When Depression and Motherhood Collide

It’s been coming on for a while now.

And with good reason.

The constant hypervigilance. The lack of sleep. The loss of any real personal time.

This time, it didn’t sneak up on me.

No. This time, depression has hit me like a freight train.

It’s important I say it out loud. I’m battling depression. For reals. Like with boxing gloves and a mouth guard. Naming it matters. It gives me back just a little bit of control.

Some days are easier than others. I can get out of bed and do all the things for all the people who rely heavily on me to do all the things. Some days I just want to cry and pull the covers up over my head. Part of it’s innate, I know it. I see it in my family history and even more so, in my own. Most of it is the loss of ordinary — my sweet 10-year-old boy is being taken over by mental illness and I cannot stop it.

I am depressed and it’s hard.

And I know I am not the only one. Maybe you are, too. Depression and motherhood happen at the same time, for so many of us.

Please hear me — you are not alone. You are not the only mom who struggles just to make it through another day. You are not the only mom who worries about how to care for herself, while at the same time care for her children. You are not the only mom taking prescription medication, or in therapy, or both.

And I want you know that although I am depressed, I am not without hope. I have been here before. I am sure I will be here again.

Depression takes time to heal – just like any other illness.

Today, this looks like letting go of the laundry and taking a walk instead.

It’s having another cup of coffee and curling up with a book.

It’s going to bed early.

It’s asking my husband for help and accepting my friend’s offer to grab dinner for us.

It’s praying the “Help me, please” prayers and the “I can do all things through Him” prayers.

It’s a nap, if and when I can get one.

It’s just doing the minimum, and more importantly, not beating myself up for it.

I will give myself the same grace I extend to my children when they are struggling.

And I will remember that taking care of me, is an essential part of being a mom.

Taking care of me is taking care of them.

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