Baby Sitting in 3 Hours

I went home early yesterday because of a baby.

The Niece 

My sister asked me to baby babysit my niece so they finish moving their things to their new house.  I was hesitant to agree initially. My niece is barely 7 months old. She feeds from her mom’s breasts. I don’t know how to take care of a baby that young.

The few times I baby sat for my other nieces, they were already in their blabbering stage and can signal what they want. But a 7-month old? They would just scream their hearts out until you give what they want which is a great puzzle on their own.

I eventually relented after some cajoling. So I rushed home yesterday. My sister promised me to be back in three hours. Being the time-crazy, schedule-freak that I am, I made a mental note to schedule my niece’s activities.

The first hour was spent on play time. My husband and I sat her on our bed and spread all her toys around. We just sat on the edge to make sure she won’t fall off. Thanks to my teaching background, I’m aware that babies can play on their own. My husband kept on telling me to play with the baby. Actually, it’s healthy to allow kids to play on their own. It develops creativity. Honestly though, my niece just keeps on throwing things around and laughing at them like a maniac.

After an hour of ”playing,” the baby got bored. I was observing her and I believe she got bored. She stopped throwing her toys around and started looking around. After a few minutes, she crawled up to me seemingly asked to be carried. Uh oh, I thought. I love hugging her but I hate carrying her. She’s a 10-kilo baby!

She started softly banging her head on my chest until I stood up and went out. It’s time to go out. I planned to allot one hour outside. I noticed before how babies are quiet and observant when they’re out of the house like they’re just breathing and taking in everything. So I stood outside of our apartment for almost an hour. Baby is quietly observing the leaves. She’s probably counting them cause she didn’t make a fuss for almost an hour.

Unfortunately, it rained so we didn’t finish the allotted time outside. She got fussy. I asked my husband to play some kiddie YouTube videos. She didn’t like them. We turned on the TV and she got quiet when the evening news came. My sister was strict with TV. She told us not to let the baby watch. But I declared a cheat day for baby yesterday.

My sister told me that watching TV shows and videos affect the baby’s mental development. There were also some studies that connect watching shows with ADHD. A professor in the university told us another study. She said that watching fast-moving shows like action-packed cartoons, fast-paced videos and TV commercials can be linked to ADHD. However, shows that are slower pace like talk shows and news reports are okay. They’re just similar to talking people. So there you go sister, we just watched the news. No harm done!

The baby slept from watching the news. My arms were getting heavy but I’m afraid to move lest baby wakes up. Now, I know. The struggle is real! After 30 minutes, I moved a bit and boom! Baby cried a bit and woke up. My husband calmed her down and it gave me the chance to take a bath. My husband asked me not to take too long in the shower. I can foresee how we will be like when we get to have a baby- shorter shower times. 

After a quick shower and a hurried dressing up, I found my niece sucking my husbands biceps. He told me he gave some water to baby. Baby almost finished an entire bottle and now she’s playing zombie, eating my husband’s arms. She’s obviously hungry. We tried searching for a formula milk around her things, none. There was also no baby food. Poor baby. No mommy and no foodie.

She didn’t make a fuss, thankfully. I got her from my husband and she started sucking her thumbs. I sent a message to my sister and told her that the baby’s hungry. We spent 20 minutes waiting for my sister while my niece sucks on her thumbs.

When my sister finally arrive, my niece immediately extended her arms and hungrily feed on her mom’s breasts. She forgot about me! Huhu!

But anyway, it was also great that she’s with her mother. I got tired from caring for her even it’s just for 3 hours. My sister said that maybe I’m not ready to have a baby yet. I wouldn’t really say that I’m not ready. It’s just that, my niece is not my baby. It’s hard to care for a little person that’s not yours. I’m not with her everyday so I don’t know how to handle her if she gets cranky. And I don’t have the best weapon for babies- BREASTMILK! I think if I have it, I can do anything!

Today, I don’t have to go home early. Yehey!

What to Do When Depression Attacks You?

Image result for depression

Do you have days where you just hate your life? Cause I’m having one of those days.

I don’t have any major problem. Marriage is fine. Finances are okay. Health, no worries. Work, great. But I just don’t like where I’m at with my life.

I was staring at the screen of my work computer earlier and I feel trapped and empty. Like there’s a vacuum inside my brain and I can’t feel my heartbeat.

