Dear New Mom,
“Happy Mother’s Day!
Today, it probably feels like you’re treading water, or even drowning. Motherhood is not what you expected. Inside you feel like Mother’s Day is absolutely not the holiday for you. It’s a day to celebrate the “happy” moms. The ones who know what they’re doing. The moms who feel that spark of joy in the presence of their children.
And you just don’t feel it.
In fact, you may feel the exact opposite. Fear, anger, sadness and loneliness all wrapped up into one, even when surround by those you love.
They don’t see what’s going on inside of you. How could they understand?! No one understands. No one else could feel this much pain and anguish during this time of new life and wonder. No one else walks in your shoes.
Why should YOU be celebrated today?
Even the phrase “Happy Mother’s Day” can induce guilt. Did you feel it when you read that first line? Did it make you want to stop reading this post?
Seeing those happy mom photos on social media … the loving phrases, the cheerful comments. They do not have the affect that is intended. You do not feel happy, loved or cheerful.
I’m here to tell you that you’re going to be OK.
Give yourself permission to get off social media today. Do not read those words or let them trigger you. There are a lot of us who have walked your path. I promise, you are not alone. I know that you are NOT a bad mom. I know that Mother’s Day IS for YOU.
You’re battling a demon that I once went through after the birth of my second child. She’s now six and things are so very different. There was a time I did not think that possible, when I was drowning in darkness.
But there is truly light through your tunnel, even if you cannot believe it today. I won’t say “light at the end of the tunnel” because motherhood is always a process, a journey, but I am certain that you will find light on your path.
Let my words wash over you. Try to open your heart and listen.
I see you and I understand.
I know that you are the perfect mom for your child, the exact person she will want to snuggle late at night after a nightmare. The person who he will long for when you’re away.
Take a deep breathe and know that someday hopefully soon you will find your way.
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/.