I was laying outside while Isla was napping today, and as I was feeling just so thankful to feel the sun on my face, I remembered how this time last year felt very different.
My husband and I moved 3 1/2 hours away from our family 6 weeks after our daughter was born for a job opportunity. We were nervous to move away but also excited that it allowed for me to be a stay at home mom. Our time away from family in Paducah, KY only last a couple months (for reasons that unfolded while we were there), but it was not a walk in the park at all. In fact, a walk in the park is literally all I wanted to be able to do. We lived in the second floor of an apartment building, and it was the middle of summer, so the days were extremely hot. We have a small dog, and she maybe went out once a day while Ross was at work. It was all I could do to scoop up Isla, put Ella on a leash, and walk down the steps to let Ella do her business as quickly as possible so I could run back into my apartment. Looking back, I can see just how fearful I was of everything. Our complex had a pool and we went there maybe twice. I thought that going to the pool was “getting out” and I’d be so proud of myself. Being a new mom in a new city was probably the hardest thing I’ve done. Isla was very fussy, I never drove anywhere because the car would get so hot from being outside, Isla would cry the entire 5 minute drive to get coffee, and nothing seemed worth it to me.
I remember Ross coming home one day, and I told him I hadn’t felt the sun in what felt like days. He was shocked and immediately encouraged me to go outside on a little walk while he stayed with Isla. Do you ever feel instant relief from stress when you walk outside and just absorb the sun? This summer, I’m allowing myself to feel those positive effects that being outside can give me and thanking God for those moments. I don’t take them for granted anymore! In the future if I have any more babies, I am going to take those moments, daily if possible, to go outside for a walk or even just to stand in the sunlight. And if any of you are a mom-to-be or have ever struggled with PPD, start with going outside and let someone watch your baby for a few minutes even, if you’re able. It’s not a cure-all, but it’s a start!