Today is Day 26 of my 30 day writing challenge. Four days to go, and it has been an amazing experience. Something about a prolonged challenge that pushes us to the limits (especially considering I would blog sometimes after a fortnight). That said, I look forward to wrapping up this challenge 🙂
Today’s post was inspired by a conversation I had with my friend sometime towards the end of the week. Catching up over chitchat, I mentioned to her that I was not too sure how to tell her that her child was influencing my son, and in the wrong ways (story for another day). As gently as I could, I told her I wished she would look into that; so glad she was pretty receptive. Turns out she is a single mom too, but who works far from her home. This meant she left the house early before her son woke up, and came back late in the night when he was so tired, and often, asleep. She admitted it was a tough balance, understandably.
While I couldn’t relate to this per se (I am a WAHM – Work At home Mom), I realized that every mom, faces different challenges, even when unified by the fact that they are a single parent. Our conversation carried on for well over an hour. She mentioned the fact that she was depressed during her first trimester. Once, she locked herself up in the house for a fortnight – young, alone, pregnant, jobless- with no contact with anyone. Rolling on the floor, clutching her tummy, wondering what future existed for her and her inborn boy. This felt so familiar, eerily so.
Long story short, she did find her footing, got a job at 6 months pregnant (Would you believe that!) and has been able to raise her son thus far; he is seven years now. I remarked I’d never have figured she was depressed, ever. It reminded me of this post where I shared my thoughts on living a masked life. Depression, and especially Postpartum Depression, does not have a structure, form or shape it comes in. Little wonder you hear people commenting (usually after suicide cases), she didn’t look depressed/ he didn’t appear like anything was bothering him / I can’t imagine someone would kill their own child and kill themselves…
The conversation was also a gentle reminder to be kind to others. I try to remember that everyone is going through their life’s issues, many are fighting battles we would otherwise never know about. Showing grace and kindness, even in the midst of our own difficult experiences, could be the very last hope that someone needs, someone clutching on to the end of their rope’s strands. It goes a long long way.
Talking and connecting with her also amplified the need to share our stories. To raise our voices and create awareness of mental health issues, of which PPD is one of them. Speaking boldly about our challenges and struggles to stop the stigma that
society we have against those who suffer depression. Through this blog, I hope a mom is encouraged, even if it’s just one mom. I came online looking for help, and mom blogs where moms shared their PPD journey and struggles gave me hope. I knew I was not alone in this. There is hope, I’d wish to extend the same grace to a mom in need.
Featured Image photo credits: Cauldrons and Cupcakes