It’s OK not to be OK

Marisca explores the idea that mothers don’t have to have it all together all the time.

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex recently revealed she is having a hard time since becoming a mom. She said in an interview it has been a struggle becoming a new mother in the spotlight.

“Not many people have asked if I’m OK,” she said.

Motherhood in or out of the spotlight is not easy. Bringing a baby into this world is a huge adjustment. If the Duchess of Sussex, who has access to the best nannies, probably doesn’t have to cook or clean or do laundry, is allowed to say motherhood is hard, so can we. I’ve read a lot of comments online about people saying she knew what she was signing up for when she married into the royal family but no one knows what they are signing up for when becoming a mom.

Why do moms feel like they have to have it together all the time?

And why aren’t we checking up on each other? When you bring home a new baby, everyone asks how the baby is. I had a c-section with my first baby and I don’t remember people asking me if I was okay. I was a first-time mom, disappointed in not having a natural birth, my hormones were all over the place, I was anxious about what to do with a newborn, trying to figure out how to breastfeed.

I was recovering from surgery. I had literally just had a baby pulled out of me and no one asked me if I was OK. And now, even though I know how it feels, I forget to ask a new mother how she is doing. It is all about the baby.

Read last week’s The Sticky Files: Is volunteerism waning in rural B.C.?

My sister recently had a baby and a couple of weeks after delivery started feeling anxious. She let some people in her inner circle know how she was feeling and my mom took her other child for a weekend. My sister-in-law cooked her some meals and I tried my best to give her advice.

She is feeling more like herself, although still a bit sleep deprived. While as her big sister, it breaks my heart that she had to ask for help, I’m glad she did and I think she is too.

Postpartum depression (PPD) is more common than I thought before having babies.

Up to 75 per cent of new moms can get the baby blues which is a mild depression and mood swings, but about 15 per cent of these new moms can develop PPD.

According to BC Mental Health and Addictions Services, PPD can also affect a baby.

On their website it states: “When a mom is depressed, she can have a hard time interacting and bonding with her baby. This can affect the baby’s development. The best way to make sure your baby has a healthy start is to get help for yourself.”

Their website also said partner and family support, along with self care are ways to lessen depression. Support is so important and it is OK to ask for help. In fact, it is good to ask for help. I truly believe it takes a village to raise a child.

Read more from The Sticky Files:

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Self care is also so important. Even just having a healthy meal, getting some fresh air or taking a bubble bath can make me feel better after a hard day.

You can’t pour from an empty cup. I think it is also important for my children to see me taking care of myself. It sets a good example for them because I want them to always be healthy and happy.

Simply put, being a mom is hard and it is OK to not be OK.

However, if you are feeling depressed or extremely sad most of the day, guilty or hopeless, please call your health care provider.

Again, there is no shame in getting help.


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