Day Sadness

I am feeling Not Good today. Last night I had Night Sadness (lying awake thinking of sad and oppressive things, and all the ways in which I have failed / am failing / will fail), and usually sleep cures that—but this morning I woke up with Day Sadness. It feels like I do the same thing day in and day out, and like it’s never going to change, and like I’m never going to handle anything right, and like the world is a bad and stupid place. I know that’s not true, but what I know doesn’t have much to do with it.

So today I’m in Postpartum Mode, doing all the things that can help with irrational feelings that feel rational. I got up and made myself coffee and two hard-boiled eggs for breakfast: caffeine! protein! hot beverage!—all things that can help. I took a shower with hotter than usual water, and I turned on a bunch of extra lights: usually Mother Earth has her way, but today the world feels like it’s going down the toilet whether I use extra electricity or not.

I used my favorite 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, which smells beachy. I used an apricot facial scrub. After showering, I used a serving of an expensive face lotion sample my mom’s friend Donna gave me: it smells like perfume and it feels like being rich, and I use it when things are Grim. I lit my favorite Illuminations candle, the Flower Garden one that smells like flower petals and fresh spring dirt.

I held the baby for awhile. This is not recommended if the available baby is in a crabby, squirmy mood and will make you feel like a bad mother who can’t even make her own baby happy. But if you have a cozy warm baby in a footie sleeper who hooks his little arm around your upper arm and rests his cheek against your cheek companionably, this is like a shot of psych meds straight into an artery, or perhaps I mean vein, or perhaps adding that kind of medication right into the blood wouldn’t help anyway, but what I mean is that it’s pleasant.

60 thoughts on “Day Sadness

  1. saly

    I’m sorry things seem grim today, but it’s nice to see that you have a coping method in place. And if all else fails, there is that delicious Henry………

    ED has that shirt, but it is especially cute on Henry with the overalls.

    Hope your day turns upward soon!

  2. Jill

    Ugh, if your weather is anything like ours has been the last few days (see: rainy, grey)I have no doubt that’s part of your problem. It sounds like you have some good strategies though. Holding that adorable baby would cheer anyone up!
    Also go read http://www.amalah.com, her entry today is hilarious.

  3. Pickles & Dimes

    I hope you’re feeling better soon. I love all the things you’ve done to cheer yourself up, and I love that you save them for occasions just like this – that’s smart.

    God, Henry is so, so sweet.

  4. Pickles & Dimes

    I hope you’re feeling better soon. I love all the things you’ve done to cheer yourself up, and I love that you save them for occasions just like this – that’s smart.

    God, Henry is so, so sweet.

  5. Pickles & Dimes

    I hope you’re feeling better soon. I love all the things you’ve done to cheer yourself up, and I love that you save them for occasions just like this – that’s smart.

    God, Henry is so, so sweet.

  6. Jess

    Your baby is just really incredibly painfully cute.

    All those things you’re doing to make yourself feel better sound great. I hope they work.

  7. moo

    I totally know what you mean by “night sadness” and for me, it comes and goes. We all are VERY hard on ourselves.

    Here’s hoping that you feel better soon!

  8. AndreAnna

    How can that little squishy face not make things a little better?!

    Sorry you’re having a bad day. I know what you mean about the Night Sadness though. I call mine the Quiet Sadness, because it tends to hit me when all else is quiet, either at night, in the car by myself, when Mike has Charlotte out for the day. Moments I should be enjoying, I tend to fill with worry.

    Feel better!

  9. BethanyWD

    I just have to say that I get night sadness, too (although until now, I thought I might be the only one).

    Things usually seem better in the light of day, and I hope you’re on an upswing.

  10. Elizabeth

    Oh, I have Day Sadness today too! I think it’s the damn cloudy weather that will never end. I already got in some good my baby snuggles, but thank you for the rest of the tips. I am off to take my very hot shower. And obviously I need to buy some really expensive face cream.
    I hope we both feel better soon.

