So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

I sat in the bathtub and cried. I wasn’t sure why, but it was something I had done frequently as of late. Everything felt so dark. Nothing could pull me out this hole. I was living life, but just going through the motions.

As a mental health professional, I knew the signs. I was well aware of the high incidence of postpartum depression. I knew the high likelihood I had of experiencing depression with our struggles in the early days of my son’s life. But I never knew how hard it would be to ask for help.

I didn’t want to tell my husband that I thought about running away. Driving away and never coming back. These thoughts confused me. We had a healthy and beautiful baby boy, we were financially stable, our marriage was in great shape, I loved my job, and we had a lovely, cozy home. My feelings defied all logic. What the hell was wrong with me?

I didn’t want to admit to the doctor that all I did was eat and sleep. That I cried all the time. That the feeling of hope that usually prevailed in my soul even during dark times was gone.

Most of all, I didn’t want to admit that I had thoughts of hurting my baby. Thoughts that I would never act on in a million years, but thoughts that terrified me. I didn’t want to admit that sometimes I wasn’t sure who this little person was that lived in my house. I knew he was my child, and but sometimes I didn’t feel any attachment toward him. It made me feel like a terrible person and a failure as a mother. This is something I don’t like to admit even now, something I’m incredibly hesitant to share here today. But it needs to be talked about.

I was afraid of judgment. Afraid of admitting I couldn’t do it all. Scared to admit that we weren’t succeeding at breastfeeding, and that it was dragging me down further. Exclusive breastfeeding was something I wanted more than anything else, and we couldn’t achieve it. My body couldn’t provide what my baby needed. My body had failed me, and that broke my already broken heart.

I finally realized that this wasn’t normal. It’s normal to have bad days. It’s normal to cry. It’s normal to feel hopeless and discouraged from time to time. However, it is not normal to feel that way for weeks at a time. I kept expecting the sun to come from behind the clouds in my soul, and it continued to hide.

That night I decided I was tired of feeling this way. I talked to my husband. He agreed that I needed help. I talked to my mom. She also agreed that the way I was feeling was not normal. The next morning I picked up the phone and called the doctor. They scheduled an appointment for the very next day.

I took the steps I needed, and I got help. I started taking an antidepressant. I practiced self-care. We stopped breastfeeding. I scaled back on hours at work. I allowed myself to just do the bare minimum for a while. I gave my body the rest it needed. I stopped judging myself so harshly. My husband did everything and never said a word about how I needed to do more. I slowly began to heal, began to get back to who I was before.

A few months ago I was out for a run, and I realized that everything was going to be ok. I realized I felt like myself again. I felt elation, and more importantly I felt peace.

You can heal. If you are feeling depressed and hopeless, you can get through this. It’s a tough road, but you aren’t alone. And it won’t last forever. There are people who want to help you. Let them. 
If you are feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.
Both resources are free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day. 

Grief Comes in Waves as Our Mother Nears the End of Her Life

In: Grief, Grown Children
Elderly woman holding young woman's hand

“I think we can all agree that this is not fair.” My sister, Kari, was referring to our elderly mother as she addressed my oldest daughter, Chelsea, and me. Chelsea was holding both of her grandmother’s hands with her own as my mother slept fitfully. My mother was terrified of being alone, and this was pretty much the only way she was able to rest. “There is pain that is physical and pain that is psychic,” she continued, “and one is not worse than the other.” Our mother was in mental pain, and we wanted it to stop. When my...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Who I Was Before My Mom Died

In: Grief
Woman looking out window at home

Life after dealing with death is hard. I’m no longer the person I used to be. I’m motherless. This motherless life is hard. I need time to grieve, but I also need time to find myself again. I need time to mourn the life I’ll never have anymore. I need time to process. I need time to process the fact that my mother is gone. I’ll never have new memories. My kids will never have new memories and people expect us to pick ourselves back up. I can’t pick myself back up quickly after losing my mom. I’m still trying...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

Donating Breastmilk Helped My Heart Heal

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman with packaged breastmilk, color photo

Dear grieving mama, You know when you lose a baby everything changes, but your body moves forward like nothing happened. It carried that tiny baby long enough to trigger a complicated hormonal cocktail that causes your milk to come in so that little life can continue to grow outside you. But your baby is separated from you in a way nature never intended. There will be no baby snuggles. There won’t be a sleepy, smiley, milk-drunk face looking up at you. But your body doesn’t know that, so your breasts swell and keep swelling with milk that has nowhere to...

Keep Reading

I’ll Always Need My Mother but She Left Me Way Too Soon

In: Grief
Family surrounding woman at end of her life

I married my college sweetheart over a decade ago. I want to ask my mom about marriage. I want to ask her about navigating arguments and personality differences. But she left me way too soon. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. My mother had three miscarriages. Her first two were before I was born, and I was her rainbow baby. Her third miscarriage was in the second trimester, after my little brother was born. It devastated her emotionally for several years when I was in elementary school. I want to ask my mom about grief and pregnancy loss. But...

Keep Reading

Have You Sat with the Dying?

In: Grief, Loss
Holding hand at hospital bedside

Have you sat with the dying? Have you seen the loved ones who sit at their bedside night after night, holding their hand? They hold on, afraid to let go, knowing the end is near but so not ready for the last word, the last touch, the last breath of life.  They sit, exhausted beyond exhausted. They know it’s time to let go, but they also wonder how life goes on without them. There was life before them, and there will be life after them, but life after now will never be the same without them.  Have you sat with...

Keep Reading

What Would it Feel Like To Hold Him Today?

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Black and white photo of parents holding toddler

 My breath catches. My heart races. I remember. I remember when they were five and six. When they ran around with my son. I remember now how many years have passed, how long it’s been. I’m watching. Sitting on the outside, peering in. Wondering. Wishing. Tenderly remembering, trying to breathe. One breath. One moment. One day, one minute at a time. The world still spins and time moves on. My other children have grown. But in 10-year-grief, the world stands a bit still. Remembering him. The 5-year-old, toothless smile. Shy hellos to his friends. Missing him. Missing them. Missing that....

Keep Reading

The Mother without a Mother

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman with kite on beach

“How is your mom?” My mother looked at me, waiting for my response. Born in a small town in the middle of Kansas, she genuinely wanted to know the answers to the questions she asked, and more importantly, she listened. I stared back—voiceless. I was holding my infant daughter in my arms, bouncing her up and down in that rhythmic, automatic movement that defines the early years of motherhood. Up. Down. Up. Down. I sped up, frantic almost. “She’s good,” I said. The words came out more as an exhale. I cleared my throat. “My mom is good,” I confirmed....

Keep Reading

What They Don’t Tell You about Child Loss

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Couple on dock by lake

What they don’t tell you about child loss . . .  They don’t tell you that you’ll never be the same—not that you won’t ever feel joy or love the life you have—but that it changes you. They don’t tell you about the countless sleepless nights and the not knowing why, holding your thoughts captive and the guilt that threatens to creep in.  They don’t tell you about the hole that can never be filled or replaced mostly because you never ever want it to. You don’t want it to because you hold space for your child, and you don’t...

Keep Reading

On the Day of Your Mother’s Funeral

In: Grief, Loss
Bride and mother on wedding day, color photo

On the day of your mother’s funeral, you will wake up and it will feel like any other day until you remember that it isn’t any other day. Someone will force you to eat breakfast and tell you when it is time to get in the shower. While showering, you will cry and wonder just how you will make it through this day. On the day of your mom’s funeral, you will look at your dress and think that it is really pretty and then shake your head because it’s such a shame that you will never wear it again....

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.