With the Mother’s Day soon, everyone is celebrating motherhood. Yet, there is a side of motherhood not a lot of people talk about. It’s the maternal mental health challenges that 1 in 5 women face each year in the U.S. This statistic is why Maternal Mental Health Week is so important to recognize.
Mothers all over the U.S. are sharing their stories of maternal mental health and making over motherhood.
In the picture of Mila and I, you might see me as a mother who is comforting her child. We’re all dressed up for pictures and beautifully done. The things that you can’t see are what makes motherhood so challenging. You don’t see my son who should be five and helping Mila take pictures. There’s an endless amount of tears that I’ve shed to get to this point. You’d never understand the turmoil and challenges it took to get to this one moment.
No one can outwardly see mental health issues. As a mother, we instinctually put our children’s needs before ours. Our mental health can slip and slide away.
I am the 1 in 5 who have faced maternal mental health disorders.
Throughout my time on this blog, I haven’t been shy about talking about my anxiety, depression, and PTSD that I faced after Jensen’s birth. What I didn’t expect was postpartum depression after having Mila.
How could I not be happy and joyous after having a living child? I didn’t have to plan a funeral or never see her again. All the things I had wished for after Jensen’s birth was happening with her. She would be growing and learning. It felt so unnatural to not be in love with the time after she was born.
But, I wasn’t. I loved her and wanted all the best things for her, but I couldn’t be happy.
I think I cried more than I smiled that first year. It was hard to even get on a schedule or do certain things. If I wasn’t sad, I had horrible anxiety.
There were constant thoughts of her dying and all the scenarios that could play out. I honestly felt crazy. It didn’t feel like anyone else had these thoughts with their newborn. It was isolating, just like I felt after Jensen’s birth.
Except, after I had Jensen, I gained a community that helped and uplifted me as much as they could.
With Mila, I felt completely alone.
Now that she’s three and Jensen would be five, I’ve lived with anxiety and depression for quite a while. I’ve talked to my new therapist for a year and she’s been a big help with my mental health. It makes me wish I would have gotten help sooner.
We all live in a world where social media rules all. People can project to you happy faces and times, but there’s a side to a people’s lives we don’t see. Not talking about maternal mental health and the challenges of motherhood can be especially damaging to new moms. They might think their emotions to how they’re handling motherhood is wrong, but it’s not.
As a mother who has lived through their child die and then dealt with intense mental health issues after their living child, I’m here to tell all mothers, they’re not alone.
It’s time to make over motherhood. That doesn’t mean putting our best foot forward on social media or how we present ourself to the world. It means showing the struggle and letting others know there is help out there.
Please know you’re not alone in your maternal mental health struggles. Reach out for help if you need it. You deserve the same love and care you give your child.
I promise, you’re worth it.
Here’s some information about Maternal Mental Health Week. If you can, share some information to help another mom out. If you’re feeling brave, you can share your story too.
You are never alone.