Life as a mom is challenging to say the least. When you’re a mom with depression it brings challenging to another level. I have my good days, my bad days, and then I have my depression days. Those are the days when being a mom takes every day challenges to that next level.
Imagine your children engaging in sibling rivalry. They are calling each other names, whining to you about what the other one is doing, and soon one or both are crying. Obnoxious-grey-hair-inducing-behavior, right? When you’re a mom in the throes of depression that next level goes beyond obnoxious and into the realm of intolerable.
Instead of being rational and giving the kids a warning, or calmly and firmly delivering a consequence, I lose my temper and scream at them like a lunatic. Then I feel an immense amount of guilt for acting like Momzilla and end up bursting into tears!
I literally feel like a crazy woman. Not crazy from lack of sleep, or even cooking-four-meals-for-my-four-year-old-only-to-have-her-take-four-bites kind of crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m familiar with those kinds of crazy as well. The specific type of crazy I am speaking of in this situation is more of the lock-me-in-a-padded-cell type of crazy. My inconsistent moods make me feel like I’m living with two or five different personalities!
Mom guilt times ten
I am in a perpetual state of high anxiety and irritability. Mix in bouts of crying, and exhaustion that leaves my body heavy and my mind foggy. Not exactly a recipe for a mom-of-the-year award. Of course through it all (intermingling with a hefty amount of self-doubt) mom guilt is right there shouting in my ear how I am failing my children miserably. You don’t deserve to be a mom, It sneers. Your kids are going to grow up to be as dysfunctional as you are! Telling that nagging voice to shut up is typically doable, outside of a depressive episode that is. Doing so during one only seems to amplify it to megaphone status.
Depression can’t defeat me
Though I live with chronic depression and most likely will to some degree for the rest of my life, I will never ever let it defeat me. I will fight it like a mother bear defending her cubs. Letting depression win would mean catastrophic things for my cubs. It could mean a real padded cell rather than a hypothetical one, or even worse. While I might not be an award-worthy mom in the thick (or let’s face it, even the thin) of my depression, my kids are always my everything. To give up fighting my depression would be to give up on them, and a mother bear would never give up on her cubs.