Stay Afloat. Get. To. Shore.

You know how I know that postpartum anxiety is very REAL for me? Because when I’m not drowning in it, I look at my previous self from the shore and I think…

“Holy shit. That is WAY deeper than you realize! OMG. Do you not see that shark behind you? You have no idea there are weights on your ankles right now, do you? Oh, Jill, you have to get those weights off and you have to get to shore. It’s so much easier here to not drown.”


I can sail through days now, not only mostly happy, not only keeping my kids alive and myself relatively sane, but also accomplishing things like dishes AND laundry ON THE SAME DAY. And even taking all three of them somewhere by myself.

At the deepest points, I would feel lazy and paralyzed. There was NO way I could manage to get dressed AND feed the kids at least 2 meals and snacks AND pick up messes AND deal with tantrums and meltdowns.

I mean, there I was, trying not to DROWN with weights on my ankles, and guilting myself over dirty sippy cups in the sink… and on the couch… and probably in my car.

But when people are close to drowning nobody expects them to do anything but get help, stay afloat, get. to. shore.

I’m only on the edge where the ocean meets the sand now. Most days I’m really afraid a rip tide will hit me out of nowhere and drag me back.

Today, though, I’m not in the water. I’m enjoying the sun, I’m accomplishing tasks, I’m relaxing on the beach and not gasping for air in the deep sea. And I hope that each day I move a little further away from the waves. Here I have time to breathe, space to stretch, and energy to spare.

Don’t ever feel guilty or lazy or like a bad person when you are drowning and gasping for air, with weights on your ankles, and you can’t do that while keeping your house clean and making your kids organic, homemade meals.

Get help. Stay afloat. Get. to. shore.

  • Lynsey - Jill you have no idea how much I needed to read this today. When I rang my aunty this morning because I couldn’t get myself, my 3 year old and my 4 month old fed and dressed and the house is a mess and I couldn’t stop crying, these were the exact words I used. I feel like I am drowning. I feel guilty for feeling like this and I wish I could snap out of it but I don’t know how. These words have really helped me today. Thank you so much xReplyCancel

  • Jenni Chiu - Yes.
    I will quote this to myself when needed. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Jamie - This describes postpartum anxiety and depression so well. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - i have always enjoyed your blog, always been helped by your honest posts about motherhood and postpartum. But this. This post. My eyes are stinging with tears and it feels a lot like you just put words to the thing I’ve been hoping someone would say to me but I didn’t know I needed to hear. If that makes any sense. Get to shore. Yes. Thank you. I hope you know how much your words mean.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Just what I needed…when I needed to hear it. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Thank you.

    Thank you so much for this.ReplyCancel

  • Titania Jordan - I want to print this out and hang on my refrigerator. So amazing Jill.ReplyCancel

  • Aryana - So I spent a good portion of my morning rushing to get my kindergartener ready for school, feed my 1 year old, and get breakfast (if cold pizza counts) so I can take my prenatals without puking. I am looking around at my house – toys and clothes literally everywhere, dishes in the sink, the floor desperately needs to be vacuumed and the tile mopped and I just found an ant crawling on my arm. I just realized I need a shower and my perpetual tears don’t count. This article is the breather I needed – I am definitely not on the beach, but I am trying!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - You are always so bluntly honest, thank you for that. I definitely feel like I’m drowning and definitely feel the guilt and judgement from those that can keep a clean house. I used to joke about keeping my kid alive, but now we deal with food allergies.. So I literally try to keep my kid alive daily. Thank you for once again hitting the nail on the head. You always seem to have impeccable timing.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - That must be incredibly stressful and exhausting. Hang in there.ReplyCancel

  • - I can’t believe I’ve been going for years without knowing that.ReplyCancel

  • Baby Rabies | Meditate On This – A Video Response - […] This is in response to everyone who has ever said that postpartum mood disorders aren’t real, and that women are being tricked by Big Pharma into numbing themselves. It’s a response to every person who has told a struggling mother to do more yoga, pray more, eat better, get more sleep. It’s a response to anyone who has ever made a mother feel shame for needing medication to get to shore.ย  […]ReplyCancel

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  • - If you wrote an article about life we’d all reach enlightenment.ReplyCancel

  • - You’ve got it in one. Couldn’t have put it better.ReplyCancel

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  • - My first reaction was omg! How not ok. I thought i was being to uptight until i read what you wrote. I am glad i am not the only one to see how wrong this is, and how we are harming our girls!ReplyCancel

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  • Michelle Petersilia Little - Thank you for this!!! I didn’t realize until a few weeks ago when you wrote your first post about postpartum anxiety that that is what I expected been dealing with for a year now since my first child was born. I felt guilty for not getting things done during the day while my husband was at work. All I seemed capable of doing was keeping our son fed and bathed and happy during the day…but nothing more. Nothing for me or my house or my husband. Thank you for continuing to write about this topic and letting me know that I am not alone I this. It helps me explain things to my husband and family better too. I am generally a happy person and can find the glass half full on most occasions so this new thing in my life really threw me for a loop. I didn’t understand myself or my feelings until you shared your story. Thank you thank you thank you !! Have a blessed day.ReplyCancel

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