Prepartum Depression

Dedicated readers will know that I have three kids. My oldest son, Quinn, is a high school senior, and it is April Madness. The time when mailboxes are dutifully checked on the daily, financial packages are reviewed, and souls searched: college selection time. Road? Meet rubber.

And this uncertain territory - coupled with the onset of hot flashes* - has been a particularly despicable phase in motherhood. I’ve taken to calling it my prepartum depression.

Perhaps it’s more akin though to diver’s disease. Decompressing from parenting three children to two, my atmosphere is lightening by one.** And bubbles in the blood bring the bends. My symptoms are classic: confusion, numbness, disorganization, shortness of breath, and unexplained mood changes. (<-- Whatttttt?)

This being my first time on the parenting deep dive, I was a poor judge of how quickly we would resurface. I worry that I left too much in the tank, so to speak. It has been surgically harrowing, achingly beautiful and painfully short - I wish we would have taken more vacations, played hooky and Clue more often, and made more memories. I am afraid to be the forlorn, blubbering mother on drop-off day in August.***

Breathe, Kelley. This is how it works. The heart gets bigger with every dive, and then the cracks form. But here is what I have learned: those cracks are not weaknesses. They are expansion joints.

I’ll still have two kiddos to give my motherhood ballast, and they – in turn – will rightfully have their own experience of being the oldest child at home. For however long that takes. (And on the upswing, I expect that Lucca’s reign will see more folded laundry and clean dishes than her predecessor’s. *wink*)

So here is to new dives for all of us, and congrats to Quinn. The Hokies are lucky to have you.



* I KNOW, right? 42 is way too young for menopause. Boo!

** The effect on the bank account though? Exponentially lightening. :(

*** Count on it. Although I may not be the only one...

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