As a brand new mom, I owed a lot of thanks to a great number of brave people who shared their painful but beautiful stories with me. While I was still pregnant, these stories of difficulty breastfeeding and feeling overwhelmed, of being uncertain and feeling “wrong” helped me feel at least a little prepared for what was to come. In those first weeks of being a new parent, I remembered all of those stories, and let them remind me let that I was not alone. I was especially grateful to the women, not all of them mothers, who spoke truth about depression and anxiety into my life. Their willingness to talk about the dark places they had left behind made a difference in the way that I prepared for the real possibility of postpartum depression. Even better, the dialogue that they have opened in our community has empowered other brave mothers-to-be to create their own plans.
This week, I do not have my own powerful story to share on overcoming depression. Instead, I want to thank everyone who is sharing their experiences. I want to encourage the dialogue that many are taking part in this week and beyond.
There are so many unknowns in becoming a new parent. In general, I think it is important for new moms and dads to come alongside soon-to-be moms and dads, and to share their own recent struggles and uncertainties. If your story involves postpartum depression, I encourage you to be brave and share that part of your story as well. If your story, like mine, involves its own trials and triumphs, I encourage you to be brave, and share those parts of your story.
Most of all, if you have a new momma friend, reach out to her if you have a moment. I am still close enough to remember how bewildering, how completely overwhelming, the process of becoming a new mom was. In those moments, it was often difficult to remember that there were others out there. And it was so wonderful to be reminded that I was not alone.