  11. Marie Green

    Play an April Fools joke on someone… that’ll make you happy! =) Ok, maybe not happy, but at least maybe temporarily giggly?

    Also? Henry just cheered ME up!

  12. Nowheymama

    Ick–I’m so sorry. Something that helps me, besides expensive beauty products set aside for such a day, is to read a book that has nothing to do with my life (“That character is such a good mother–unlike me!”) nor a life I want (“Why can’t *I* live on my family’s estate in rural England?”). Murder mysteries are good. I can get distracted solving the crime without wishing I were the detective.

  13. skiplovey

    Hope your day brightens. Walking usually helps for me, not sure if your weather makes that feasible or not.
    That Henry sure is a cutie, that chin is enough to brighten anyone’s day.

  14. Jennifer

    I know how tough it is trying to lift yourself out of a funk – it’s hard work being depressed! I’m sorry you’re feeling this way and I hope the sun shines for you soon!

    Henry = ADORABLE. He looks like he’s just the sweetest little boy!

  15. Barb

    Good for you! Don’t succumb! Finding those little joys is a great idea- I’m going to do that next time I’m feeling low!

  16. Mommy Daisy

    Oh man, how could that NOT be helpful. Now my day just got a bit sadder, because I don’t have a little baby to snuggle like that. Oh yeah, I forgot, if I bribe my 2 year old with chocolate, he’ll give me a good hug! Hey, it helps! Hope things start looking up for you.

  17. Misty

    Oh! :( I am sorry. I was up late last night with “Financial Anxiety” over our declining house value and fat mortgage and needing a termite certificate and the crappy paint that rubs off when you scrub and….

    So, anyway. But that baby is so lovely and wonderful. Give him a snuggle. I declare, those little guys make life worth while.

  18. Kristin....

    OMG. That totally explains how I’ve been feeling the last few days. I guess it’s Days Sadness as it is just continuing on. Squeeze that cute boy for me. My babies are just too into running all around for Mama hugs. But when the littlest one squeezes my face, I smile.

  19. Linda

    So sorry about that sadness. I hate when my night sadness spills over into the day. I spend the day with small moments of forgetting and then a sinking stomach when I remember all my worries.

    That is one cute, smushy baby!

  20. Alice

    is there anything crafty you can do? maybe with the kids? i find often Accomplishing Something helps when i feel that way – even if it’s, like, putting photos into an album that i’ve been putting off, or making someone a birthday card. the physical creation / doing part helps, somehow, and i’ve got something solid to show for it. and Crafty Things cheer me up more than accomplishing, say, laundry.

  21. Jess

    I get the day sadness more frequently than the night sadness but both are hard. I love how you look for ways to make yourself feel better instead of just chilling in the crapper. Hot baths help at night. Diet coke is one of my favorite things. Music. And ever since you mentioned the lights things I do it every day I feel fugly.

  22. Jeninacide

    I totally have those days. I had one on Sunday where I just felt like a bad wife and mother and was all BOO HOO HOOO!!

    Also that baby is DAMN ADORABLE!

  23. Tessie

    Man, this seems like a Gray Time for the internet at large.

    The little arm hooking around your arm imagery cheered me the most. I know just what you’re talking about.

    And Henry is WISEST looking baby I have ever encountered. I adore him.

  24. Opus #6

    Sounds like you took the appropriate steps.

    If it helps, I was told that you only need to get parenting right 30% of the time to turn out good kids. So don’t be too hard on yourself, OK?

  25. Maggie

    I had that same feeling…and it seemed to last for days! Not fun at all.

    Luckily the sun has come out today, and that has helped to cure me.

    I hope your day gets happier soon!

  26. parkingathome

    What’s great about you is that you have all these tried and true methods for BEATING all of this. The rest of us lay in bed all day moping, or watch tv, or yell at the cats/dogs/children when they don’t deserve it. Then there’s you, what with your bright lights and caffeine and baby IV etc etc. That’s the wonder woman part to me. Everyone gets sad, you get sad with style and grace and then you use your checklist of fixem’s and feel, if not better, at least a little bit not so shitty.

