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Becoming a Mommy with Bipolar Part Three: Returning to Work

This is part three of a three part series: 

The next hurdle was returning to work. I’ve been back to work for almost 6 months now, and was quite surprised with myself that the transition went very well. It turns out that I am the kind of mom who needs a career. I used to think that I would like to be a stay at home mom, but after just over a year at home, I realized that I need to work to thrive and be happy. I had started to feel very isolated and restless just before I returned to work from being mostly shut in during a long winter.  Everyone at work kept asking me how I was handling being away from my baby and I told them all that as much as I loved the first year of motherhood and being home every day with my baby, I was happy to get out of the house. Being away at work during the day helps me to appreciate being home that much more. In fact now that I am used to being a working mommy the best part of my day is walking in the door at home and being greeted by my little daughter’s smiles and the sweet sound of the word “mama” even when my husband is holding her up saying “It’s your turn – she’s been pooping non-stop all day”.

I know that I was lucky. I know that not everyone who has bipolar will have such a smooth ride through becoming a parent for the first time. But I truly believe that the medication, education, planning, routine and the support from my husband and psychiatrist is why I made it through this enormous life change full of stress. Of course, each situation is different, and you have to weigh that decision carefully on your own and with your partner and doctors input.  I believe I succeeded in staying well because I was 100% dedicated to following my plan, but also was flexible enough to change the plan as required. Even though we were very prepared, there is still tons more to learn about in the first year of becoming parents, and the learning doesn’t stop there either. If you have dreams of being a parent or even if you end up one by accident, you can be successful at it. You will have to work a bit harder and do more advanced planning, but don’t ever let anyone tell you not to follow your dreams of raising a family just because you have Bipolar Disorder. I am so glad I didn’t listen to that person who told me not to have kids. My daughter has brought me more joy in her first 14 months since birth, than all the happiest days of my life – and I am proud of myself. I am a good mom. 

Comments

I am so happy to have read this series I could cry! Thank you for your openness and willingness to share! Best to you and your family! You have given me hope!

Glad to have read this. I'm a doin to be daddy. just understanding this will be a big help to me. She doesn't Amit to me she has this disorder , but all the meds she was taken was for this disorder and I see all the signs of it. It has been a real struggle for me to deal with the highs and lows but I don't wznna give up. I pray everyday it gets better . We aren't actually together at the moment but I hope that will change.

I'm very happy for you. It's also good to hear positive stories about motherhood and bipolar. Thank you for sharing your story.

thank you for this!!!! it is so reassuring and hopeful.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I gave up hope that I could ever have a child of our own years ago. You've helped me see it is more possible than I had thought, however, I still have a lot of concerns to research.
One of which is the routine.
From my experience tutoring and babysitting, i know how it can be difficult to keep young kids on a schedule.
I'm wondering, how do you cope with routine being thrown off? For Example, it is time to leave, but everything is halted by a temper tantrum.

Being bipolar myself and trying to get pregnant and start a family, reading this article has reassured me I can do it and have started a plan for when I do get pregnant. Thanks for the articles! I'm so excited and can't wait to be a mom.

I really appreciate this personal story. I have experienced following my heart with career, starting my own company and I wanted to hear that is was possible. Thank you!

Hi Jessi! Thanks for sharing your story. I admire your careful thought and management, and it's so reassuring to hear how you got through this huge life change.

Thank you for posting this! I only found out I had bipolar disorder just after my son turned 2. We were planning on trying for our second but after the diagnosis, the plans changed. My psychiatrist at the time actually told me to never have any more children and to consider permanent birth control. Thank goodness he is no longer my doctor! I am now looking forward to preplanning for our second child, though not right away. Perhaps in a few months we’ll decide to start our 3 months, pre-conception planning. Your story gives me so much hope. I can’t believe that I let someone tell me I could never be an effective mother and should not follow my dreams.

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