Dearest Mamas,

If you are struggling, please get some help.

It doesn’t have to be like this.
You don’t have to struggle so profoundly.
It doesn’t have to be so hard.

And I know it is. I know kids are hard. I know… this whole mothering gig is bullshit hard + way too much for just one person to carry on their shoulders.

We need help. We need support. We need to take care of ourselves.

Please go gentle on yourself. Please put your oxygen mask on.

A long time ago, I was too terrified to admit that I was suffering.

That every night when I went to bed as stiff as a board, my hands aching from clenching so hard. I hated the idea of sleep because I knew it would be mere moments before I would be awoken again. I hated the idea of waking up because I knew it meant another day of hard, hard, hard work of mothering. I would lay on the kitchen floor as I made dinner so I didn’t have a panic attack. I was touched out + empty + a shadow of my self. I was deeply ashamed, and so very afraid of being judged.

The day it all changed was the day I sobbed over my cereal, and finally, finally admitted to myself that this wasn’t okay. I wasn’t okay. And I told my husband, even though I was so deeply afraid that it would mean he would leave me + take my baby away from me.

And then once I voiced the truth, I decided I couldn’t continue on as I was. That I needed to find something – anything – that worked. That took the bag of rocks from my chest + let me breath.

For me, it was a combination of relationship counselling, personal counselling + anti-depressant medication that helped most of all.

I was so resistant to taking that medication. I thought it meant I had failed. I thought I was a no-good crap hippy/natural mother if I took anti-depressant medication.

And believe me, I really DID try all the other hippy stuff under the sun before I got a script. I gargled Bushflower Essences + popped homeopathic pills + did rebirthing rituals + smudged myself until the cows came home. And it only helped a little bit. Not enough. It put only an inch or so of water at the bottom of my desolate, dusty well. And my bucket kept hitting bottom.

It was the medication + counselling that made the most amount of difference.

And I feel like there is all this stigma attached to those. Attached to the idea that you aren’t a good person if you struggle. Aren’t a good mama. Fuck that. It’s all brain chemistry, baby. We are plenty good enough.

I just want you to know, dearest, that if you are suffering, please, please, please know it doesn’t have to keep being like this. Please book in to see a doctor or therapist (or both). If you’re in Australia, if you go to a doctor, they will help draw up a mental health plan, and you get counselling sessions free under Medicare. What a blessing, right?

I’m holding your hand. And whispering to you that it’s going to get better.

Please do what you need to do to tend to you, extraordinary you. Your family needs you thriving again. We all do. And most of all… you need you to thrive too.

Love you,

P.S. If you’re not a mama… and this still dings your bell… yes, this all applies to you too sweetpea. xoxo