    I’m proud. Also, if you use this comment to go “man, she knows nothing because I’m NOT cool and together and with it” I’ll punch. your. face. Take it as “wow, I’m cooler than I thought I was today”

    And all will be well. Right?

  27. Woman with a Hatchet

    I’m sorry you’re having a hard day.

    Happy, squishable babies are the best for the blahs. I want to nibble on his cheeks!

    Would you call that Happy Henry Homeopathy?

    Just a wee bite!

  28. caley

    You have made me realize it would be a good idea to have my own version of that plan in place for days like that. I had the night sadness a few weeks ago, and luckily it was gone the next day. But if it HAD continued into the day, a plan like your’s would have helped.

    And Henry, SO cute and yummy. I need to go hug my babies now…

  29. MaryB

    Night sadness – I totally get it. Ive never had a name for it before now though.

    The “Happy Henry Homeopathy” comment up above cheered me up – hope it does the same for you.

    chocolate??? I know you are having success with the diet, but mybe just a tiny smidge???

  30. Cherry

    I was up half the night with night sadness last night too! (too many nights in that sentence…) What a horrible feeling. I cured mine with a 2am snuggle of my sleeping baby that I kinda woke up. I couldnt wait until morning! Now though I am off to go have a delightfully hot shower using my favorite products and then a little chocolate with my tea…Thanks!

  31. andrea

    On the saving-nice-hair/skin-products-for-bad-days thing? I did that with a Body Shop passionfruit-scented cleanser I had. It reminds me of spring and summer when I was a teenager and had no responsibilities (versus 10-month-old twins now). The Body Shop no longer MAKES this cleanser, so I was really, really making it last. Recently I had A Grim Day and reached for the passionfruit cleanser, of which the last time I used it there was about one-third left. What did I find? My husband had been using it, to the extent of tipping the bottle over to get out the last centimetre or so. My husband, who couldn’t care less what he puts on his face and hair. I died. We fought. He didn’t understand. Why don’t men understand these things?

    I feel relieved to see I’m not the only mother who feels like a bad mother when her baby is in a squirmy mood and doesn’t want to be cuddled and snuggled. When the girls do that to me it is the worst feeling ever. I’m struggling with it at the moment. Not that I’m glad you feel that way, but because I’ve been reading your blog for ages and you sound like such a great, experienced mother, and if your baby does that too than hopefully it means I’M not a crap mother who can’t comfort her own babies.

    Sorry you’re feeling low and hope things get better very soon. & sorry this is so long.

  32. Erin

    I know exactly the kind of sadness you mean. Hope it lifts. I had it last week all week but it’s gone now.

    Henry. I drooled a little on my keyboard just then. WOW CUTE.

  33. jonniker

    I love that you have a whole plan in place for this precise occasion. I really do — it says a lot about you, all good things.

    I hope it worked (I know it did) and that tomorrow is better.
    xo

  34. Kate

    You are so smart to have a plan for day sadness. I am going to formulate one, a healthier one that what I currently do, which is eat way more than I should.
    Henry is so wise looking – those eyes! He’s gorgeous. I loved your description of holding him, right down to the footie pjs.
    I hope you are feeling better!

  35. Kristin C.

    These kind of days are so hard. I think you did a great job keeping your head above water with your hot shower, extra special face washing, bright lights, and favorite candle lighting. I think if it were me I would have layed on the couch, watched sad girly movies On Demand, and I would have eaten the entire house.

    You’re awesome Swistle. I hope you get a good nights sleep and that the weather is sunny and warm with spring happiness tomorrow when you wake up!

    Cheesy but true :-)

  36. carrie

    ((HUGS)) to you. It sounds like you had a great plan, especially the Henry part, I’m in a better mood just looking at that sweet face.

