To be honest I don’t even know where to start this post or what to cover. As I count down the weeks until the birth of my second child it’s easy to get wrapped up in the Hallmark version of motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I am honored and humbled to my core that God has chosen me to be a mama, let alone the mama to the most loving, vibrant, darling little boy ( I’m not biased at all haha) and soon to be a wonderful little girl. I am fully aware, and sensitive to the fact that many women dream of carrying a child in their womb, raising that child, and watching them thrive. In no way do I want me sharing these raw feelings about the not-so-glamorous side of motherhood detract from the fact that I see and acknowledge that those experiencing infertility, miscarriage, child and infant loss and more.
For anyone who even sort of knows me, knows I love social media. Not only is social media marketing my job, I enjoy using it as a way of staying connected, and journaling my life… but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get sucked into comparing my life with other people’s highlight reels. Which I think we can all agree is not great for your mental health. I don’t personally struggle with mental illness, however, I will say that being aware of the state of your mental health is so important regardless of if you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness or not. We all have mental health, and certain situations and seasons of life can significantly impact our mental health (just like situations and season can have an effect on your physical health as well)
Being a mom is HARD. As if having family members, strangers, and the internet telling us how to parent or what is “Normal” we also have our own internal dialogue to combat. I can honestly say I’ve been truly blessed with what so many would call an ideal motherhood journey thus far (if that’s even a thing)… From a getting pregnant quickly and easily to having a complication-free pregnancy, smooth and “easy” vaginal birth, a healthy baby, no breastfeeding issues, supportive husband with a kick-ass paternity leave… etc. I’m not saying this to be like look at me everything comes so easy, I’m saying this because even with all of those positive occurrences, there were *are* times that I’ve felt like I just couldn’t last another moment in whatever trial I was in as a new mom. Often when feelings of sadness, self-doubt, sneak in I beat myself up for those feelings because of how good I know I have it, and find myself saying “you don’t deserve to feel sad/overwhelmed” etc
I’ve had many moments in the past (almost) 2 years as a mom that I’m not proud of, yelling at my husband, my baby, screaming into a pillow, cursing in the shower, crying in my car. I’ve had days where I feel like a total #momboss and feel like I’m just killin’ the mom game, and the next day I can feel completely inadequate. This year I’ve made it my mission to take care of myself, not allow myself to get lost, and give myself grace when I’m down on my body, or when mom guilt seeps in, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Commit Campaign’s photoshoot highlighting and celebrating motherhood in all it’s ups and downs.
This incredible organization is dedicated to breaking the stigmas associated with mental health and mental illness. They are conversation starters, encouragers, advocates, and more.
I wish I had something profound to share or say about mental health, or some magic cure for mom-guilt, PPD, the toll the changes of pregnancy takes on your body, confidence etc…. And while I don’t have those answers, I still think it’s so important to be raw, open, and honest with what you’ve experienced. You never know who may hear/read your words and feel a sense of relief knowing they are not alone. Sometimes it’s just reassuring to know other moms cringe at the thought of pumping, or that their houses are way messier than Instagram leads on. While it’s fun to imagine your life as perfect as that Pinterest board you curated that’s not reality for (most) of us, and finding camaraderie in the day to day struggles of being a mama has truly helped me grapple with the highs and lows I’ve experienced throughout this process.
If you or someone you know is struggling with Postpartum depression /postpartum anxiety or any other mental illness I encourage you to check out the Commit Campaign for resources and a network of supportive individuals
I commit to being an advocate for those struggling with mental illness, to consciously make an effort in my actions and words to be open and honest with my personal struggles, and be someone who others can lean on in times of need. I commit to raising awareness about Postpartum Depression. 1 in 5 mothers today struggle with it and I want to end the stigmas associated with it.
I commit to loving and celebrating myself, my body, and my journey as a mother, giving myself grace, and viewing the changes both mentally and physically as badges of honor I have earned through the hard work of becoming a mama.