I remember she was about a week old, I had just finished feeding her and was ready to put her down for a nap when it hit me like a brick wall. My heart started pounding and the tears came in full stream.
Thats the best way I can describe motherhood. Overwhelming love for this little being that you created. Overwhelming joy at being mommy to the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. Overwhelming fear of having to take care of a child that now depends solely on you. Everything is overwhelming, in good ways and bad.
No one ever warns you about it. They warn you about the pregnancy struggles, the warn you about their birth horror stories. They warn you about the pain and the sleepless nights. They warn you about the horrible dirty diapers and the spit up and the crying.
But what they don't warn you about is postpartum depression and anxiety.
I was prepared as I could be for the daily life of a mother. But what I was not prepared for what the depression, "baby blues" as some would call it. And I definitely wasn't prepared for the anxiety, feeling like I couldn't breathe, like I was exploding from the inside every time I had to feed my daughter, or every time people were around or my daughter cried and no one could take her besides me.
For some, if you're lucky, it ends after a few months and you go back to being your normal self. Others are not that lucky. If you're like me you're 8 months post delivery and its only getting worse. You can't sleep because you're anxiety is so bad, you're heart is pounding and your mind is racing a million miles per second. The house is a wreck and you can't seem to get anything done, because you're depression has taken every ounce of motivation away from you.
What I'm here to tell you is that it is okay.
our struggles do not make you any less of an amazing mother. Your depression and anxiety does not make you less of a mother. You are not a failure for the way your body has reacted to the hormones that come with carrying, delivering and for some breastfeeding your child. The moment you conceived your baby, you gave up control over your emotions and gave into the emotions of a mother. Overwhelming emotions.
Im writing this because I feel like its not talked about enough, its a taboo subject because moms are so afraid of being judged that they don't want to open up to their friends and families about their struggles. But the worst part is that so many mothers go through it and they don't even have anyone to talk to about it because no one will open up.
Im lucky enough to have two AMAZING mom friends, friends who have both struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety. And you know what, I would not have known and had someone to talk to if one of us hadn't taken the leap and opened up about the hard stuff.
The Motherhood is real ya'll!
Its time for moms to stick together and open up to each other. If you're a seasoned mama, take an expecting mom out to coffee and let her know the real stuff and make sure she knows you're there for her. Be real and open and allow others to be open with you. Motherhood is not for the weak, and you need people to come alongside you and help be your strength.And lastly, pray with and for each other, you have no idea how much another mom might struggling but isn't willing to open up. Motherhood can't be done alone!