I asked Kinsey the following question: “How has having children changed your relationship for the better and how has it challenged your relationship?” What she answered with was absolutely amazing insight and advice when it comes to balancing parenthood and marriage. She also shared the very personal and difficult challenges of battling severe Postpartum Depression and how she plans to handle that with their third baby on the way. All of this makes Kinsey a warrior woman in my eyes! I hope that you find her experiences inspiring, and can empathize with brave moms like Kinsey who battle PPD on a daily basis.
Having children has changed our relationship in so many ways! For the better, it has made us watch our actions, especially toward each other. We want to teach our daughter to be kind and respectful but also that she deserves to be treated with love and respect. Same goes for our son, but we want to teach him how to treat women with love and respect as well. My husband is a great example of showing love to me! I am blessed that our kids get to grow up in a loving house and see the love between their parents. We have learned how to be more patient towards each other and how to make our disagreements more civil and show them that it’s okay to have disagreements, but that there are better ways to solve them instead of anger and frustration.
We are more meaningful with our alone time. We only get a couple hours at night so we try and do a little something with each other, even if it’s just to talk for 15 minutes before bed. We do try and get out weekly or every other week for date nights and we really enjoy our time together! We have become closer and more unified as a couple, which has helped us become closer and more unified as a family.
As hard as it can be, we both find so much joy in parenting and find comfort in working together in trying to raise up good human beings. It’s nice to know we’re on the same page and will always have each other to go through life with. BUT! We have had our fair share of challenges and we continue to work on things daily.
Parenting isn’t always easy! We have a few different parenting styles than the other, so it can be challenging to come to an agreement on things. Communication and a positive attitude is so so important! We have gotten better at understanding where the other person is coming from but it is still a challenge at times!
With me being a stay at home mom, I am constantly looking after the kids. By the end of the day I am often touched out. So it leaves me with less energy and willingness to cuddle or do anything with my husband. Time as a couple is so limited and sometimes we take it for ourselves and have alone time instead. (Which I think is important too! But not too much of it.) So I have had to make a conscious effort at times to give my husband the attention he wants or needs.
HANDLING POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Another challenge I have personally faced is having severe Postpartum Depression after having my second child. Along with my anxiety and other mental health issues that I have battled with for years, this really knocked us down. It has probably been the most challenging thing we have gone through as a couple. In fact, I was almost positive that our marriage wouldn’t make it. I didn’t even think that I would still be here alive. But we received the help we needed both together and individually. My husband never gave up on me and I am forever happy about that! I am also happy to say that we are in a MUCH better place now and still mending and growing closer daily!
This baby was actually a bit of a surprise! So we are definitely worried about how things will be after I give birth. I actually had gotten on birth control in April of 2016 and by July 2016 I found out that I was pregnant. But before I could wrap my head around it I ended up miscarrying in August at 8 weeks. (On a family camping trip too!) It was a whirlwind of emotions! But I was planning on getting back on a birth control. Only to find out at my six-week post-miscarriage appointment that I was already pregnant again, and almost six weeks along! I literally had gotten pregnant within a week after my miscarriage!! I didn’t even know that was possible and I was terrified! I didn’t want to have to go through another miscarriage (this was actually my 3rd miscarriage that I’ve had) and the thought of PPD still haunts me. But we feel like we are meant to have this sweet little rainbow baby in our family.
I started going to therapy in April 2015, 3 months after my second baby was born. In June of that year, I attempted suicide but failed. (thank goodness!) I spent a week in a psych ward at the hospital and was put on many different anti anxiety\depressants. I have since then found what works for me and take many vitamins and supplements daily. I feel a lot better but the worry that it will happen again is so high! But we have learned that self-care is SO important! You need to be okay before you can take care of anyone else. You can not pour from an empty cup. So, I will continue to go to my weekly therapy sessions. I will continue to take my vitamins\supplements and medications daily. I will make sure that I am eating and drinking enough in the day. I will take a long bath when needed or call up a friend and get out for a couple hours. I will do something for myself or complete a project. I will ask for help! Which is so hard for me to do! But I told my husband that if he sees me sinking into PPD again then to help me with this one and take charge.
We are so blessed to have so many supportive family members that I know they all would be more than willing to help out. I also have this awesome handout that I got when I started therapy that I refer to often. It’s basically a list of things to do if you are having an off day or feeling down. It really helps me out a lot!
- It asks if you are hydrated, if not drink a glass of water.
- Eaten within the last couple hours? If not, grab something to eat.
- Showered within the last day? If not, take one.
- Put on clean clothes or change out of your pj’s.
- Connect with a friend or family member.
- Snuggle your child\children and forget everything else.
- Feeling ineffective? Complete a small task! Unload the dishwasher, wipe down a counter.. etc.
- Did you read some scriptures today? If not, read a verse or two.
- Given or received a hug in the past two days? if not, do so! Hugs are good medicine, don’t be afraid to ask for one!
- Get outside, take a walk, turn on some music and move your body!
Do as many as you need to, to feel okay. And if nothing helps then just know that tomorrow is always a new day and things will get better!! I can usually feel even the slightest bit better after doing a few things off the list. But life can get hard and we all have those horrible rotten days.
PPD is such a dark lonely hole. I’m not sure there is anything that I can do to prevent it after this baby comes, but I hope that I can at least stay on top of it a little better if I am hit with it again. And I feel confident that I will get the help that I need sooner if I am showing any signs of PPD. I personally KNOW that life gets so much better and that there is SO much to live for!! Even if it doesn’t feel like it at all in those darkest days.
So grateful for Kinsey sharing things she has learned that have been helpful for her! If you or someone you know might be struggling with postpartum depression, please know you’re not alone! The statistic above can be a reminder of that. If you’re not sure, the CDC has is a list of symptoms, as well as factors that increase the risk of PPD. Definitely, see a doctor for more resources and help with treating this.