Did you know that May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month?
I bet you didn’t.
Because I didn’t either, until I became one of the many moms diagnosed with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. In fact, in my own little world, where everything was chugging along just fine, it didn’t even cross my mind that there would be enough moms out there suffering for us to even need a month devoted to raising awareness!
But the sad truth is, there are.
Being a mom is, hands down, the hardest job that there is out there. You can try to argue with me on this, but I firmly believe this to be true. We are the ones who carry the baby, endure labor and give birth. We are the nourishment providers, snugglers and the ones who never seem to get enough sleep in the early months and years. We are the meal makers, grocery shoppers, boo boo healing, nightmare calming, alphabet teaching, tantrum dissolving, nurses who are running on empty in the toddler years. We are the question answering, carpooling, cheerleading, confidence boosting, heartbreak healing, homework helping, schedule keeping glue that holds the craziness together as we wade through adolescence. And then, when the time comes, we are the empty nesters, enjoying seeing our children take flight into adulthood, but secretly wishing deep down that we could start it all over again….
And somewhere in there, we are still meant to be us. And it can get lost. It can get lost in the months of pregnancy, lost in the first few months following birth or lost in the craziness and busyness of life as time seems to fly by.
But we shove it down. We have to keep it together. We have to keep on chugging along, because moms don’t get sick and moms definitely don’t get depressed.
Except when we do.
and then what?
to be honest, I don’t know exactly what will work for you. But I do know what won’t.
Keeping it in, pushing it away and not telling anyone what is really going on.
There is no shame in admitting that something is wrong. There is no weakness in asking for help. We need to let go of the facade, break down our walls and get real.
We can LOVE being a mom and still admit that its hard.
We can LOVE our children so much it hurts, and still need to take a break.
We can look around at our life and realize we have everything that we always thought we needed to be happy, and still realize that we have some work to do on ourselves to get there.
I want to share with you a song that helped me at my lowest. I mean, when literally everything seemed to be crashing down around me and I thought it was all coming to an end, this song spoke volumes to me. I would listen to it over and over again, letting the words wash over me and grasping at the truths that I knew were there but seemed just out of reach.
So click here, if you need encouragement.
“There is freedom in surrender, so lay it down and let it go…”
If you are going through a hard time right now, and feel like you might be suffering from depression, I encourage you to reach out to someone – your spouse, a friend, your doctor….
you can even email me!
But don’t suffer in silence. Don’t for a second think that you have to always keep it all together. Don’t forget, in the craziness that comes with raising a family, that YOU are just as important.