Same Shit, New Blog Name

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Welcome to The Medicated Mommy. Yes, I changed the name of my blog. After six months of writing, a little soul searching here and there, and perhaps finding the beginnings of some kind of identity, The Medicated Mommy just seems more fitting. And besides, soon I won’t be The Seven Year B(itch) anymore. I will be The Eight Year B(itch) and that doesn’t make any sense, now does it? After having my son, overcoming postpartum depression, and realizing that the mom I am is nothing like the vision of motherhood I had for myself during pregnancy, I decided to start blogging. I wanted to write honestly with a side of humor about all things motherhood and marriage while at the same time, attempt to figure out my identity outside of those two things that make up the majority of my everyday life. I will still be doing just that, just under a new name.

When I came up with the idea for my blog, I was a few months in to my seventh year of marriage and facing a major identity crisis. I survived a year of postpartum depression and came out stronger and way more bad-ass on the other side. I grew into stay at home motherhood and began to enjoy the moments shared with my son, now three-years old. I was also a Jewish New Yorker living in a southern city I didn’t love and I was bored. What was I doing for me? Who did I want to be? So I decided to start writing about my experiences—my journey through postpartum depression, the ups and downs of motherhood, and even sometimes the struggles of marriage in attempts to answer those questions.

I was clearly having some type of seven-year itch. No, not that kind of itch, but the itch still happened to come scratching in my seventh year of marriage, alerting me to the boredom and emptiness I felt. I was a wife and mom, but who was I apart from those labels? What did I have that was mine alone? It turned out, I had my writing.

As The Medicated Mommy, I will continue to write with the goal of giving moms permission to be themselves, be happy, and let go of the fear of being judged by others. The truth is: We love our children, but being a mom is hard, sometimes we don't take to it immediately, sometimes we want to quit and just be alone, and some of us need medication to survive it.  I want to make that journey less painful and more authentic for moms everywhere.

Don’t be fooled. I’m still most definitely having an identity crisis. I’m still that Jewish New Yorker living in a that same southern city I’m not in love with. My heart will always belong to New York City. I miss my girlfriends and family who still live there. Some days I hate being a mom. I want to run away. I want to do what I want. I want to sleep late. I want to revisit my twenties. I don’t want to be responsible for another human when I can barely take care of myself. I want to be alone and carefree.

But I’ve realized over the past six months as I’ve started writing, that all of those things makes up who I am. It only took a year of postpartum depression, two happy pills a day, lots of therapy, and the launching of this blog to help me come to terms with that. I’m not perfect. I am definitely not the perfect mother. In fact, I’m not even close to the mother I thought I would be when I got pregnant.  I’m a deeply flawed, medicated mommy who struggles on some days and kills it on others, who wants to freeze time with her son forever and also put him up for sale to the highest bidder, just like so many other mommies out there.

There is no normal motherhood. There is no supposed to when it comes to parenting. There is no official handbook. There is what works for you, what keeps you sane, what makes you happy. Sure you can read all the parenting books in the world, but they all contradict each other and will only help to make you even more bat shit crazy than motherhood already does.

I’m cool with who I am as a woman and a mother. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem. And who I am is an imperfect mommy. A medicated mommy…because some moms need an extra dose of happy…and happy mommy equals happy everyone. If you ask me, no mom has it all together. That’s one of the biggest lies of parenthood. That lie and those moms who pretend everything is fabulous ruin it for the rest of us. When motherhood didn’t look like that for me, I ended up on medication!

So if your jaw drops open when I call my child an asshole (often) and you can’t believe how much I hate the playground and kids’ birthday parties (more than I hate waking up at 6 am to an “I want mommy” whining child) or how much I love traveling without my child and didn’t cry the first time I dropped my son off at preschool (four hours to myself!), I might not be the mom for you. And if you can’t find the humor in all this parenting crap, this might not be the place for you.

All the bronzer, mascara, and lip gloss in the world can’t cover up the fact that motherhood is wonderful and shitty and exhausting and basically the biggest emotional mindfuck I’ve ever experienced. I’m just not ashamed to admit it or write about it for the world to read. And when you see that mom who looks like a homeless person dropping off her son at school, that would probably be me, just your average medicated mommy. And when I drive away, just know that I’m struggling with that big decision all stay at home moms struggle with. Do I head to the gym to workout for an hour or do I head home and go back to sleep for two hours then maybe shower, brush my hair and change clothes before pick-up?  Motherhood is full of difficult choices. Lucky for me, I take my happy pills first thing when I wake up in the morning…

Why I Write Real about Motherhood...

