Verbally talking about this is so HARD, which is why writing makes it a little easier and helps to get my feelings across a little better.
What it means when a mom says “I just feel like I can’t keep up”
I know what you’re thinking… “What do you mean by you just can’t keep up? You’re home all day, you should be doing just fine!” Well, this is the third, fourth, maybe even the fifth time I’ve cleaned today, the second to third home-cooked meal I’ve made today, the third or fourth snack I’ve made today, the billionth tears I’ve dried and have cried myself… some over nothing and some over something. My life feels fast paced but in slow motion at the same time, I don’t know of any other way to describe it. My Postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression strikes without warning and without any need, how I fear that it will never end!
A mother saying “I can’t keep up” is a sign for HELP! She needs help! She doesn’t ask because, she’s the mom, she’s here all the time, it’s her job, someone has to do it and any other “excuses” people can seem to come up with. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a strong ass woman, I have been all my life and I’m in no way wanting sympathy but I see so many other moms battling the “I can’t keep up train” and enough is enough! PPD AND PPA is NO JOKE! It’s rough, it’s hard and so many of us are told to just suck it up! They say “here let me put you on this medication or have you tried this medication or have you tried getting out of the house?” I’m sure most are like me and can say “Of course, I’ve tried everything I can possibly think of!”
So why are we this way? It’s so simple… we’re exhausted, we’re alone/lonely (or at least we feel that way) we’re scared, we push people away and not on purpose. These crazy freaking hormones and chemicals racing inside our brains do not help! We cry, get angry, feel hopeless and unworthy of love, friendship and help. Then the panic attacks set in, we stop eating as much or over eating… add on the lack of sleep/insomnia because your brain won’t shut off or the thoughts of what all you have to do tomorrow and that’s enough to drive anyone to a breakdown!
What can you do for a mom that simply says “I can’t keep up!” Don’t ask just do. If there is dirty dishes in the sink… wash them. Laundry? Wash, dry and fold them. Kids/babies all over her? Give her a few minutes alone, let her go in the room to breathe and not be touched, give her a hot, noise free bath or shower. Cook or get take out. The biggest thing of all don’t say anything just give her a big hug and let her cry it all out. Let your body and arms be the magnet that draws out some of the stress, anxiety and depression. Let her know you’re there for her and not just with your words but with your actions. Mom life is 24/7, no breaks, no pay, no time off. We deserve a break, we deserve some time to decompress and start over. Be that restart button for her, she is only human and even if her cup is empty she still finds a way to pour a load into everyone else’s cup.
Moms don’t be afraid to tell your story, you’re not a horrible mom for the feelings, depression and anxiety you have. It DOES NOT define you as a person, a mother, a wife/partner, a family member or a friend. Don’t be so hard on yourself and when you find yourself in the darkness please reach out to someone… anyone! I may not be of much help as a mom who struggles myself but I could be that listening ear for you!
So much love,