Exhausted, over-stretched, grasping to figure out if I was a successful mom that day. Of course, I never feel that way on just one day.
“Things worth doing are never easy” comes to mind when I think of being a mother, but the bad days can get very draining. We could let ourselves view motherhood as a sentence rather than a celebration.
After weaning my second child from breastfeeding, I had some time where I could definitely feel my emotions and hormones going crazy; they were dragging me into a depressed state. My body had a major adjustment to go through. I felt so sad and did not know why.
I was in the living room folding laundry. The kids were playing upstairs. In that moment I felt this wave of sadness and lack of self-worth flow through me.
It was scary. My mood changed and I wanted to run and hide, but I know those two kids needed me around. I felt this hand on my shoulder holding me steady so I didn’t need to run. I knew I had to take a moment to focus on the blessing of my children and husband. The blessing of our home and my work as a mother.
Right then and there, I needed a reality check, and luckily my husband came home from work at just the right time.
There are still days when my life gets a little too busy, or I start to want things that I do not need, and I get out of balance. My emotions get out of whack and I find myself wanting to run from my life as a mom.
I do not think that the baby blues are only reserved for immediately after the baby is born. I have to force myself to re-focus on my children and husband daily. I have to keep my priorities in focus. I have to rely on faith.
Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.
Psalm 127:3, CEV
Our children need our time. Needs must be met. We can’t ignore them.
Think about the postpartum depression implications: When our body is wired to care for our child, our hormones
make our body ache when we are apart, separation for long days on a regular basis can put our body in a state of imbalance. That can be stressful and lead to depression.
Children need their parents and in the early years, in particular, they need close contact with their mothers. For SAHMs, depression can stem from the pressures we feel from society and from our own internal pressure to be the ‘perfect’ mom
According to The Bump
blog postpartum depression is on the rise for women starting at six weeks after delivery. The 6-week mark is when many moms have to return to work due to the end of maternity leave.
The article provided good information about skin-to-skin contact being important, and possibly even a “cure,” for postpartum depression. Think of the basics of nature: when we give birth, hormones in our body control the emotions within us and NEED us to be near our babies to be at the correct levels. That’s what stimulates breastfeeding
If you have felt depressed or overwhelmed by motherhood, you are not alone! We moms can create and sustain life! That’s huge!! We are bound to feel depressed when the work we do gets challenging. We are charged with the most important work on the planet.
There is a lot of weight on our shoulders after we have a baby. The challenges of motherhood-what we deal with every day-are tough and many. It can make the most patient of us want to run away. But, what we need to do in these situations is: Serve where God needs us most…do what only we were created to do.
We need to focus on being moms and wives
. (Pint-sized Treasures blog said it well here
.) Motherhood has to be a priority-both in time and mental attention. God has called us to raise our children the best way we can, just by blessing us with them.
They are a blessing even if some nights we have to work hard to remember that!
There is so much pressure to achieve all of our personal goals while we are very young AND raise a family at the same time.
There is pressure to keep our emotions in perfect balance so we do not explode.
There is stress to give quality AND quantity at the same time to our children.
There is pressure to meet societal goals for women even if they are not the best for allowing us to care for our families.
We are trying to carry a lot on our shoulders.
If we just layer on the responsibilities, paint a pretty picture by not recognizing when we are over-stretched, we will hit a wall. The combination of what women are encouraged to take on is a recipe for depression.
“A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight”
Proverbs 11:1, KJV
The above verse is perfect for this topic, because these days when motherhood gets tough, we are often encouraged to give it up to a babysitter or caregiver, to take a break, get some time to ourselves while our family is in chaos mode.
We need to get back to the basics of focusing on what is a ‘need’ and what is a ‘want’ in our day-to-day life, and in the lives of our children. We need to carry the “just weight” and shed the idea that balance is easy to achieve.
Trying to do more than we possibly can in a 24-hour period of time can get us off track from what is important and can make us feel inadequate when we are not.
All moms can relate to feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and stressed. You are not alone!
We are keeping human beings alive and teaching them to thrive! That is hard work, and it is the most important work we will do in our lives.
God has given our children to us for their life to teach them. He has also given us to our children. It is a perfect balance if we let it be by keeping His mission for us intact and not getting sidetracked and over stretched by trying to live up to worldly ideals.
No one can do it all, and we should not be sacrificing our children in our attempts to try to make it all work.
What has made you feel challenged in motherhood? Did you/Do you experience any postpartum depression? What helps you re-balance?
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