Motherhood ignites a woman’s soul and fuels her every breath as she nurtures life that is not her own with a depth of sacrifice and devotion that knows no bounds. It is unrelenting, fiery, tender, beautiful, and challenging all at once.
“Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow too. Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality, especially while you struggle to keep your own.” – Marguerite Kelly.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, which coincidentally is observed during Mental Health Awareness Month, Marguerite Kelly’s words ring especially true. National Retail’s Federation’s Mother’s Day spending numbers show record-high numbers year after year. But in a rush to fill out greeting cards, buy flowers, or make dinner reservations, we can’t ignore the mental health challenges that mothers often face.
Parenthood involves constantly juggling multiple responsibilities while trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Parents wear many hats: take care of the household, prepare meals, help with homework, manage schedules and activities, provide safety, comfort, and emotional support. The bulk of the household and caregiving responsibilities often fall on moms, who worry about their children getting in trouble at school, having problems with drugs or alcohol, or being bullied. According to the latest study by The Pew Research Center, four-in-ten parents with children younger than 18 are extremely worried about their children’s anxiety or depression as the post-pandemic youth mental health crisis grows. At the same time, many mothers feel judged by people close to them, parents in their community, or even strangers on the internet.
With long to-do lists, huge responsibilities, and many worries, mothers tend to put their needs on the back burner. While mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background, mothers are particularly vulnerable due to the unique stresses that come with motherhood.
Postpartum depression, one of the most common mental health issues, is a specific example. The condition, manifesting as sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion, can persist for weeks or even months after giving birth. Many are hesitant to seek help because they feel guilty or ashamed about their symptoms. However, it’s important for mothers to know that it is a treatable condition.
Moms worry about their safety and well-being – all the time. However, excessive worrying and anxiety can be detrimental to your mental health, leading to symptoms like restlessness, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. Learning how to manage stress through techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and therapy can help mothers find relief from and improve their overall quality of life.
Mothers also face unique challenges in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Many working mothers struggle with feelings of guilt and anxiety about being away from their children. This can lead to burnout, making it even more important for mothers to prioritize self-care and set boundaries in their personal and professional lives.
We should encourage moms to prioritize their mental health and seek support when they need it, not only this Mother’s Day but every day of the year. Whether you’re a mother yourself or simply want to show appreciation for the mothers in your life, remember that seeking support can make a significant difference.
This Mother’s Day, please consider making a donation to The Women’s Center In honor or in memory of your special person HERE.