Updated: Mar 12
This post comes courtesy of Mom the Manager, Michelle McVittie, and it originally appeared here. Reprinted with permission
We will take medication for the flu or a headache. We will go to the doctor for our physical pain or unexplained symptoms. But when it comes to our mental health we are more hesitant. Having emotion is being weak. Having emotion is being vulnerable. This is what we grew up thinking. It’s time to change the norms.
You deserve better. We grow up hiding our emotions. Many people felt that their experience was what everyone fells. The overwhelm, the lack of motivation, the overthinking, the need to shut down or numb out. It’s so normalized for us in our social norms. Wine will help all mothers feel better, it’s the only solution to your pain. Being a mother is what you signed up for, so suck it up. NOT OK.
Understanding how to feel the emotion and tolerate it is a skill. It’s not something that comes easily to us. We want to escape the pain. We will push it away, avoid it, and we can’t anymore. Learning to tolerate your distress is harder for some than others. It depends on your personal circumstances, what you have been through and whether you felt supported. The best therapy we can receive is love. But did love come with conditions? You had to be good, happy, make other people happy, and if not what happened?
Chronic stress can lead to mental and physical illness. Learning to handle our stress and process our emotions will make us emotionally healthier. We have learned to keep it hidden, and that is where illness festers. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a brave and healthy move. You will have to learn how to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable.
As a parent, your mental health affects the family. Your children need your support, they learn through you how to handle their own emotions. When your mental health is struggling you can’t give your child the attention they need. Do it for you, do it for them.
Who are your supports? Start with your family doctor. Look into your benefits and see you can connect with a therapist. There are free resources you can use click the links to learn more.
You may find these workbooks helpful.
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