Photo Credit: Jenna Norman
To the mama suffering in silence: I see you.
I see you holding back tears. I see you struggling to keep the anger deep down inside.
I see your attempts to make everything seem okay to the outside world.
To the mommy’s holding back tears when, frankly, you’re not sure why you’re crying. You are not alone. Postpartum depression, or just plain ol’ depression, make you feel alone and unable to explain your feelings. I know, because I’ve been there. I am there. I am you. You are me. We are completely different beings, but we relate on a much deeper level beyond being the main caretakers for little human beings.
Maybe you suffer from anxiety. Maybe it’s hard for you to leave the house or get things done. Maybe your anxiety flares up when the house is in utter disarray, but how can you clean it? Your thoughts are debilitating and every day is a struggle just to function. How can you possibly work up the energy to run around after your babies, make a hot meal for your family, AND scrub the baseboards?
It’s hard to describe, right? The feeling of being unworthy or the sudden rush of emotion, when you thought you were having a good day. The onset of tears and wave of negative thoughts when you’ve been an awesome parent even though your toddler is having an awful day of terrible two’s. Talking about what you’re going through is an impossible task. How can you tell someone that you are so exhausted at night that you haven’t showered in days, and this fact barely phases you? How can someone understand why you spent the day “doing nothing” because you were so busy preventing panic attacks and keeping your depression in check?
Mama, whatever you are doing right now, wherever you are, know that I am with you. I am by your side through all of this. Whether you are suffering from depression, are riddled with anxiety, or have some sick combination of both, you are not alone. My heart goes out to you and your family. The ones who stand by your side are suffering, too. Also in silence and in different ways, but it is hard for them, too.
Mama, if you need a hand, or someone to talk to, reach out. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, and while we love our babies and would not change them for the world, it does not lessen the toll it takes on us. Mentally and physically, we are drained every day, every second. I know you try to be strong for your family – I have tried, too – but we cannot take care of others without taking care of ourselves. Eventually, we will crack. We will crumble into a million little pieces and putting them back together will take an entire village.
I am here for you, if you need a friend.