I think I know why you are here.
I understand your struggles, momma. Don’t be hard on yourself.
Please know that you’re not the only one in this battle.
You are not suffering alone. Please know that things do get better.
You will get through this. You will.
So, hang in there.
The first couple of months after my youngest was born seemed to be the hardest of my entire motherhood. And I didn’t even understand why.
I wasn’t as excited and motivated as I expected. I was always irritable and angry. I was always yelling and crying. I was sad and I felt alone despite the people who were there trying to reach out to me. I was always worried and scared of many things that could happen.
I was terribly struggling to find joy.
I was always worried about my relationship with my husband and my firstborn.
I was worried and guilty that I was driving them away. I was making the days hard not only for myself but for them too.
It definitely was a difficult battle. I didn’t feel like I was myself anymore. I thought I was going crazy.
I was completely lost and overwhelmed.
Until one day, I realized that something’s wrong and I was so tired of all the things that was going on. I realized that I couldn’t manage it anymore and I needed help.
I asked for prayers and advice from the older moms in my community. Though it did seem better, there were times that I still could not control my emotions and my actions.
Only then, I decided to ask for help from my doctor. I was on medication for a while until things have gotten a lot better.
I can’t say everything has completely changed but it is so much better for me now. I am slowly getting back on the road to a happy motherhood.
Mood Disorders are very common to pregnant women and new moms. Many mothers do realize that there’s something wrong going on, yet for some reasons, they choose not to ask for help.
If you are a new mom and you think you have the signs, please do ask for help. Do not be ashamed. Do not be scared. These terrible things that you are feeling right now are just temporary and treatable. Ask for professional help as soon as possible.
Sometimes, there are things that we just can’t solve on our own. Our emotional wellness is as important as many others, momma.
So what is helping me cope aside from of course, medication? My Faith, prayers and the community, I call my ‘mom tribe’.
And because I would like to give back by also helping others through inspiration, I have asked a few moms to contribute to this post.
Let’s hear it from them!
Self-care is important!
“I thought I only had baby blues, but after a while I realized it was more than that since my sadness and feeling down lasted more than two weeks. I was in denial until almost 7 months postpartum, but I knew I needed help.
I started going to a therapist who specialized in postpartum depression and it helped me a lot to be able to talk to someone. She suggested making time for self-care and time for just myself. I started going out shopping, going for a drive or simply going out to get coffee in price and quiet and it helped tremendously!
Don’t ever be afraid to get help and don’t ever feel guilty for taking time for yourself! Happy mama equals happy baby and the whole family. Self-care is important!”
Kate from Blending Lives
Kate is a wife, mom to two boys and a step-mom to a girl. Her blog, Blending Lives, focuses on motherhood, parenting, marriage, stay at home moms on a budget and lifestyle. Her inspiration to start a blog came from wanting to help other parents overcome struggles that come with parenthood and also showcase mom lifestyle.
Identify your triggers and try to get in front of them when you can.
“Dealing with PPD and PPA is hard. I’m taking medication, and it helps, but it doesn’t solve all of my problems. I have really had to lean on my husband. Though I sometimes take out my anger and my frustrations on him, I need him to help me through my episodes.
Communication has been key for us.
Removing myself from situations has helped too. I’ll have my husband watch my son and I’ll go sit in my room, light some candles, play some soft music, and just relax. I like to color in coloring books. No technology, no outside triggers, just something soothing that doesn’t require a great deal of thought. It really helps.
I am also working on identifying my triggers and getting in front of them when I can. Sometimes that isn’t always possible since I am a stay-at-home mom to a one-year-old, but I’m trying. That’s the most important part though. As long as I am making an effort to be better for my family and to get better for myself, then that’s all that matters. I’ll only fail if I stop moving forward.”
Mallory from Mama on Parade
I’m just a mom trying to make it through this crazy adventure called motherhood. Being a mom is amazing, but it’s also hard. We need to stop the mom-shaming and the guilt and stick together. Our kids deserve that.
“Raising a daughter with severe anxiety and OCD has heightened my anxiety that was once well controlled. It took me years to realize that in order to parent my child in the way that she needed me, I had to take care of myself.
I finally began therapy for myself and it was eye-opening. I realized that I had control over my thoughts, feelings, and reactions, whereas before, I felt out of control. Therapy has taught me positive ways to see situations, the importance of “me” time, and the ability to be mindful of my responses and reactions.
While getting therapy for myself is a financial stress, since insurance does not cover it, I know that my mental health is as important as my physical health. I can now parent my high needs child in a kinder, more supportive way while I model positive self-care.”
Colleen Wildenhaus from Good Bye Anxiety, Hello Joy
Colleen Wildenhaus is the owner and writer of Good Bye Anxiety, Hello Joy- Supporting the Anxious Child. As an experienced teacher and mother, she now works with families and teachers in providing support to the anxious children in their life.
Don’t ignore your emotions.
“I just recently had my third baby. We were not planning on having a third because I got really close to not surviving PPD after my second baby.
PPD can get worse after each pregnancy and that was certainly the case for me. After my first child, I remember pulling over to the side of the interstate on the way to work because I couldn’t see or breathe (panic attack.) I barely remember my son’s first year because I was quietly struggling with PPD.
I would brush it off with explaining that my emotions were rational and therefore nothing was wrong (despite the fact they were extreme.)
A very vivid memory is of my husband coming home early from work and finding me just sitting on the couch crying my eyes out while our son crawled around the house. He got me immediate help and it was like I woke up after a year of major depression.
When my son was two, my husband had a vasectomy because we did not think I would survive a third child. Little did we know that I was already pregnant with my third as he was having a vasectomy. We made a plan immediately.
I got a doctor and explained how awful my PPD was in the past. I don’t keep my PPD a secret. I don’t ignore my emotions. We talk and we are open. We know my limitations. If we ignore it or don’t talk about it then I can spiral downwards.
My husband asks me every day how I am. We have a plan if there is the slightest red flag so I don’t spiral downwards. I’m open and honest on social media and with anyone who will listen. I found that letting people know what
I have gone through holds me accountable and I don’t worry about keeping it a secret if I go through it again. In fact, the last time I felt myself going through a rough patch I made everyone aware and they all reached out to me and made me feel so loved that it motivated me to get help immediately (my thyroid medicine needed to be adjusted.)
Depression can make you feel like no one is there for you and that you don’t deserve for them to be there for you. The longer you stay quiet about that the worse it gets. In the past, I pushed so many away because of that. But now, everyone knows my health. If they chose to not be my friend when I am not doing well, that is on them.
Most people know and understand and are there for me when I am ready for them.
My husband is my rock and my soft spot. I would not have survived this without him.
I haven’t suffered as much after my beautiful surprise baby was born! And it’s because we have a plan and I don’t ignore warning signs. I am constantly on the defensive.
YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS. I HAVE. IT’S A FIGHT BUT YOU WILL DO IT.
In my opinion, there is nothing stronger than a mother that has to fight just to get out of bed for her children. Get help. This is a battle you can AND WILL win!!”
Ashley Allen from The Adventurous Allens
I am a wife of a disabled veteran and a homeschooling mom of three very beautiful children (7, 4, and almost one-year.) I am incredibly blessed and a survivor. I also write a family homeschooling/travel blog called The Adventurous Allens.
If you are a Christian mom, I also recommend you to read “It’s OK to Not Be OK – Even If You’re a Christian” by Lauren Eberspacher. Her video on this article has really touched me and has inspired and awakened me that it is okay to struggle even you’re a follower of Jesus.
I hope that you find inspiration from this post and that things will soon get better for you too, momma.
Have faith. Nothing is impossible.