You are an incredible mom. Whether you are a birth mom, adoptive mom, step mom, stay at home mom, working full-time mom, working part-time mom or a pregnant mom. You are amazing.
When I first was diagnosed with PPD/PPA nearly 8 years ago with my first child, my first thought was “Why can’t I be the mom that is all put together — like Sally? What is wrong with me?” And for months, that thought swirled in my head. I compared myself to every single mom I saw at church, in the grocery store, even the complete stranger walking down the street. I always assumed that they must have it all together and that I was just a good-for-nothing mom, who was so depressed and anxious that I must be a terrible mother to my daughter.
My favorite saying is “Comparison is the thief of all joy.” I vividly remember reading that quote one day and it was like a light went off in my brain. I was missing the most incredible days and years with my kids because I was comparing. I didn’t think that perhaps I was pretty cool and awesome. I didn’t give myself enough credit to realize and remember that most importantly I was the best and perfect mom for MY kids.
We add so many extra pressures to motherhood — clean house, have meals ready to go, have weekly play dates, toys always picked up, makeup and clothes on each day (absolutely no yoga pants allowed) — the list could go on and on.
All these extra pressures and the comparing of ourselves makes us lose focus on the most important blessing we have — our kids. That is what is most important. Loving them, caring for them, telling them they are incredible themselves, listening to them, and just “being” there for them.
As a mom who has suffered from Postpartum Depression with my first and Post Adoption Rage with my second, I will admit — it’s hard some days. I wish that perinatal mood disorders were not part of my past. I wish that I didn’t experience and live those years of pain and depression and feeling like a loser.
For any mom experiencing those feelings, I understand. But remember — you are INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, PERFECT, and the BEST mom.
Don’t compare yourself to the mom next door. Allow the JOY of your kids make you get up each day and do it again. Happy Mother’s Day to each of you — and may your Mother’s Day be filled with love and joy and happiness and the realization that you are simply the best.
The Annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health is presented by Postpartum Progress, a national nonprofit that raises awareness & provides peer support for women who have postpartum depression and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth. To see some of the ways we provide moms support, visit http://postpartumprogress.org/community/.