Mother's Day is such a sweet, sentimental day to celebrate all the wonderful things motherhood brings -- the hugs and snuggles, the learning and growing, and an amazing love that only a mother can feel. Unfortunately, motherhood can also bring about some challenging mental health issues, and we can't push them aside with all the crayon-scribbled cards and homemade craft projects in the world.
So for the third year in a row, Postpartum Progress is hosting its Mother's Day Rally for Moms' Mental Health. It's easy to participate, and you don't even have to get out of your pajamas if you plan to lounge around all day.
Beginning at 12:01am on Mother's Day, May 8th, 24 women who have survived postpartum depression and anxiety or antenatal depression will share their stories. A new story will appear every hour.
Reading through posts from years past provides a glimpse at what this year will bring, but as no woman's story is the same, each is a unique and fresh look at what it's like to suffer through what's supposed to be one of the happiest times of our lives. Some are heartbreaking; some are more informative; but all of them provide some sort of connection and reassurance to women suffering that they're not alone.
Even if you're not suffering from one of the disorders, understanding them and knowing the signs is helpful as you never know who in your life could be affected. There's so much misunderstanding and so many myths about postpartum depression, and the most thing we all can is be aware. As Katherine Stone, founder of Postpartum Progress, told me for a previous article I wrote:
I'm always surprised at how little women as a general rule are involved in the issue of PPD. It's an illness of motherhood, and has the ability, if untreated, to negatively affect the health of both mother and child for the rest of their lives. It is crucial that ALL women are aware of these illnesses and their risk factors and symptoms, so that we can look out for each other and our babies. All women need to care about this issue.
Have you struggled with mental health issues in motherhood? Do hearing other women's stories help you?
Image via postpartumprogress.com