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Mommy Sadness aka Depression
Oooooh, the taboo word. Depression. People act like if you say you're depressed then CPS will burst down the door ready to take your kids. I guess if it's life threatening depression then maybe, but, most times it isn't that deep. My husband and I had this "heated discussion" about depression. He seems to think its a bad thing to admit. It's shameful and he doesn't like to deal with it. Why though? Why can't you feel sad. Why can't you feel sad deeply? Why can't you be depressed and ok at the same time?
Well MOMs, you can and I'm going to tell you how. First step is evaluating why you're depressed. I know for me when it first creeps in I don't know why. All I know is that it's here, I'm sad, and my kids are forcing me to do things when all I want to do is drink and eat my life away in front of the TV. Should you feel guilty for letting your kids see you depressed? No! I'll tell you why but lets get back to the scenario. So it might take a few hours or days to realize why you're depressed. Important self questions you can ask yourself is"What's wrong?" Ask over and over until you find out WHAT'S WRONG. Ask in the same sympathetic way you ask your kids when they're crying and you don't know why. What's wrong? Keep thinking it until you get an answer. Now with kids and a husband it's hard to figure that out. They all NEED you and DEMAND your time. That's not bad, after all being the backbone of a family is empowering. But when you're in a depressed state it's overwhelming. What to do? With my husband, I let him know flat out. I say, "I'm depressed and I need time to myself to figure my shit out." Then I proceed to take a nap or crawl in bed watching hours of Bojack Horseman. In doing that, you have to have confidence in yourself and truly believe that you are 100% in the right to make these requests. Know this, mom, if you aren't ok, then NOBODY in your home will be ok. Remember this and don't try to force being HAPPY for the sake of the family. If you force it you do more harm than good. You'll snap at the kids, argue with your husband, and become unproductive. What can you do if you're watching the kids by yourself? If you can afford a sitter. Try utilizing that resource so they'll be taken care of while you take care of yourself. Hell use the sitter while you're still home and go in your room and shut the door. If you can't afford one, put on something entertaining for them to watch. Create a boundary zone so they're safe and crawl on the couch with a laptop and watch Netflix or whatever there. I believe that children are very intuitive and may already know that you're sad. Hiding it relays the message to them that being sad or depressed is bad. Being open and honest about it shows your kids healthy ways of dealing with sad feelings. So when depressed, do only what's necessary and make easy, less than a minute meals.
Rest. Rest. Rest.
Sometimes as moms we get depressed because having a family can at times feel like being trapped. We can feel like we aren't free. We may feel unappreciated. We may feel like slaves. We may feel forgotten. Sometimes it's childhood trauma that has us depressed. Whatever the case, keep asking "What's wrong?" Your body will eventually let you know what needs attention. Just get plenty of rest and nutrition. This too shall pass. Once you begin to see depression as normal and to let it do it's thing you'll be able to uncover your inner demons and work on them. Depression is a way the emotions tell you something is wrong. You'll notice that allowing yourself to simply be will result in bouncing back to your happy self. Even the universe has cloudy days.
*if your depression spirals out of control into a chronic state you might need to see a doctor and actively work with them to uncover the problem.
**if you're considering self harm or harming others definitely see a doctor ASAP