Chances are when you see the words depression and motherhood together you think of postpartum depression.
While postpartum depression is devastating, (I’ve been there, I know) often the storm doesn’t end there.
I am a mother, wife and friend. I am not alone.
I could easily write to moms who have depression but I want to say a few things to the moms who don’t.
We aren’t less of a mother.
We aren’t bad mothers just because we have depression.
We don’t yell at our kids all day.
We don’t regret becoming mothers.
We aren’t weak.
We aren’t desperate for pity.
We don’t walk around in a prescription induced fog and just because some of us are medicated doesn’t mean that we haven’t tried alternatives. I cringe when I read comments on Facebook saying that a mom with depression isn’t trying hard enough. Just look at your children and live a happy life for them, get over yourself, stop being so selfish – I’ve read it all. I adore my children. Depression doesn’t take over my heart. I didn’t become a mother in hopes that my family would solve my sadness or make me a happier person. But my diagnosis doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve a family.
While I don’t excuse my behavior brought on with anxiety I want to tell you that leaving my house is hard. I may not attend everything I’m invited to, but it’s not because you aren’t worth it. I worry about crowds, about others. I make it to playdates, my children have been to almost every child friendly place in San Diego. I do get out, but believe me it isn’t without a bit of an internal struggle. Social media makes it hard to be a mom. I compare myself to others and worry that I’m not enough. Somedays I can’t talk myself into believing that I am enough and the depression takes over.
We are out here. Moms who have depression or sometimes I wonder if the depression has us. Sure you know some of us but many keep quiet. Just keep this in mind before you judge any mom you may not be too close with. We don’t know everyone’s story.
**Depression help and resources for signs that you or a loved one might be depressed.