To The Mom Who
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
If you ever scroll through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram you have likely seen a “To The Mom Who…” post.
To the mom who feels like she is failing. Who thinks she isn’t good enough. Who is trying to do it all. Who is ashamed of her body. Who is exhausted. Who is running on empty. Who is never alone.
To all the mothers everywhere, there is an encouraging and inspirational post out there that is meant to lift you out of your funk when really, it’s a pat on the back about how well the author is doing now.
After she was the “mom who…”
It makes you feel worse sometimes. Infrequently, you may get hope from them that you’ll survive this season.
You don’t need a blog post to get you through this. You need a real life friend who gets it, who has been there, who has climbed out of that hole and knows how to help you do the same.
I haven’t seen any posts though (not to say it doesn’t exist) to the mom who is healing.
So here it is: To The Mom Who...
Is rearranging her normal for a new one, one she didn't ask for. To the moms who had a dream lost… or replaced.. or shattered. To the moms who simply aren’t who they once were because of an invisible thing that have gone through.
These moms have a tough time with pregnancy announcements and birthday parties. They struggle with celebrating milestones for other children. They mask their face each day to survive the anger and sadness that consumes them. They feel 100% alone.
So to the mom who went through that thing we can’t see, a thing we don’t know, things we can’t relate to, I’m sending you a hug.
Not a sympathy hug, you have had enough of those. You don't need me to be sorry. Not an empathy hug, you don’t need that either. You don't need me to get it.
Instead, it’s a hug filled with hope, love, and strength. I have a little extra of each and if you could use some to get to tomorrow, you can have mine.
You see, I put on a mask for each pregnancy announcement. I cry after a parent shares their child’s milestone that mine won't ever meet. I get jealous of your school pictures and events. I envy your sports and normalcy. I am not who I once was.
Sometimes I just don’t, though. I don’t fake it. I don’t owe anyone an apology for my pain and hurt. You don’t either.
Don’t go to the baby shower or gender reveal, skip that birthday party, scroll past the announcements. Take care of you.
I ignored a pregnancy announcement and a gender reveal recently. I took that feeling to a new friend who I knew understood where I would come from. She had been there before. She has walked that life longer than I have.
“They are having a boy and I simply can’t say ‘Congrats!’ to them.” I told her.
She said, “I know. You don’t have to.”
By no means do I need people to trod softly around me when it comes to pregnancy announcements or childhood milestones or any of that good life stuff. I am so very glad you were not robbed. But when those good things happen, there must be an understanding when we don’t receive the expected response from some women... that it's okay
I see you, momma. You who cried after the parties and texts or phone calls. I am you, who stared at the news and felt no joy. And I want you to know, “I know. You don’t have to.”
You’re doing the best you can with your cards and you don’t have to sacrifice your feelings to lift others up. There will be hundreds of other people tell them congratulations for their pregnancy. Those people will saw “yay!” to rolling over or crawling or standing or their first word.
You don’t need to feel obligated, because you aren’t.
Take care of you, momma. When it’s time to feel that joy, you will. You’ll go to a party or celebration or small gathering. You’ll visit a newborn again one day and find joy in watching a baby meet a milestone. But until you are ready, don’t. You don’t have to.
Light and Love,
A depression crisis hotline can address dangerous substance abuse behaviors and any other mental health challenges that may be contributing to depression. If you are experiencing thoughts of hurting yourself or others, call 911 immediately or go to your nearest emergency room or psychiatric hospital for a crisis evaluation.
Postpartum Support International, 800-944-4PPD (4773)
National Alliance on Mental Illness, 800-950-NAMI (6264)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK (8255)
Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. Depression is treatable and does not have to take control of your life.