No one warned you, Mama

Dear Woman,
I know no one warned you about how hard it would be. How lonely, how isolating, how depressing, how anxious, how busy. 
This isn’t how you pictured motherhood. 
And the most difficult part of it all is trying to explain to someone why the thing that brought you the most joy has drained you. You get to be home all day and watch your babies grow, how could that make you so unhappy? 
I’m a mother and I get it so I will say it for you. 
Here’s why so many mothers suffer from depression or anxiety. Here’s why she is lonely and sometimes sad. 
You lose your sense of productivity and accomplishments, I did at least. That takes a toll when you don’t have anything to show at the end of the day. I could do a million different things from the moment I got up to the moment I sat down and you would never know it. Yes I picked up that toy, yes I cleaned up that spill, yes I got the kids dressed, yes I got them dressed again, yes I did the dishes, yes I did the laundry, yes we played, yes we made breakfast lunch dinner and 17 snacks. Yes, I did it all over and over again even when it doesn’t look like it. It’s hard when you can’t see your wins after a long day. 
Then you add the loneliness and isolation that comes with these things that need to be done. I would go days without seeing or talking to another person. I missed those deep meaningful conversations and interactions with other adults! You know the ones that make you think, that make you laugh or feel inspired and connected? 
And then just like that I was so far from me, from who I was. Now I just do the same things over and over with nothing to show for it. 
Yes I’m raising my children which I adore but I’m draining myself because I wasn’t fulfilled outside of being a mother. 
It’s doesn’t have to be this way though! 
I love being a mother and damn it, I want it to be what I dreamed it would be. 
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to sacrifice you, your self care or your identity just because you became a mom. 
All of those things contribute to being an amazing, happy mother. And I believe it’s in the best interest of our children to see us taking care of ourselves. I don’t want their most vivid memories of me being depressed and tired. But it will be if I don’t make a change because they see with little eyes. I want my babies to see me happy when I am taking care of them or the house. I also want them to see what I do when I’m not happy because I don’t want the same depression that attacks me to attack them. 
So do the things that give you life again! 
Take the gym class.
Get the part time job. 
Start a business.
Read that book.
Book a hotel for just you. 
Get together with your girls. 
Make the time for you mama and make it a priority! 
I know no one warned you but I’m here to remind you that it can be different and your happiness is just as important as anyone else’s. 
Megan Hardwick 
Dear Woman, Ministries