Depression and Motherhood
Hey there, Mama’s! Today I want to talk to you about something close to my heart. Something that a lot of mothers, like me, have struggled with at one point in their motherhood. Although we’ve taken great strides in talking about depression over the past couple of years, I know that 2020 was especially hard on parents, with 2021 feeling like we are just really trying to recover from all of the craziness. Hopefully 2022 is better!
Mothers all over have had to leave their jobs, homeschool their children and make uncomfortable decisions left and right, putting us in a very hard spot.
Sometimes we just all go through hard seasons in our lives when things just feel overwhelming and too much deal with. But sometimes it’s more than that. Sometimes even when things are going right we still feel like something is wrong. Maybe you’ve only felt like this for a little bit or maybe this is something that you frequently deal with, like me.
The reason I wanted to address this now is because mamas have really been on my heart lately- And I know the struggle all too well.
As always my goal is to support mothers while being open and honest. I always try to be real, and being real means that we need to talk about the hard things.
If we aren’t talking about what’s affecting your life, your happiness and what’s killing your joy then I’m not here doing what I should be doing. I’m not serving you as I should be. Right?
Yes, it’s uncomfortable to talk about depression. It’s hard to admit as a parent, especially as a mother. It’s something that I have struggled with on and off again ever since I’ve had kids.
As mothers we strive on perfection. We want to be perfect for our partners, our kids, our families, in our careers and in all the things we do. Admitting defeat is not something that comes easy to any of us. (But guess what- you aren’t defeated now and you won’t be later.)
You need to take care of yourself, period. I don’t know about you but this is something I am awful at. But I’m trying to do better. Because I know I am not able to give to everyone else when I am struggling myself.
But I am here to tell you: It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to ask for a break. It’s absolutely okay to say, “Hey, something isn’t right here. I need help.” Please don’t ever feel ashamed because you are battling something greater than yourself. Don’t ever feel like you can’t reach out to someone, or that people won’t understand. Because they will. They may not understand depression and they may not know what to say to you or have the answer but they will love you. They will want for you to be happy and they will want to help. I think sometimes we get on this track in motherhood of providing for everyone else and making sure everyone is happy, healthy and taken care of while we neglect ourselves. That sounds right doesn’t it? I also think a lot of the time we don’t even have the energy to tackle our own issues. But we need to prioritize it. We need to be able to hit pause and get ourselves better. I also want to point out that if you don’t feel like you have family or friends to reach out to, and I hope that isn’t the case, you can reach out to anyone. Do you have a mothers group you are in? Do you have a church you attend? Your doctor is a great starting place as well.
Now, let’s address something else. We do not need to be perfect all the time. We don’t need to have it together all the time. Let’s just pause and think about that. I know you feel like you have to be “on” every second. That you have to have all the right answers and make the right choices. That’s just not true. There’s not one mother out there that has it all together, despite what you are seeing online. (P.S. Social media can be the worst. Consider taking a break for awhile.) We are all struggling together. Asking for help with depression is not something that you should be ashamed of. At all.
I want to say this again. If what I’m saying here is resonating with you, please reach out to someone. Please don’t push those feeling down. Don’t think that it’ll just go away today, tomorrow or next week. It’s so important that you take time for yourself and your mental health. You cannot give to anyone else if you are not okay. Period. Your husband, your kids, you job and your ability to give out solely depends on you and your health.
I’m a big advocate of having a great support system. I believe it’s vital to keep your inner circle close and protect it. You should feel comfortable reaching out to them. They are there for you to lean on. But if you don’t have anyone, there are so many other ways you can get help.
I’ve included additional resources below, as well as a workbook specifically for mental health and depression. I hope this has helped you today.
- If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, dial 9-1-1
- Contact a doctor
- Go to a hospital emergency room
- Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected with a trained counselor at a crisis center anytime. People are standing by, ready to help without judgement
- Text HOME to 741-741 to connect with a crisis counselor at the Crisis Text Line from anywhere in the U.S. It’s free, 24/7, and confidential
- If you’re outside the United States, please visit iasp.info