    Here is to a GREAT tomorrow.

  37. mnn

    been there, still there, not post partum, everything else but the baby. hang in there.
    this life is a blip the size of this period here>> .
    wish there was a happy pill….but….
    it is times like these when our brain comes in handy and forces us to just do things one step at a time.
    hang in there.

  38. Omaha Mama

    Have you been to Target lately? I think you need a little Target. Retail therapy would be a nice addition to your already brilliant regimen.

    BTW – your boy? He is a fine young man, with a great, sturdy chin. He is just growing into such a handsome baby. SO, so cute. I hope the gushing is okay with you…because his baby-ness has completely cheered ME up!

  39. Nellyru

    Speaking of crabby, squirmy kids…when I picked mine up from daycare today, instead of the “MOMMMYYYYYYY” and running at me gleefully, he told me to “GO AWAY” and pushed me back out the door! And maybe if the FREAKIN SUN WOULD EVER SHINE AGAIN, we wouldn’t be having these STUPID SAD NIGHTS AND DAYS. Hmph! *shuffles crankily back into the corner and pulls blanket back over head*

  40. launchingsloth

    Sometimes I read your blog and I think, That is so perfectly worded, she should write that down!

    ( . . . )

    Wishing you a bolt of sunshine or a bottle of moonshine and continued cute cuddlemonkey baboes.

  41. Kelsey

    I hope today is looking/feeling better. I thought your coping strategy sounded excellent. And just looking at Henry is like therapy, what a beauty!

  42. d e v a n

    I hope you’re feeling better today. Yesterday must have been one of those days because I kept feeling like a failure all day. I even cried about it on D’s shoulder when we went to bed.
    A cuddly baby does help!

  43. tripleblessings

    I am sorry you’re feeling blue. Do you read the blog “Ask Moxie”? She has a download file in the left margin called “14 tips for preventing post partum depression”. The suggestions for taking care of yourself are excellent, whether you’re in the newborn stage or not. Good ideas from taking omega-3s, to exercise and massage, to getting sunshine, to being gentle and kind to yourself.
    I hope you (and others here) feel better soon.

  44. Jen

    you’re so right. when the baby feels like snuggling, it really is like mainlining the best antidepressant ever.

    especially when you get a little baby-hum in your neck or a baby-pat on your arm…i totally live for those.

    (hope you’re on the upswing.)

  45. Manic Mom

    AWWWWWWWWWWW Baby is cute and sure to cure the Day Sadness doldrums!

    However, man, you sure do a good job of trying to whack the Day Sadness out right away. Usually I succumb to it and just fall into the lull–not changing out of my jammies, not putting in contacts, not brushing my hair or teeth, not making the kids breakfast, surfing the internet all day long looking for something spectacular, wondering where my life is headed. But you! You shower! You use facial cleanser. You make food for breakfast! YOU EAT! You do all the good things when you are feeling sad.

    But truly, joking aside, when I woke up too many days feeling like how you described your sadness, that’s when I knew it was time to get on medication to help me through those sad days.

    Best of luck, and thanks for stopping by Manic Mom’s… Love the Swistle name. I’m going to be saying that a lot. Swistle.Rhymes with whistle too, right? And my BBFF is Swishy so that sounds alike too!

  46. Astarte

    Oh, he is so cute! I want to hold him, too!

    Bad nights are so hard to get out of. Laying wake stressing out is the worst. If the freakin’ sun would just STAY OUT ALREADY things would be a lot better, I know.

    If all else fails, make some brownies and what the hell… eat ’em all.

  47. BRash

    Hip Hip Hooray for cozy warm babies in a footie sleepers who hook little arms around your upper arm and rest their cheeks against your cheek companionably!

  48. Danielle-lee

    I understand…..amazing how we can doubt ourselves as mothers, even when our biggest (littlest) fans make it so blatantly obvious that we are great.

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