POSTPARTUM RESOURCES

Finding Your Glimmer: Tips For Moms Battling Postpartum Depression On Mother’s Day

Let's Thrive Postpartum | Mothers Day

 

This Mother’s Day, let’s acknowledge the often unspoken reality: it’s not sunshine and rainbows for all moms. Kelly Siebold and Ashley Moore, two mothers themselves, delve into the complex emotions surrounding Mother’s Day, especially for those struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. They emphasize the importance of honesty, self-compassion, and finding even small moments of joy amidst the challenges. From taking breaks from social media to celebrating yourself in whatever way feels right, this conversation offers practical tips and understanding for moms who might not be feeling the traditional Mother’s Day cheer. Remember, you are not alone, and even the smallest glimmer of happiness can make a difference.

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Finding Your Glimmer: Tips For Moms Battling Postpartum Depression On Mother’s Day

Mom, welcome back. I’m Kelly.

I’m Ashley. We’re so happy that you’re here. We have got a special conversation today because we are talking about Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there in the world. There are lots of things though, that we’ve realized, Kelly and I, that go into Mother’s Day. I think Kelly had some different ideas that have come up for her that she’s been thinking about. What do you think, Kelly?

Mother’s Day Come With Different Feeling

Happy Mother’s Day. Exactly, it really does bring a lot of emotions, not only as a mother, if you’ve just recently had a child, but when you’re doing it with postpartum depression and anxiety, it just has a different feel. I think first I want to talk about realizing there are a lot of feelings that can be tied to Mother’s Day. One of the keys is to being honest with yourself about what you really need so that you can feel good on Mother’s Day. Then celebrating yourself where you are. We are all in different places at the moment. We might not be all where we envisioned we would be mentally on Mother’s Day. Ashley, let’s talk about feelings. There are so many feelings. If you look anywhere in the stores, everybody wishes you Happy Mother’s Day. It’s the best sentiment, but it can also come with different feelings.

 

Let's Thrive Postpartum | Mothers Day

 

Yeah, for sure. I think it’s so interesting to think about, again, Mother’s Day portrayed as this really happy day. For a lot of people, it’s not. For people who have lost their mom, for people who had an experience with a mom that really wasn’t ideal, for those who are hoping to become moms, for those who are currently moms and really struggling, Mother’s Day is really, really hard. I want to make sure that we give the acknowledgement out there that this day, while really joyous for some, can also be incredibly difficult for others. That includes moms that are experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety, because there can be a lot of guilt. Why is today not feeling so great? I don’t know. It’s hard.

I think you said it great a while ago when you and I were just chatting about expectations. A lot of times as a mom, we have expectations of what motherhood should look like, what we should be doing, how our experience should feel. In Mother’s Days, especially if this is your first Mother’s Day, I had expectations of what I felt like I should feel like, maybe not what I should be doing. I remember Mother’s Days with my mom growing up. My mother’s my favorite person in the world. We just spent time together and that happiness. When I didn’t feel happy my first Mother’s Day, it had nothing to do with not loving my child. But those feelings can make you feel ashamed, not right. My expectations weren’t met for myself. It was a weird feeling.

How did you navigate through that? What did you do?

I had an honest conversation with my husband about, “Here’s what I needed.” Then I just went with the shame and the guilt. I needed time away to be, to find me, have a day by myself. Let me just be myself for a day, and just took the shame with it. It also felt amazing to have a day for what I needed to do for myself. What did you do for your first Mother’s Day?

 

Let's Thrive Postpartum | Mothers Day

 

My first Mother’s Day, also mixed bag of feelings. I was telling you earlier, Kelly, I saw this photo recently. It was a little short video snapshot of my first Mother’s Day, sitting in a hammock and holding my son.

Sounds beautiful.

Sounds beautiful, yeah, but all I could think of when I looked at that picture was, “My gosh, that was the week after he had been hospitalized for bronchiolitis. It was one night and he was fine. It was just to double check because he was so little. He was just five months old. That was so hard and so still top of mind that I honestly have no idea what I did that first Mother’s Day. I know that there’s that picture of it. That picture of it reminds me of a time where I was so anxious and scared and worried even though everything was totally fine. I have no idea what we did, other than I have that picture of us sitting in the hammock.

