LifestyleWellness My Mental Health Journey as a Mom and Working Parent

In honor of Mental Health Day, I wanted to share part of my story…

Most of my life I have been a people pleaser. I  want to be strong for those around me. I  quickly learned that the expectation of perfection was high. Not from my parents, but from the world around me. So when it came time to have a baby I felt confident that I was going to be a great mom and do all the things, and have it all together! 

Boy, was I in for an awakening…

My pregnancy had been challenging with constant sickness and pain. However, I was excited to enter the realm of motherhood. But oh how it did not go as planned. My delivery was labelled as a mismanaged birth. After 64 hours from the time my water broke to finally having my first daughter born, she was whisked away to ICU. 

The 6 days following her birth were possibly some of the hardest. Living with the stress of your baby not being fully well and from the regiment demanded by the hospital I barely ever had more than 30- 45 minutes of sleep at a time.  

This was not the way we thought it would go. We spent the next 3 months with construction outside our front door and so began my spiral downward. 

The next year is mostly a blur.  I remember trying to do so many things… Grasping for some sort of routine, schedule, consistency – anything that might help me learn how to care for my baby.  But I also remember every little noise grating on my nerves. I was beyond on edge if we had to leave the house and go somewhere.  When we had to be anywhere but the safety of our own home and routine I was stressed and anxious. 

As many would expect mother’s to have the baby blues, they might also expect those to dissipate after the first weeks or months…. Mine went deeper and darker. For 5 years postpartum I would struggle with dark and heavy depression. 

No more could I take on the world. No more could I fake smiles- although apparently I still had a bit of charm because many didn’t know my silent and private struggle. No more could I do all the things I loved to do. No more could I laugh. No more could I smile from the inside. Hearing the words of your little girls saying “ Mommy, why is it so hard for you to laugh?” will never leave my mind. 

Now the mother of two beautiful girls, I clung to routine once again. I clung to the things I learned can help: things like nutrition, exercise, routine, sleep habits, and my faith.

These routines and habits sustained me to cope. 
The challenging part about depression is you can know logically in your brain that your thought process isn’t right. But it sits on you like a heavy fog-  unwilling to dissipate. 

Well after my 2nd daughter turned 2, I noticed an improvement slowly as my children got older. I seemed to cope better- except once a month. Seeking out further help to manage my depression I am so grateful to say that it will be an ongoing battle for my life, but a battle I am fighting.

I now spend a large majority of my career coming alongside parents –  Moms in postpartum, and parents who are working or at home.

I have a deep desire to share the knowledge that your physical health can make a direct impact on your mental health.

And although, at times further intervention is needed… movement, sleep and nutrition can be medicine.  My life has been an upfill battle. My faith, my fitness, my food choices and my family and friends all play a role in fighting that battle.

Parents, especially mothers often feel the need to “do it all” or “have it all together”. I am here to share that you cannot and will not be able to do it all. At some point you will break. And the way you care for your health in all aspeciats matters.

Your physical health, mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, and relational health…These things combined are what support the battle of mental health. If you are struggling, or when you do- please reach out for help. Your life is worth living.

Watson Wellness

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