Sunday, March 13, 2011

For Moms Who Need Support

Are you tired of pretending that everything is fine? I have been tired of my pretend smile when people greet me with one child on my hip, one in the stroller and another hanging on my leg. A few words might be exchanged like, "It sure looks like you've got your hands full!" and I would nod and smile.

There might be some eye rolling and jokes, but over all I was handling my kids just fine. The truth is that if this had been any other job I would have quit a long time ago. The more I talked to other moms of young children in private, the more I began to realize that there was a great big sadness that everyone was hiding.

What I began to learn was that there was a secret misery in young motherhood that the mothers themselves didn't see coming. I am not talking about mere post-partum depression. I am talking about depression for years and years. I would talk to moms whose last child was finally entering school full-time and they would whisper, "It's like emerging from a dark cave." SHHHHHHH!

Honestly, there were many days I felt abused by my own kids. It was disappointing to me to discover that research was not being done on the chronic abuse of mothers by their normal children. Research admitted that young mothers were largely depressed, but this only seemed to matter to the extent it affected the children. Such as the following: How Maternal Depression Affects Children or Reducing Maternal Depression and Its Impact on Young Children. It seemed that the concern about motherhood depression was only significant because the kids could be affected. What about how it was affecting the mothers???

A more recent study (2010) brings Dad into the picture: Incidence of Maternal and Paternal Depression in Primary Care. The study found that both parents experienced depression in the early years, but by far more mothers than fathers. The study determined that 39 percent of mothers experience depression during the time when their children are young. Parents who had an earlier history of depression, who had children at a relatively young age or who had lower incomes were at highest risk for depression during their parenting years. The incidence rates of depression among parents in the study were higher than those reported for the general population from the same database.

I want you to know that I UNDERSTAND. I have been there. I also want you to know that YOU matter...Not because of what you do for your kids, but because of YOU. You are not your kids. Your kids are not more important than you. You are not invisible. It's time to take back your life. Your children are not royalty and you, their servant or slave. We can get through this hard time together. We can share with others what has worked well for us. We may even be able to get a glimpse of the girl we used to be. 

This blog can help. Click on the START tab and find the articles that pertain to your needs.


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