Some moms seem to have it all together. There’s not a hair out of place on their head. The kids are awake, bathed and dressed –all in under an hour. The house is freshly vacuumed, and there’s a hint of pumpkin spice swirling through the air.
Most of us strive for being the picture perfect mom, but realize not everything will always be this perfect. We know school meetings, practices and emergencies sometimes get in the way, and we are fine with that.
However, for other moms (and dads too) who may be fighting depression, this “failure” they see is yet another monumental task which will remain unconquered. What is depression? Depression goes beyond occasionally feeling sad or “blue.” It often lasts over a long period of time, and interferes with one’s work, activities and other daily functions. For a parent battling depression, just getting themselves and their children ready for the day can be overwhelming. It’s like an ongoing war inside them just to get going for the day.
So, what is a parent to do when they are feeling the battle wounds of depression? How can they take care of themselves and their children? There are several tips I came up with in my research, but the most important one is for the parent to seek help from a healthcare professional. From there, the professional will guide you to the right healthcare.
What Can You Do?
- Get medical help through a doctor and psychologist.
- Read up on symptoms, and how to help yourself. Some great links are: The National Institute of Health, and Web MD. For Catholic reading, check out this great blog.
- Stay healthy. Eat meals with lots of fruit and vegetables and take your medicines/vitamins. Pamper yourself – After a nice shower or bath, perk yourself up by painting your nails. If the kids are interested, have them join the fun too. Their laughs and smiles are contagious.
- Train yourself to think positive. Start with a small goal of writing down one positive thing about the day. Do this even if you feel as if the world is about to explode. If this is helpful, try starting a Positive Journal. Begin writing once a week (or as often as you wish) about something good or positive that has happened to you recently. What made you smile or laugh? Need some help? Watch your kids closely. They will probably help without even knowing it.
- “Look to the Cross.” I once heard a priest talk about depression. Jesus knows what you are going through. He felt the anxiety in the garden. He felt the loneliness on the Cross and when He was abandoned by His apostles. Pray to Him and know He is with you. Feel His peace – even if it’s just for a moment.
- Pray the Rosary. When we are upset, we go to our earthly mothers. Why not let our spiritual mother help, too?
- Read the Bible. God’s voice is soothing.
Remember depression is a battle. Some days are tougher than others. Don’t be afraid to ask others around you to help you out. Families are a team and work together. With the right help and treatment, the battle wounds of depression will disappear.
Copyright 2013 Jennifer Gladen