Happy Tuesday. If you’re a returning reader thanks for your support. Hugs your way. If you’re a new reader welcome to the 4mommyvibez community. If you like what you see please comment, share, like, and/or follow for future content.
Today’s post we’re going to deal with depression . We all hear the tales of depression but I know personally moms who struggle with admitting it because we don’t want to feel like failures. So I wanted to address the challenge I don’t hear too many moms talk about. Celebrities like Serena Williams and Kim Kardashian (moms don’t cringe) have started to speak out about this. But I wanted to come at this with a perspective of a mom who doesn’t have the fortune of nannies to help lift that burden.
I became a mom before I met my husband. I STRUGGLED with adjusting. Mostly because I struggled through depression the first 6 months of Faith’s life. And though I loved her I wasnt in love with being a mom.
Of course many moms want to get help. We just don’t know how to say hey I’m struggling out of the fear of being judged. I recently read a sad FB post where a mom told the Dr she was struggling with depression. The Dr said she would get over it with time, they gave her some pills and told her to see if it worked. Long story short, she’s in the hospital strapped to a gurney with child protective services called on her.
My heart hurt for that mom. Which is what influenced this post. Depression does NOT make you a bad mother. I know I felt that way for a long time because I felt guilty that I struggled connecting with my daughter. Our babies deserve the best and we deserve to give them that. We deserve to give ourselves that.
I wanted to share with you guys what helped get me through the hard stage of depression.
Disclaimer: If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum depression or depression in general please support them with an open heart. Hug her, give her a break, let her lean on you, but most importantly convince her to talk with a professional. If you are a mom who wants to talk please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that you can have support through this time.
Steps I took to overcome the big bad wolf of depression:
1.Acknowledge the beast.
I know you’re probably saying well duh they/ I know I’m depressed. But it was difficult for me to speak the words because I had already been through a lot. I saw all the beautiful commercials and read blogs that spoke on the joys of mommyhood. I just didn’t feel that. I don’t have many photos of me then. The ones I did start to take do have me smiling. Because I had to force myself to reset and enjoy my baby. The saddest part for me is knowing that I lost that time and can never get it back. But that’s why it was so important to acklowdge the depression. Because though I had felt shame and guilt I still loved my child and I tried. I want to tell you that depression is not something you can control. You are still an amazing mom even if you struggle with depression. The first step in getting help comes from acknowledging the problem. The longer you wait the greater the chance of missing amazing moments with your beautiful child/ children are.
2. Seek help.
Many of us may have said something to a Dr. who gave you a prescription and wished you good luck. Don’t be satisfied with a prescription. Seek out a professional who can help guide you out of the depression. The best analogy I have of depression is feeling like you’re a boat lost at sea. In order to get it home sometimes you have to call the national guard to assist. The ship doesn’t have to be lost forever and neither do you.
3. Prayer, Affirmations, Meditation
Silence when I was depressed was scary. I felt like when I sat alone in the silence that the weight of depression increased. My therapist recommended praying, affirming, and meditating during the times the silence became overwhelming.
Pray: Pray a prayer of thanksgiving reaffirming all of the blessings and good things you have in your life.
Affirm: Speak those things that are true about yourself even if you don’t feel it at the moment. My affirmations were-
I am a good mom.
My child loves me and I love my child.
God has blessed me with being a mother.
I have a full life ahead of me to create beautiful moments with my child.
My child is a blessing.
There is joy and fullness that comes from being a mother.
Meditate: Think on all the good things you have now in front of you and those things which are to come.
4. Hug and kiss your child. During the times things may seem hard. Hug and kiss your child/children. Physical contact releases the chemical oxytocin which helps combat the depression causing chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
5. Journaling. If you aren’t a writer you can always find another activity. But journaling helped me get the negative thoughts on paper. After I wrote the negative I always wrote something positive to help give me focus. By seeing there were positive adjustments I was making. It motivated me more to get through it.
6. Set Goals. A way to get out of the depression I had was to set goals for myself. My goals were to enroll in school, get my degree, get employed, find a good church home and put God first, fall in love with me, build a financial plan, get married, etc. If accomplished a large majority of my goals, and in the process of completing the rest. Set goals for yourself that will motivate you to focus on opportunities for your life and enjoying your life instead of the negative.
6. Lastly, Support. If you don’t have family or friends who can support you through this time. I volunteer to be your support team and I’m sure other moms would step in as well. Which is the reason I started 4mommyvibez blog in the first place. I wanted to create a judgement free zone where moms and individuals who don’t have a support team around them to have someone.
So, again please feel free to email me. I will be happy to pray for you, listen to you, give you advice,( and if I don’t know the answers I will happily google and research with you), and encourage you through this time.
I hope you found some things that can help you or a loved one through this time.
Lots of love and hugs your way,
(Photos are mine and google images. No intent of copywriting was intended)