How Crafting Got Me Through Postpartum Depression

As a young mother I suffered from postpartum depression. I picked up knitting and crocheting again as a way to distract myself. Here's my story.
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My Postpartum Depression Story

After my son was born in 2008, I suffered from postpartum depression. Two kids in the house under two years old can really pull a number on some people – namely me.

My daughter, who was still one year old, was strong-willed and required a lot of attention. Never mind a newborn who obviously needed a lot of love and care. Thank goodness he wasn’t as vocal about his neediness as the one-year-old.

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I also hadn’t gone back to work after my maternity leave was over with my daughter. So, for a financial bridge, I only took three weeks off from my home daycare. Not really a lot of time to bond with the newborn so there was mom guilt playing at me as well.

The good news is, when I had the daycare kids back, even though there were more children in the house to care for, it ultimately redirected my daughter’s attention and entertained her because she had friends to play with.

The first few years of having really young kids and daycare were difficult but I am thankful to have had the opportunity to pick up my crochet and knitting to help me relieve some stress and some restless creative energy.

Knitting And Crochet To The Rescue

As I mentioned in my post My Craft Journey, it was so much fun to make surprises for the kids. And they were “just because”, no special reason gifts. It was even more adorable when they would make requests for things to make. That made me feel really good about my ability to craft and to do nice gestures for my family.

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How Crafting Reduces Stress

At the time I didn’t realize I was using knitting and crochet activities to reduce my stress. I just knew that it made me feel better and having something to focus on really helped.

Recently I was reading a House Beautiful article, Crocheting Could Make You Feel Happier, According to New Study. It reminded me that I do relax a lot when I am crafting.

I realize the article says crocheting specifically, but I truly believe it is the same for any craft that redirects your attention while making with your hands and imagination.

According to the article, “We all deal with a variety of stresses in our lives and sometimes [it] feels like there is nothing in this world that will bring us relief.” The survey found that “90 percent reported feeling calmer when they crocheted.” These findings are encouraging people to take up crochet as a self-care strategy.

What do you think, if you knit or crochet does it help ease your anxiety? If you don’t craft, do you think you’ll pick it up?

This post was featured on Guelph Local on February 17, 2020.

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Elizabeth Ruth

Elizabeth Ruth

Elizabeth is a children's book author and designer of knit and crochet character hats under the brand The Ruthless Crafter. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, spend time with her family, and swim. She lives a full, happy life in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband and their two children.

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