The Honest Toddler's brilliant and biting posts—and books—have been mama must-reads ever since Bunmi Laditan first started the site back in 2012. But now Laditan is getting kudos for a far more serious piece of writing—a brutally honest and strong essay on the impact of postpartum depression on her family.
Bunmi developed PPD for the first time with her third child, and it hit her—hard. Like it took three years to recover hard. "We all know about the anxiety, OCD, chilling thoughts, rage that sneaks up on you like a flash fire and then is drowned by your own shame-filled tears and all that fun stuff yay but what no one can prepare you for is how it feels to hold a baby and not feel like she’s yours," she relates. She mentions the things that helped, including medication and treatment, and as she puts it, just "showing up," that divide was crossed and she connected with her son.
It can be devastating to admit that you didn't feel connected to your child—and Laditan shows immense bravery in sharing her story. What I love most is her support for all the mamas out there who are going through this right now. "If you’re going through this today, changing a baby’s diaper or giving a toddler a bath with the shaking fear in your heart that this little one will never feel like your own, please just wait," she says. "Keep showing up. Keep rocking them to sleep searching their little faces for what you need. Keep wiping down that high chair and kissing their pillow soft cheeks. Every time you do you, the angels throw a handful of sand into the canyon between you. One day it will be full and you’ll walk across it to find you were always there somehow."
We need more parents to share these difficult stories with the world, to help support the parents who come after them. And something tells me Laditan's powerful story will be shared time and time again.