How I could have been Lisa Gibson

by Rumour Miller on July 29, 2013

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I want to take a moment to talk about Lisa Gibson. Her children ages 2 years and 3 months were found in the bathtub at home. They later died in hospital and she is missing… she was missing.  They have now found her body in the Red River.  What a tragic sequence of events.  They didn’t start there, with the children in the tub.  These events started long before the media became involved.

It is said that she had recently started medication for postpartum depression.

This story has littered my Facebook news feed for almost a week.  People care about this family because we all know that any one of us could have been her.

Are her.

Having a baby is the most life changing thing a parent will ever go through. Starting with pregnancy.  We become responsible for someone other than ourselves.  Responsible for the tiniest little miracle we ever laid eyes on.  That baby needs us for EVERYTHING.  They need us for warmth, or to be kept cool.  For baths, supervision, eating, changing…. life.  How is that not overwhelming or scary.  Then they become a little more independent but parenting them doesn’t get any easier.  It doesn’t.  Now they can demand our attention with a temper tantrum or fighting with one another or talking back.  Raising children is hard and demanding work.  There is no escape or time for vacation.  It is a 24/7 undertaking for the next 18 years of their life.  And then we feel guilty about the feelings that we are having.

Add to that mix of chaos, depression.  Depression robs one of their ability to properly care for themselves let alone a helpless infant, toddler or child.

I know I focus on the positive sides of parenting here on my blog.  I focus on the good aspects of life on my Facebook account.  It is a choice that I have made to chronicle our lives during this season so that when I read back or my children read it, I want them to know that we had many great times.  That parenting them, although hard and demanding work, has been rewarding in many ways.  And maybe that’s not fair to those reading, but if you think my life (or anyone else’s) is roses, lollipops and swing sets 24/7, then I can’t help you.

I am raising 3 children 7 and under, you can bet your pants we have hard days.  Bad days.  Days I would rather do over.  We all do.  Period.

The trials of raising little ones doesn’t necessarily get easier as they grow but the good days far outweigh the bad days.  They start to sleep more, which means You (as parent) start to sleep more.  Take time for yourself and your spouse.  This was also a big challenge for Craig and I.  We only took that time when our family (who doesn’t live very close to us) was visiting.  It was hard.  Once the kids got a bit older we did the best thing we could for our family life.  We hired a babysitter.  Then we hired her again and again and again.  Now, 7 years later, we have a go to babysitter that we trust and the girls love.  And, we got a bit of our own life.  It’s important to do.  It’s also important to know that when you are in the middle of raising young children that it is just a season.  Even if you have to squint your eyes to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you need to know it is there.

My brush with postpartum depression happened after Piper was born.  To be more accurate, it happened after she came home from the hospital and my mom went home after being with us during that chaotic time of NICU parenting.  While Piper was in the NICU, I was running on adrenaline and excitement.  I was motivated by seeing her and pumping that I was living in a fog of going to the NICU and sleeping at home.  My mom was there and Craig was there.  Then Piper came home and I felt good… until my mom went home.  I fell into a fog of anxiety.  Craig picked up on it right away.  I was laying in bed not motivated to get up and snuggle my baby.  It was a complete turnaround from the week before.

Thank goodness for him.  He came with me to my follow-up appointment and we asked for some medication to get me through, he took time off work and he called my mom.  As soon as she arrived, I felt so much better.  I just needed that little extra support and that tiny pill to get me through.  I was fortunate to have a husband recognize the difference in me and to have the support I needed to adjust to being a new mom.  Things got better.  So much better.

I am not saying that Lisa Gibson didn’t have a husband or family who supported her.  Clearly she had family supports in place as her mother-in-law was coming to her home to help, I just think she got lost in the fog.

I could have been her and I bet some of you are sitting at your computers thinking the same thing.


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