Dear Brave and Tired Mama,
I saw you walk out of our doctor’s office today. You were carrying your crying newborn with one arm, and dragging a stubborn 2-year-old with the other.
Your face revealed your utter exhaustion.
You tried to hide it with makeup, but I’m a mom, too, and I could recognize the truth: 6 weeks postpartum means you’re still not sleeping more than a couple precious hours at a time each night. And that busy toddler who’s pulling at you and asking you for juice? I’m betting she doesn’t let you rest much during the day.
I heard the nurse at the front desk hand you a prescription for Celexa, and tell you to schedule a follow-up appointment for next month. Your eyes were full to the brim with tears, threatening to spill over at any moment, and I read both shame and relief in your pained expression.
I wanted to run up to you, to hug you and let you cry on my shoulder, to tell you that I’ve been there, too.
I wanted to tell you how, even though I know you don’t see it, you really are a good mama.
I wish you could see what I saw this morning: a woman who was in anguish, but still strong enough to get up today. A woman who was overwhelmed with fear, but still brave enough to ask for help. A woman who didn’t know if she was going to make it through the day, but still putting one foot in front of the other.
That’s what warriors are made of. That’s what heroes do.
Oh, brave and tired mama, I know. I know your feelings of frustration and defeat. I know how often you say to yourself, It’s not supposed to be this way. I hate myself. I can’t do this.
But you can. You can. You already are.
Stay in the fight.
No matter how hard it is now, keep fighting. I promise you, it will get better.
It will take hard work. You will want to give up. But if you persevere, you can be well again.
You will be yourself again, and you will be better than you were before. I know; I’ve been there, twice.
And I promise, no matter what your demons whisper to you in the darkness, you are needed, you are loved, you are worth it.
Another brave and tired mama
Friends, the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health is kicking off its #MomsMatter May Campaign on May 2, 2016. If you or a loved one are suffering from a maternal mental health disorder, or if you’re a survivor, consider getting involved.
#warriormom #helpher #ppd