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I realize now why becoming a mom threw my world into upheaval and sent me spiraling into the black hole of postpartum depression in that first year. The answer is actually very simple. I was completely unprepared for motherhood past the act of giving birth and I had a false notion of what having a child actually entailed. Well duh...because no one talks about any of that. No one told me about postpartum depression or that I would wouldn't fall in love with my baby immediately. No one told me that breastfeeding could kill my spirit every time my son refused to latch and screamed in the process. No one told me that I would rather stay in bed asleep all day then smile and coo at my new little one. No one warned me that motherhood could strip me of my identity in a matter of minutes. And I definitely had no idea then when I got better, my version of motherhood would be completely different than the one I had pictured during pregnancy. I had no idea I would spend the first year of motherhood on antidepressants, talking to a therapist who finally convinced me that my identity as a mother was good enough and to not give a fuck about the identity I thought I should have had based on moms I knew, celebrity moms I followed on social media, and Pinterest boards.

All I knew was the vision of motherhood I had created for myself based on what I thought others experienced. I would welcome my baby into the world and feel an overwhelming sense of love, joy, and amazement the minute I brought him home. I would happily breastfeed him while supplementing with formula at night for the baby nurse so I could sleep. I would spend my days outside walking him to the park and meeting other moms with new babies. As he got older, I would make his baby food, sit on the floor and play with him, read him books, and continue smiling and cooing. Time would pass, and he would be my little buddy, coming with me everywhere. We would do crafts together and build towers out of blocks and legos. I would be supermom, master and lover of all things motherhood.

The joke was on me. It took me months to bond and fall in love with my son. It took medicine and lots of therapy. There were endless tears and anxiety and the feeling of never wanting to get out of bed to care for another person. I quit breastfeeding on day five. Why the hell was I going make my own baby food when Earth's Best, Plum, and some woman named Ella already did it for me.

I still value sleep above all else and I am not the biggest fan of getting on the floor and playing with my son. This is where Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse come in to help me parent. I lose my patience easily and I need help and breaks. And do you know what else? I love my son to the moon and back. I couldn't picture life without him. His sense of humor and spirit are infectious. I read him books and am constantly amazed by his love for them or when he says new words and phrases. He is my little buddy, but I don't cart him everywhere. I do most of my errands when he is at school or with our part-time nanny because I can't stand the public tantrums and meltdowns. I couldn't survive without babysitters because I need adult time on a regular basis.

And the most important thing? I accept myself as this mom and I don't apologize for it. If another mom wants to judge or call me into question, well fuck her. She isn't my friend and she isn't someone I want to be around. I need real, honest, no bullshit people in my corner because the truth about becoming a mother is that it's the hardest journey you will ever embark on and for that, I want support and to know that I'm not alone on mine.

When I got better and accepted myself as the mom I am, I decided I wanted to talk and never stop talking about the things no one talks about. For me, that came in the form of writing and here we are today at my blog. Writing about being this mom who survived PPD and fell in love with her son, but not necessarily all things motherhood has really helped me re-create my identity. Owning who I am, speaking the truth, and refusing to pretend has transformed me into the honest, brave, fierce, strong, independent warrior woman and mom I am today. I am proud of this woman I have become. I want all moms to allow themselves to feel this way.

I remember that while being in the throes of PPD, sobbing that I would never get out, I would always look for other's stories of women going through the same hell I was. I wanted to read success stories. I wanted to see other moms talking about the fact that being a mom can suck and that sometimes they just wanted to quit or run. I needed concrete proof that I was normal, would return to myself, and love being a mom to my son.

Three years ago during my journey, I had trouble finding that. So I decided that when I was ready, I would become that for other moms. I would share my postpartum depression survival story with the world and take it even further. I would own the type of mom and woman I became as a result and I would never compromise my truth. I would never pretend that I immediately fell in love with motherhood. I don't even think I am presently head over heels in love with motherhood. I wouldn't just write about the amazing moments and there are amazing moments. I would write about everything, especially the hard shit. It's those stories moms need to read so they don't feel they have to pretend that they live in a world of rainbows and unicorns all the time. The more we are bombarded with these social norms of perfect motherhood, the more we feel like there is something wrong with us because we don't fit them or don't want to fit them. It leads us to hide the truth because we either feel ashamed or as if we failed in some way at motherhood.

Social norms are bullshit. We need to stop listening to them. They ruin so much about motherhood for most of us and make us feel horrible about ourselves and our capabilities as mothers, especially at the beginning.  Breastfeeding making you miserable? Stop! Breastfeeding making you feel fantastic, capable, and close to your baby? Keep doing it! Not loving the infant stage? That's okay. Infants are boring. Feeling guilty for taking some time for yourself? Don't! The only norm should be, "Happy mom, happy baby!" We shouldn't need permission to be happy and especially to be ourselves. Happy is what works for you, not what everybody else says should work for you. Embracing motherhood means embracing the mom you are and they way you parent, not the mom you think you should be or need to be. Motherhood is not one size fits all.

So if you need permission, you have mine. Be you. Do you. It's enough. And if anyone tries to convince you otherwise, shames you, or makes you feel like less of a mother, fuck them!