Before getting married and I was living overseas, I used to have these days often. I would spend the whole day just staring at the white walls of my apartment. If I need to go to work, I’d be staring the screen of my computer. My mind will be filled with all the negativity I can think about. I hated my life for no reasonable reason. That sucks, you know. On worse days, I’m hoping I wouldn’t wake up the following day just so I can stop the terrible feeling of nothingness.

When I got married, I found a reason to haul myself up when the blues visit me. I’d tell myself that I need to prepare food, clean the house and be pretty for my husband. During the entire first year or our marriage, I was okay until today.

Prior to my wedding, I consulted a doctor. She told me what I’ve been suspecting all along. I have mild depression. I don’t know when did I start having bouts of depression. We tried talking out possible causes of my depression. There’s a plethora of reasons. Family problems. Work-related stress. Isolation. Dissatisfaction. Relationships. Lack of purpose. There’s more but there’s no single reason. She told me that sometimes depression just happens. What’s important is that I can identify the signs when depression is attacking me. More importantly, I have to face my depression and fight giving in to it.

Battling the Blues

Even before I got to the doctor, I already have the sense when depression attacks me. I know I’m having the blues when I don’t like to go out, when I don’t like to speak to anyone, when I’m having suicidal thoughts, when nothing seems right in my world and when I’m feeling lost and alone. When these thoughts and feelings linger for days, I would try to haul myself up.

If you’re like me who’s having these bouts from time to time, here are some of the things I do:

  1. Force myself to go out. The outside world helps me breathe and push away the mental cobwebs.
  2. Meet friends. The presence of people revitalizes me and reminds me I’m not really alone.
  3. Write. I write what I feel and it helps me process things. At this moment, I’m feeling better that when I started the first paragraph. I’m also fond of making lists of my things I want to achieve so I can remain hopeful.
  4. Meditate. I focus my mind on things I can be thankful for. I try to refocus my mental lens to more positive thoughts.
  5. Work out or clean-up. When the body is doing routine work,my mind also gets absorbed. The depressing feelings would be set aside.
  6. Cry. There was a time when I cried almost everyday for no reason. I just want to cry and I observe that I feel better afterwards.
  7. Pray and talk to myself. I’d rant and rave about all the things that’s going on inside me. I’d voice out all the negativity that I’m feeling. I’d tell them too God and I’d tell them to myself. It’s like writing because it helps me process my thoughts. After talking to myself or praying, I’d usually have a better perspective of things.
  8. Let the feelings wash over me and give a deadline. Sometimes, there’s no use in fighting the depressing emotions and thoughts. I’d just let them for a day be but I’d promise myself to stop feeling sorry the following day.

My Blues and My Boy

I didn’t share my situation to my boyfriend, who’s my husband now. I only mentioned it a few weeks before getting married. He was understanding but he was honest enough to tell me that he couldn’t relate with me. He also shared that he didn’t think I was suffering from depression because I always look so perky and fine. I always sounded so positive and encouraging. I told him that depression can hit the most positive people. People with depression can also hide it effectively.

I wasn’t putting up a face when I’m being perky and positive. I’m like that because I understand how to be depressed for no reason. I don’t like that feeling so I’m mindful that when I meet people, I’d give off positive energy.

On the first weeks of our marriage, my husband would be cautious in what he says and how he deals with me. He tries not to make me ”sad.” I told my husband that I don’t like to be treated like I have a special condition. Make me happy, make me sad. Make me laugh, make me cry. I don’t mind because that’s what being human is. Depression might be triggered by people and  external factors, but depression is an internal battle. It tests the willpower of the mind. I’m lucky that my husband wants to help me in anyway he can but I don’t want him to walk on egg shells around me.

When the doctor confirmed that I have mild depression, my first resolve was not to live like  I have it. I’m not trying to deny it but I refuse to be dictated by it. I won’t live like it’s a burden or a special condition. I wrote many times to remind myself that I’m not the only one with it and I won’t have it forever.

I might  have bouts of depression from time to time, such as today, but the sunshine in my mind is stronger than the blues.

Dear Mind, let’s ward off some blues today! Fight!

If you’re feeling like me today, get up. Don’t give up the fight! 

A helpful post on Depression:

Uplifting Depression: 15 Unexpected Lessons from Adversity