A few weeks ago, Michelle Brown of ihelpmoms.com and I banded together to pull together a project that hits very close to home.
Michelle graciously offered her studio space in her home and I interviewed several real mothers in our local community here in south Florida about their experiences with post partum depression.
These courageous women share their stories below in an effort to help raise awareness that post partum depression (and general depression) can truly affect any woman.
They share their personal experiences, their struggles, how PPD has affected their relationships and an insight into what they really need and how mothers suffering from post partum depression can get help.
Caroline lives in south Florida with her husband and two girls under the age of three. She is a private chef, essential oils distributor and full time stay at home mom.
Caroline feels that the struggle of keeping it together and being the mom that she thinks she’s suppose to be affects her relationship with her first born. She feels a disconnect with her, feeling more bonded with the baby. She sees so much chaos at home, and easily gets frustrated when her first born doesn’t listen, doesn’t eat well, and she is frustrated that moms who have sleep trained kids can easily put them down, while she struggles with bedtime. The feeling of anxiety of being alone with both of her children is overwhelming to her. There are days that she feels down and she looks at her children and is inspired. But she feels miserable that she cannot manage her at times out of control emotions and feels terrible that she has cried in front of her children because she doesn’t want them to see her that way. So she tries to control her emotions and stay in neutral and takes deep breaths to prevent her emotions from going out of control in front of them.
She feels that her lack of confidence in her mothering frustrates her husband, in that he cannot help her confidence and positivity go back to how she was before having children. She feels it has cause their relationship to suffer. It is frustrating to her when her husband isn’t able to relate to what she is going through. She wants to tell her husband that she needs more softness and understanding for her shortcomings in her own confidence, calmness and positivity.
WHAT CAN HELP IS INSIGHT
She felt what her best friend told her was accurate, insightful and helpful advice to her: To give herself a break. Although she feels that sleep training is a sensitive topic, that she has to sleep train her children because she has to get her life back. She recognizes that she is sleep deprived and suffering. She felt it was truthful telling when her older daughter’s teacher said can see that she and her husband feel out of control and feel like they lost control because their older daughter has all of it, and she finds that to be especially true as they have allowed their older daughter to affect their dedication to their own marriage with date nights. She knows that at the end of the day she is doing a good job and is a good mother and that her children are lucky and loved but she acknowledges that she puts this pressure on herself that she is never doing enough, especially when she sees everyone else being that ideal parent based off of happy facebook pictures and she wants to be that parent to her own children.