(Depression In Moms- Part 2)
You aren’t a bad mom if you admit you suffer from depression. But it is a transition, albeit a slightly more complicated one beyond becoming a new mother, that takes adjusting to.
Can adjusting to New Role As Mom trigger depression?
Before being a mom I was a perpetual college student. I absolutely love to learn and be in school. If I could go back to school and continue obtaining degrees I totally would, especially if the cost of education ever became more affordable. When you’re a first time mom, you have to adjust to your new role, and part of being an older mom–or a mom, in general–is putting your freedom, career ambitions, and routine in the back seat if only temporarily so you can concentrate on your parental responsibilities.
This is one of the main challenges of being an older parent. Yes you’re wiser, but you’re also more set in your ways. You’re likely used to coming and going in your life, and you probably love your career. I’m certain that this major adjustment in our lives, parenthood, can trigger depression. I am by nature a hard worker and would work 60 hours a week or more if I had the option.
Transitioning to a Non-workaholic Lifestyle
Perfectionism is also something that tends to be in my nature, and my hubby and I are already seeing our daughter take after me in this regard. She is always wanting to get tasks done, enjoys working, already putting on my red stilettos like she’s getting ready to go to a business meeting. And if she doesn’t get something perfect, she get’s frustrated and is determined to try again and again until she gets it right.
So, when I’m not putting in 60 hours a week working outside of the home, I find myself automatically feeling like I’m skipping school. We’re wired and driven to go, go, go, so much so that we forget that our children will only be this age once. Reminding myself of this fact has helped me view this new role as mom as the most important job title and duty I’ll ever have.
Fear of Passing Depression Onto My Daughter
The biggest fear I had as a life-long survivor of clinical major depression is that my precious child would inherit the dark clouds. Relieved, I can say with 95% certainty that my daughter will not experience depression. She is way too bubbly, positive, and happy, which is not the kind of child I was growing up. Perhaps, being reared by a controlling Korean mom had something to do with it.
Nonetheless, I’m confident about one thing: I’m a better mom than I give myself credit for. I bet you are, too.
I must be doing something right as my daughter is so smiley and smart. Now, I find myself feeling lucky that I’ve been able to do freelance work from home and have the flexibility and resources to be a present mom.
Don’t Take Depression Lightly
Don’t take depression lightly. It is a big deal and it’s something we can’t see on the outside. The more you refrain from getting help, the more it will begin to affect your kids as they get old enough to witness your mood shifts. Many people are great at putting on a happy face. We don’t want others to know our internal struggles. But, the role of mom and dad is a major adjustment. Both my husband and I were older parents. I was 38 when I had my daughter and the hubby was 40. As older parents, we had already gotten all the schooling out the way and were focusing on our careers. It’s surprising how big of a life change having a child truly is. Sometimes I think that younger parents have it easier because they’re more nimble and not so set in their careers.
every parent, no matter how seemingly perfect, struggle as new parents
Having a child is a huge adjustment for even the most ready and perfectly “nerdy” parents, those who have everything figured out because they’ve studied and prepared harder than the rest of the class. The most positive, bubbly mom-to-be might find herself suddenly super depressed after having a child. Like I said, if you have a pre-existing diagnosis of depression, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get postpartum. Such as in my case, my depression got a bit worse. But, I could hold my daughter and bonded with her. I loved watching her and breastfeeding her. Every mama is different, though. The reason I share my struggle with depression is to spread awareness of mental health issues.
We all need to keep open minds and learn about depression. It’s time we eradicate all the stigmas.