According to an NPR piece, 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression, but how many receive the support they need? My life’s work — aside from being a mom, of course — is to share my story with working moms and stay-at-homes who feel they have lost themselves during their journey in motherhood. I hope the tools and phrases I’m sharing here will help you in the same way they have helped me, or even more so.
Everything is going to be OK.
Really, it will be. This is such a difficult thing to accept as truth, but in this journey of life, things always work out–many times just not the way we think they will.
My pain is my strength, my pain has purpose.
When I was in the throes of PPD I often felt totally alone, like no one understood. This also made me feel deep grief and guilt for my feelings. I didn’t see why this was happening to me, until I peered closer. I saw that my pain was one of my biggest life lessons. My suffering helped me develop a voice and a story that I could share with other women suffering from PPD. When we view our pain and suffering as part of the journey, we can start looking at our paths differently, enjoy them, and direct where they are going.
I am not to blame.
You couldn’t have seen this coming, and it isn’t something you asked for. Seeking support from other moms can help free you from self-blame. Pointing blame is a waste of time, especially when you’re pointing the blame back at yourself.
I am loved.
If you only count one blessing today, count that you are loved–by your kids, your family and your friends. You know you are loved … and you can accept the love that is given by all the beautiful souls around you.
I give myself permission …
As moms, we are the keepers of permission for our kids, but it’s time we start giving ourselves permission too. Give yourself permission to take a break, to put yourself first, or even to admit you don’t have the answer.
The Tool: Permission pinwheel
I created the permission pinwheel to organize my thoughts and feelings, and to learn how to prioritize myself as a mom. I use this quite a bit in my work and refer to it often.
I hope these tools prove to liberate you from guilt, grief and loneliness … or at least start you down the path. If you want to read my full story, click here.