Self care. It’s so incredibly important. I know I wrote about the importance of resting a while back, but that’s just a small piece of a larger picture. I think that the demands of parenthood can make us put ourselves on the back burner. We sacrifice not just our sleep, but sometimes our hopes and dreams, our health, our bodies, our hobbies. We do it because they are precious, our children; they’re invaluable. But please remember that you are invaluable, too.
This leads to something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, even though it terrifies me to do so: depression. I have battled with depression with and without children. My first bout came when I was in the middle of my 20’s and trying to figure out what I was supposed to do with myself, moving from the extended childhood that college allowed me into for real for real grownup stuff.
My second episode came this summer. Being a working writer, a mother and a wife are all difficult things to do in and of themselves, and extra hard to do all at once. I think it can be done, but at the time I wasn’t equipped to do it. I was struggling and, on top of that, berating myself for struggling. It was a painful time. Medication was what helped me end my cycle of struggle/anger/pain.
Now, there is a lot that we still don’t know about the human brain and DNA and all that. Maybe I have a brain that’s wired to be more prone to depression. Maybe it won’t get that bad for you. But if it does, please know that you’re not alone. And if it doesn’t please know that you can still get tired – and that’s ok.
Please don’t be ashamed if you need help. Please don’t be ashamed if you can’t do it all.
ETA: Here’s an interesting article about suicide in the black community from Ebony. It’s a good read.
When I first heard about Black History Month, I thought it was a little like your birthday in that, if you were black, everyone had to be a little nicer to you because of it. As it turns out…no. But it’s still a great time to educate yourself or your kids about what really is a huge part of our nation’s history. Here are a few interesting black history-related links you might like.
- This column from TheRoot asks if black history month is still necessary.
- Not so much for the kiddies (but not that bad, either) these photos of vintage black burlesque dancers on Ebony.com are amazing.
- The Huffington Post did an article on a Detroit teacher who has an interesting way of spreading the word about black history.
- African American History Month.gov and PBS.org have lots of great information on black history
And, in sad news, we lost an important piece of black history with the death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius. Did you know that Soul Train has an active website? I didn’t. Here it is.