Motherhood is a little like baseball. You have your moments where you shine, and moments where you’re put out. As time progresses, you’re surely going to get curveballs.
Maybe it was an unexpected pregnancy. Maybe it was an illness. Maybe it was twins.
Maybe you’re thinking you’re not so good at baseball, and feel like you have no idea how to deal with it. Maybe you’re scared, or maybe you’re so overwhelmed that you have no idea what you feel.
I’m here to tell you that anything you’re feeling is probably normal. I’m here to tell you, whether this is your first baby or your fifth, that your feelings are valid and real, and that you are absolutely not alone. You aren’t defined by the feelings you have, not unless you want to be.
I read something the other day that said “Having a child is constraining. There’s a lot of things you used to do that you can’t do anymore. But it’s also extremely expanding…you suddenly relate to everyone else on Earth who has a child. No matter what race, class, or creed.”
From experience, I can tell you that this is absolutely true. It can be simultaneously frustrating and magnificent. I have never felt so isolated yet so surrounded by people I could relate to. In my darkest hours, I found a tribe of love I never sought. My team.
So if you’re struggling, know that you are surrounded by women who have walked in your shoes and are willing to walk by your side to help you along. Know that you are loved, admired, and needed. Know that if you need a break, or a hand, or validation, you’re not the only one. I see you. I hear you. I understand.
This isn’t a strikeout, it’s a walk. It might not be how you hoped things would play out, but you’ve still got a chance to score the winning run. And even if you don’t, you’ve got a team waiting in the dugout to support you. A rough game does not define a season. There will be another game and another day, and together, we will win.
Lindsay found her voice as an advocate after being diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety in 2011. She lives and breathes New Orleans with her patient husband, preschooler son, newborn twin daughters, and dogs. Coffee in hand, she blogs when life lets her at www.withalittleloveandluck.com and you can find her over-sharing on Twitter @lilloveandluck.
Postpartum Progress, the world’s most widely-read blog on all things related to emotional health around pregnancy & childbirth, is a service of Postpartum Progress Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to raising awareness of postpartum depression and similar illnesses. Please consider making a donation today, Mother’s Day, so we can continue and expand our work supporting maternal mental health. Thank you!