

Sad mom, one more thing before I go. Make sure you get proper rest and try and ease up on yourself. If the dishes don’t get done or the beds don’t get made, so what?! You can eat off paper plates (or paper towels; hey, I’ve done it!) and you’re gonna be back in the bed in a few hours. Unless your house is part of an Architectural Digest photo shoot, no one will care.

Call the doctor and hang in there! You’re doing fine!

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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