'Anxious' Mom Gets Real About Her Motherhood Triggers & It's Beyond Empowering

Desiree Fortin Anxious Mom series
Desiree Fortin

Desiree Fortin, a mom of triplets and blogger at The Perfect Mom, knows firsthand what it's like to cope with anxiety. "I have struggled off and on the last three years since my triplets were born, and I have learned so much about managing my own mental health struggles," Fortin tells CafeMom. What she has faced is not uncommon, in the least. Thirty-three percent of women experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime, whereas only 22 percent of men do, according to Scientific American. Experts say that women suffer more often as they tend to feel "responsible for the happiness of others, such as their children or their spouse." 

Despite anxiety affecting more than one-third of women, stigma continues to surround mental health challenges, and that's exactly why Fortin was inspired to start a series on her Instagram account called "Confessions of the Anxious Mama." 

  • Alongside each image in the series, the California-based mom shares an empowering message with her followers.

    "I was inspired to write the series because I wanted to remind other mamas out there, who are also in my shoes, struggling with anxiety, that they are not alone and this it is going to be OK," she says.

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  • Throughout the series, she's managed to bring to light a variety of triggers so many moms feel bring on their anxiety.

    From breastfeeding and grieving a pregnancy or infant loss to simply needing the occasional break, she gets real about it all.

  • "Sometimes it is really hard to share hard truths about motherhood, and sometimes it isn't easy to be vulnerable," she admits to CafeMom.

    In this post, she acknowledged that the weight of her anxiety has caused her guilt and shame. "There came a point where I had to choose to not carry the shame," she wrote. "I am the perfect mom for my children. Being a Mother is not an easy task and I fail everyday. But my failures teach me to be a better mom. They allow me to grow and find strength. Our failures are not reasons to shame ourselves."

  • Fortin also feels motivated to share her experience because of the belief that "God is using my story to reach many hearts."

  • "Being on anxiety meds does not make me a failure. It doesn't mean I am not good enough or undeserving. It means I am doing what I need to to be the best I can be for my kids." 

    She continued, "Our mental health journeys are all personal, heartbreaking, and usually very difficult. Yet what I have seen more than anything birthed from my mental health journey is strength. I am strong and I'm fighting anxiety daily. I am learning more about myself and my needs as a Mom. A newfound confidence has been placed in my heart. I am brave. And I am not alone. I am doing what I need to do to help me walk through this season of Motherhood. I am owning my journey and believing by sharing my story someone's heart is touched!"

    And by sharing her story, Fortin hopes other moms feel encouragement and reassurance that they are "amazing." "This job is not easy, and regardless of whether you are on medication, seeing a therapist, whatever it may be, you are still a great mom," she tells CafeMom. "I hope more than anything that other moms are reminded that they are not alone."