I wish people spoke about postpartum depression more.
Even if you’re not able to have a child, even if you don’t want to have a child, even if you don’t have a child yet, I wish we spoke about it. I wish we talked about it. I wish we let it out into the open and let it hang in the air.
We’re obsessed with motherhood, and parenthood, and baby showers, and gender, and sex, and raising our babies healthy, and telling pregnant women what to do, and telling pregnant women what not to do — everyone has an opinion on it all. Everyone’s voice is louder when they’re giving someone advice.
And we’re practically silent when it comes to postpartum depression.
Look, I know there’s plenty of people who write about it. Plenty of moms who talk about it. But I wish it wasn’t just a conversation that happened in secret mom groups on Facebook. I wish it was a part of everyday conversation, because when we make something part of every day, it makes it easier to be open about our struggles. It makes talking about the tough stuff a little bit easier.
Motherhood is one of the most difficult jobs, if not the most difficult job, on the planet. There is no HR department to go to when you have a complaint. There’s no rulebook, no handbook or guidebook. Motherhood doesn’t come with an instruction manual.
It’s hard enough on a day when you’re not treading the waters of postpartum depression, and when you add that into the mix, you’re no longer treading water. You’re standing at the place on the beach where the waves break against the shore, and they crash against you, too.
They try to take you down, over and over again. And if you’re legs aren’t strong enough, and if your balance is all out of whack, those waves will pull you down until someone else gives you a hand to help you stand back up.
If you’re reading this, I hope you give your mama friends a hand.
I hope you tell them that they’re doing a great job. I hope you remind them that there’s no rulebook, no handbook or guidebook. I hope you tell them that there’s no instruction manual. I hope you remind them that if they lead with love, it will all be okay.
Tell them that it’s okay to ask for help. Tell them it’s okay to receive help. Tell them it’s okay not to be okay. Tell them you’ll keep pulling them up from that shoreline as often as they get knocked down. Tell them that they are loved.
Show them, too.
If you’re a mom who’s reading this, I hope you take the hands that want to pull you up.
I hope you know that feeling this way does not make you a bad mother. I hope you hear me when I say that. I hope you say it to yourself — let it be your mantra. Let it be your fight song.
I hope you know that you’re doing a good job. I hope you hear the truth of that when people tell it to you, and I hope the truth of that is loud enough to drown out the lies that you’re telling yourself right now. I hope you remember that there is no rulebook no or handbook or guidebook, no instruction manual.
I hope you know that there is nothing wrong with needing to take time for your own brain, your own heart, and your own soul. I hope you know that if you mother with love, everything will ultimately be okay. I hope you know that it’s okay not to be okay.
I hope you know that eventually, you will get your balance back, and your legs will be able to withstand the crash of those waves — but until that happens, I hope you keep taking the hands that reach down to pull you back up.
I hope you know that you are loved.
I hope people show you that love, too.