Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reason

I do not want to be the depressed mom.

Last night, when I was writing my latest "depression and I are fighting again" post, I was sitting across from Meg as she played with her new hand me down princess make-up kit, and watched "Toy Story 3."

I started crying. I didn't mean to, and I don't like to cry in front of Meg, but the tears just started.

She looked at me and said "don't be sad." I said I wasn't, that I was okay. She said "I'm getting down for you," and hopped out of her chair. She walked around the table and took my hand. "C'mere," she said, and led me back to her side of the table. "Sit down," she said, and I did. She climbed up on my lap, put her head on my chest, and we watched the movie together.

I was really touched. I felt so loved, and so safe. I was going to blog about how wonderful she is, and how we take care of each other. Then, this morning, I woke up and I felt so angry. Not at Meg, but at me. No 2-year old should have to comfort their parent. I mean, maybe in a bruised knuckle situation, but nothing like this.

She deserves better. The dog? Maybe not...

So, now I have another reason to make changes. Actually, I have the biggest reason to make changes. My child will not grow up wondering when Mom's next crying fit might come, or if it's one of those "crazy" days. She will not have to feel like she is my emotional support, but will know I am hers. She will be the child, and the most loved child, at that.

It's been easy in the past to let myself down. After all, I thought I was a failure to begin with. Now, though, I am not going to let Meg down. She deserves more.

Operation better attitude starts now.

18 comments:

Melinda said...

Don't forget that when you cry in front of her you teach her that it's ok. That it's ok to be happy, sad, angry, impatient, you teach her how to handle those emotions. You also taught your daughter how to give comfort not just take it.
So forgive me but I say GOOD JOB MOM! You're keepin' it real!!!!!

Allie said...

You are teaching your daughter compassion and that life isn't always perfect. There's nothing wrong with that. Keep your chin up Libby!

Amanda said...

I would let her do your makeup.

msprimadonna67 said...

What a beautiful heart she has! That, my friend, is a tribute to you.

Nicole said...

I think it's lovely for her to learn to comfort others and be empathetic. Also, to learn that sad happens, but it's not a lifestyle. Seeing you sad and later seeing you get through it? Doesn't that help her to feel safe when she's sad? To see that it passes?

Go easy on yourself, momma. You've got a special kid who is becoming a caring person. That's a pretty damn good thing. And your depression? It's part of your life and of the lives of the people around you. Better to have it out and acknowledged, I think.

Keep on rockin' on.

Kelley said...

You are definitely not a failure! You are an amazing mother who loves Meg more than can words can say. It's okay that she reached out to comfort you. She is a person, too, who wants to show love and wants to be nurturing. She probably felt like a big girl helping her mother out that way. It was probably a confidence builder. I know you help Meg out in countless ways all the time. It's okay for you to be taken care of once in a while, even if it is by your sweet girl.

wildology said...

I agree with teh empathy/compassion teaching/experiencing but I also understand what you are saying...coming from a daughter of an often clinically depressed woman. You should be proud of yourself. Only a really good-mature-selfless mom could see that perspective. **hugs**

Katie said...

Be kind to yourself. It's okay to cry. And like others have pointed out, it's a great chance to show Meg compassion and understanding in response to such outward emotion. I'm glad she was there to comfort you. :)

Riot Kitty said...

That is a sweet story. But Libby, it is OK to be down sometimes, and OK to cry sometimes. (I stayed home w/a mental health day and have been feeling guilty all day - and I work in mental health advocacy!) Guilt needs to go away.

Erin said...

I'm so sorry you're struggling Libby. If it's any consolation, I'm positive that Meg felt important and needed as she was comforting you. Those are important things for kids to feel, too.

Jen said...

So, her actions most definately show you how well you give her love and comfort. How sweet. My best wishes on your progressive changes.

Jill VT said...

What an empathetic girl - very wise beyond her years! Rooting for you to get through this yuckiness...

Cindy said...

WHat a sweet girl!
I love that she is compassionate and I am betting a large amount of that was learned from her momma.
Be kind with yourself!
We are all doing the best we can.

Stopcallingmeshirley07 said...

The first thing I thought was don't be so hard on yourself. Look at what a great job you've done already with a little one so loving and compassionate. The second thing I thought was: I know what you mean. It's one thing to cry at a funeral or when some other obvious bad thing happens. It's another to cry for reasons a child would not understand. I grew up with that and it scared me. I've done it with my children and I know it stirs something in them that makes me feel I've crossed a line. Have I really? I don't know. Children are very forgiving. Be good and gentle with yourself and savor those loving hugs.

makingmonkeysoup.com said...

Mea has comforted me on more than one occaision. Mack for that matter as well. I agree with the rest in saying it is good to show her emotions and how to handle them.

At the same time, I also can totally feel you on getting mad at yourself. I do this frequently, and because I want my daughters to be strong, opinionated, and self-assured, I piss myself off when I get the blues in front of them. I usually give myself the same little ass chewing, and get on with it.

LL Cool Joe said...

It's important for your child to learn empathy. It's good that Meg was able to comfort you in your time of need. And the great thing is, she learned to react to you that way because of the way you've brought her up. You should be proud.

Granny Annie said...

My tears were and are among my children's favorite things. "Look, she's crying again" or "I just know she's going to cry". Then they comfort me or make me laugh. Regardless it has always been important to them knowing I care so deeply that it makes me cry.

Three Cats and a Baby said...

I'm in no position to be giving someone else advice on how to handle their depression...other than to say you are an awesome mom and that's not one thing you ever need to question.

That picture of Meg...wow, she is beautiful. Wow. And she's getting so big.