I’m glad he was okay. I’m glad that was something that turned out not to be a big deal. I can see when your five-month-old son is put in the hospital overnight, and if you have anxiety, that just being a trigger and bringing you hold down a different path. I can see how that would make it so much worse. How scary.

Mother’s Day Is For Mothers

It makes it so much harder. I do remember the next year saying, “Mother’s Day is for me.” It’s supposed to be celebrating a mother. What do I want to do to celebrate? I wanted to have breakfast in bed and in the quiet and have my husband, I think, took my son out for a very long walk and play date or something. I had some time to myself and that was what I needed. Guess what? It’s okay that that’s what you need is some time to yourself.

It's okay to need some time to yourself. Share on X

Let’s be honest with what we need. How did you figure out, “In this moment, this is what’s going to feel good to me?”

I think I asked that exact question. I was like, “What would feel good? What would make me feel restored? I love the word restorative because it’s rested but refilled. What is going to fill up?

As a mother, we need that.

We are pouring from a cup that somehow never seems to quite be empty. There have got to be times that we’re able to fill that back up. I think that’s what I asked myself is, “What’s going to feel good? What’s going to make me feel like rested and appreciated?” I was like, “Yes. Bring me some breakfast in bed. I would love to give my son a kiss and a hug.” Recently last year, with my daughter kiss and hug, but I want coffee in bed in silence. That’s just what is going to make me feel really good.

Mothers are pouring from a cup that somehow never seems to be empty. Share on X

That sounds lovely, just a day of silence. It isn’t something that doesn’t really happen very often, especially with two children under the age of five.

Never. I think it’s just about saying, can you say what’s going to feel good and what you need in that moment and then just be okay with it.

Yes. I’m with you completely. If you’re a mom who doesn’t have a partner, if you’re a single mom, how do you be honest with what you need to feel good and find some of those moments for yourself if you don’t have the ability to step away or for someone to be there with you. We both had partners in this relationship that could take a burden for us. If you don’t have it, what recommendations do you have?

Little Moments Of Joy

We were talking about that the other day of finding little moments of joy, little glimmers. I love that phrase. I don’t know who said it first, but it is just wonderful, and it’s so true. A day doesn’t have to be all good or all bad. I tell my five-year-old, one bad thing happens doesn’t make the whole day bad. It’s just a bad moment. The same is for the good things. A good day overall can be made up of small moments of joy. For moms out there who are having a hard time figuring out, “It’s not possible for me to have a day by myself.” What are little ways of having these glimmers and these small moments of joy that allow you to celebrate you. During nap time, painting your toenails, or having a coffee with some extra special like steamed milk or something like that, or sitting in the sun, or going for a walk. I don’t know. What other small joys come to your mind?

I remember I was going to therapy for help, and they asked me that question, “What makes you happy in the day?” I had no idea what I could do to help, so I had to make a list on my phone, sit down one day and be like, “What makes me happy?” What makes me happy is to sit on my front porch swing and listen to the podcast, My Favorite Murder. I feel like they’re my friends. I’ve never met them, but I’m obsessed with them. That brings me two minutes or five minutes or whatever of joy.

Even if you just have to sit down and make a list of, “I have three minutes, what can I do that makes me feel like me?” I really had to keep a list on my phone, because if I had 10 minutes, I had no idea what to do with myself. Do I do the dishes? Do I do self-care? What’s my glimmer for the moment? I recommend if you don’t have a list in your head to write one, just because I had problems remembering. You can be happy. What makes you happy? What is that? Coffee and My Favorite Murder.

What a great idea to have an actual list. I would even say type it out and print it out because as you and I know, sometimes in these really hard moments when you’re overwhelmed, your brain is not exactly firing on all cylinders. It’s hard to say, “What’s my list of things? I need to think of something.” If you’ve got a list that lives somewhere on your fridge, somewhere in your bedroom, then if you’ve got a couple minutes, you can look at it and be like, “I can do two of these right now. It’s two of my favorite things.”

