After battling and surviving postpartum depression, I have received the following question repeatedly: “Jen, I think my friend might be going through something like what you went through. I want to say something to her about it, but I don’t want to upset her.…
It’s 5:00 a.m. and I’ve already been up three times since 9:30 p.m. I’ve basically had one continuous day of segmented sleep for 4 months straight and I’ve found there are only two options on this road of insanity: Surrender or Strength.
I’ve always associated surrender with “giving up.” And because giving up isn’t an option in motherhood, I choose to see surrender as a strategy. It’s almost like a winning-the-war-but-not-this-battle posture. Some days require surrender in order to survive.
I remember being driven to this place a few times with my first kid. I chose strength most often because it’s where I was most comfortable. And, to be honest, I had more bandwidth for that kind of decision because I only had one child.
Now, surrender seems, not only more logical most days, but also more empowering. I feel like less of a victim this way. Maybe it’s an illusion of being more in charge of my own destiny but it’s an illusion I’ll welcome. I’m also more confident in my choice to surrender often because I’m more confident in my strength. Choosing to surrender now and then doesn’t deplete my capacity for strength. That’s the beauty of kid #2. I know I’m capable. I know I’ll get my groove back. And I know it takes way more energy to fake strength while juggling diaper changes and meal time than I’m willing to relinquish.
So mamas, get strategic about how you need to show up so you can rule the day. For me, as of 5:05 this morning, I’ve already chosen to surrender just to give myself a fighting chance at strength tomorrow. I never thought I’d be proud of that. I hope you are too.