Friday, May 8, 2015

Dear Momma

Dear Momma,

This morning I sat at my kitchen table and cried and cried -- but not for myself. 

The tears were for all of you mommas who are struggling with no end in sight.  You see, I'm part of several Facebook groups for postpartum depression and anxiety.  And each day in my feed I see dozens of posts from mommas who are just aching for some relief.  Desperate for hope.  Maybe that's you and that's why you are here.

Or maybe you are the momma who didn't struggle with any sort of depression and you're reading right now and thinking "She's just being overly dramatic." Perhaps your were looking for a more light hearted blog about DIY projects or recipes. Today is not your day and I can't and won't apologize for the heaviness of this post.  I would ask that if you haven't experienced any sort of depression that you read what's on my heart today with an open mind and with a desire to understand and walk alongside a momma who has or is experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety.

Today I want to address the momma who just brought her baby home from the hospital and you're wondering why you don't like your baby.  I want you to know that you aren't alone.  I was there.  I was that momma.  I was the momma who, just days after leaving the hospital, decided I didn't like my baby.  I didn't really like the screaming tyrant that had suddenly upset my quiet, well kept world. And it's a scary and confusing place to be, isn't it? No one warned you about this part, did they?  The part where you are wishing you could send your baby back.  No one told you about how ashamed you would feel and how hard it would be to even tell your own husband or your very best friend about these thoughts. Well I'm here to tell you today that it is okay.  YOU are going to be okay.  These thoughts don't define you as a momma now and they won't define you moving forward. 

To the momma who rocks her baby at night and instead of feeling love and warmth and all of those fuzzy feelings, you feel anger -- take heart, not even this momma appreciated being woken up at midnight, 2 am, 3 am, 5 am and so on...  I use to rock my newborn with clenched fists and tears streaming down my cheeks.  I was angry at the inconvenience and angry that I couldn't predict when I would get my next good night of sleep. 

If that's you, I would say two things.  First, you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you.  Second, you need to do everything you can to get some sleep.  Ask a neighbor, find a friend-- any friend. Ask someone to watch your baby so you can take a good, long nap.  I never asked for this and at 6 weeks postpartum, I was hospitalized with kidney stones, dehydration and exhaustion.  It took me being hospitalized before I was forced to asked for help.  Do not do that to yourself momma!

To the momma who finds herself thinking about hopping in the car and driving to a brand new life, I was you. 

To the momma who cries all day and can't remember the last time you went out with friends because you feel guilty or too scared to leave her baby, I was you.

To the momma whose husband doesn't fully understand. To the momma who is embarrassed to reach out for support -- asking for help doesn't make you weak.  It means that you love your baby and that you want the very best life for your family.

To the momma who is struggling to find her identity beyond motherhood--I want you to know how normal your feelings are.  The struggle is real and it's not easy.  To go from working outside of the home, feeling put together and dare I say--clean. I left my full time job on a Tuesday and gave birth to my daughter on a Thursday.  There was no transition time, no time to reflect on how giant a leap I would be taking in altering my identity.  I went from being a working girl to a sleep deprived momma sporting spit up as the new fashion statement round' the clock.  Yeah, you too huh?  Let's fist bump it sister!

So here's the thing-- here's what I've learned since I walked this same road six years ago and I'm now on the other side of it. You need to hear this. 

You have not lost your identity.  You are still you.  You are still amazing and wonderful, smart, talented and beautiful.  You are still the woman your husband fell in love with.  You have not lost your identity-- you have added to your identity.  And you might not recognize this addition as beauty now but trust me momma, someday soon you will see it in all it's glory. 

I wish I could hug each and every one of you mommas who are hurting, who feel lost and like there's no end in sight to the pain.  I wish I could take your hand and walk you down this road of healing.  My heart hurts just typing this because the pain is fresh and real.  Please don't walk this road alone.  You are worth more than that.  Your marriage is worth it.  Your friendships are worth it.   Find a friend and share your heart.  Find a counselor.  Let go of the shame and the self hatred.  Talk to your doctor about medicine if that's what it's going to take.  Or search out a more natural route.  Do whatever it takes. 

And one more thing-- the most important thing.

You and your sweet baby are going to get through this.  I know it doesn't seem like it now but you will conquer this. 

I remember wondering if I was ever going to enjoy motherhood.  I resolved myself to the fact that motherhood was just meant to be miserable and that it was an ugly, dark secret that no one wanted to share with me before I gave birth. 

This is a deep rooted lie momma.

I have no idea what your faith is.  I don't know if you believe in God or a higher power.  But I do.  And I believe God put you in this role in this time and in this place for a purpose. 

I also believe that there is a thief who has come to steal, kill and destroy.  And he wants nothing more than to steal the joy you are meant to have a new momma.  To take from you the love and the precious time of making good memories with your baby. 

But Jesus said, "I have come so that you may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)

So fight for that joy momma.  For that abundant life have been promised. Fight back and speak truth against those lies that tell you weren't meant for this.  That you weren't ready for this.  That it should be easier. 

Those are bold faced lies so fight with everything you've got. 

You will be healed.  You will feel the joy. 

Fight for these moments--

The first day your baby puts his hands on your cheeks and puckers his lips to yours.  The first full night of uninterrupted sleep, you will wake up excited to greet your little girl in her crib.  The day he learns to say, "Momma" and reaches for only you.  The day she learns to sing along with you to your favorite song.  You will have your moment, your day in the sun. 

This morning I want you to take a shower, to get dressed and to put on some makeup and look in the mirror.  I want you to remember the strong woman you've got inside of you.  The career woman, the athletic woman, the educated woman, the woman who bravely carried a baby for nine long months.  You are still that woman.  Now go pick up that baby and start fighting.

You are worth it.  Your sweet baby is worth it. 

The joy is coming.  The relief is coming.  There is hope. I promise.  Just keep fighting.


  1. You are such a strong woman <3 Thank you for being a voice for so many lost mamas!!