Social Media: A Double-Edged Sword

Just that little bit, you’re right, brings that happiness moment in. If that’s all you have this Mother’s Day is, three minutes at some point, those three minutes can make your day so much better if it’s something that really makes you happy. The other coin toss on this, let me ask you about this one, is social media. Social media can be great. You can slip through. You can see your friends. You can see what’s happening. You can look at inspirational quotes. I got a lot of postpartum depression ideas to get help for myself on social media. Then there’s also that Mother’s Day expectation of everybody posting their happy, loving family and how life is great. When you’re already struggling, I think I ended up having to decide to stay off that day. That was not my glimmer moment. That was away. Any thoughts on social media and impacts?

Social media is a double-edged sword. There are so many positive resources and information and things that feel uplifting and good, and that’s great. Then there’s the other side where there are things that make you feel guilty, that make you feel inadequate, that make you compare yourself to other people. I do it by myself all the time. I’m looking and I am so aware of it now that I’ll look at something and I’ll say, “Interesting. Actually, that’s a little feeling of jealousy that popped up. That’s not good. We’re going to shut this off for a while.”

Social media is a double-edged sword. There are so many positive resources, information, and things that feel uplifting-and-good; but then on the other side are things that make you feel guilty, inadequate, and that make you compare yourself to others. Share on X

With social media, we’re being fed these different messages about these snapshots of people’s lives. That is all they are. It is a literal one second photo frame of someone’s life. I think if we can keep reframing it that way to ourselves, that what we’re looking at is literally one second of someone’s day. It can help put things back into perspective of my life probably has several one-second moments that look just like this. I don’t have a photographer catching them on camera, but everyone does. Everyone has one second moments of great. The rest of the time is real life, where your kids are screaming and you’re crying. You’re going through the whole range of emotions.

I think trying to give yourself that perspective is like things on social media, it’s a one-second screenshot of their life. It’s not fair to say that their whole life must be just like that, because you would never expect your own life to always look like that. Being on social media, if you find you like practice a little awareness when you’re scrolling through and noticing, “This makes me feel happy. This makes me feel like curious and I want to learn more about this. This makes me feel jealous and this makes me feel guilty. Now I’m feeling some shame because why doesn’t my house look like that? Why don’t my kids wear those clothes?” That’s a sign. It’s like, take a break.

Why aren’t my daughter and I wearing matching outfits and smiling perfectly on our first Mother’s Day, sitting in front of a beautiful scene in Charleston and loving life? When all I want to do is to be by myself and cry in a corner. It adds a different level of perspective. I think you’re right. Realizing what it does to you and just realizing this isn’t everybody’s day. I’m sure the perfect picture in front of a bridge in Charleston, they were probably screaming three minutes beforehand or had a meltdown right after. It’s hard to remember that perspective, and it is a moment.

I know. It is just a moment. I think bringing that kind of awareness and just giving yourself that reminder, giving yourself some grace and remember again, the goal of Mother’s Day is you, not all the other moms that are on social media. Mother’s Day is about you. What do you want? What feels good? What is going to make you be able to celebrate yourself that day? Because that’s who it’s about. It’s about you and no one else.

I think every one of us needs something different to feel good on this day. Maybe you do want to go take the pictures. Maybe you do need time alone. Maybe you need something completely different. If you’re struggling, it’s okay to say, “This is what I need. Next year may be different.” You may want something completely different. To honor where you are right now and being a mom is so hard. Being a mom with postpartum depression and anxiety is so much harder. Getting to say, “I’m here. I can celebrate the fact that I’m here. I’m doing a great job,” I think is key because I think you’re having, motherhood is probably harder for you than a lot of moms. I think you deserve to realize how amazing you are even if you don’t feel like it right now.

Every mom is amazing.

Every mom is amazing. It's okay to not be okay on Mother's Day. Share on X

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

I think just to wrap it up, I want to remind everybody, it’s okay to not be okay this Mother’s Day. It’s okay if you’re sad and depressed or you have all the different emotions going on. I really just want to tell you that Ashley and I are really proud of you. It’s hard. No one else can really see your struggle or really understand what it feels like. We’re all on our own unique journey. I want you to know that we see you and we’ve been there. This Mother’s Day, we really just want to honor you because you are amazing. You are not alone. We really hope that you have an absolutely wonderful Mother’s Day. Whatever that means for you, get a glimmer in there. We are thinking about you. We really hope you’ll join us next week. Happy Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day, everybody.

 

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