Yesterday was #WorldMaternalMentalHealthDay and I’ve been so moved by the brave posts I’ve read by you mamas sharing your journey through maternal mental health. 🙏
I’ve never been so brave. I’ve never publicly shared my struggle, and I’ve hardly even shared it privately because to be quite honest, I feel ashamed. 😕
This photo was taken at the height of my depression - on a beautiful summer day, holding my beautiful two-year-old son, 8 months pregnant with my beautiful baby daughter, in my beautiful neighbourhood with my beautiful husband. What on earth did I have to feel blue about? 🤷🏼♀️
I was terrified of having a second child because I felt like I was barely coping with one. Toddlerhood knocked me down hard, and I went from a serene maternity leave with my precious baby to navigating self-employment with a fierce toddler in tow. 14 months into motherhood I went from loving it to resenting it. Just when I thought I was in the clear of getting postpartum depression I could barely drag myself out of bed every day.🛌
As this dark depression began to consume me I questioned the decision I made to quit my full time teaching job to be a work-from-home mom. I felt lonely. I felt incompetent. Every meltdown my son had felt like a reflection of something I was doing wrong. I felt furious that my freedom was gone. I felt overwhelmed by the daily demands of motherhood, yet bored by it at the same time. I compared myself to moms on social media who were cooking amazing meals from scratch, and writing about their gratitude for their children and I felt like there was something deeply wrong with me that I wasn’t doing the same. 👩👦
Generally, I do feel better these days. I’ve been to counseling and I take more breaks and a lot of the anxiety I had about having a second child went away once she arrived and I proved to myself that I could manage two kids. But I’m by no means 100% better. Feeling balanced is a muscle to be flexed, and with time and patience I’m learning to flex it. 💪
I’m grateful not to be in the thick of the blues right now. But If you are, know that you’re not alone, and I’m here for ya. ❤️ #maternalmentalhealth
Jenny is the founder of Do-Re-Mi & My Baby, a former teacher, a conductor, a freelancer, and a full-time Mom of a toddler boy and baby girl.