How a Mental Health Retreat Can Help You Be a Better Mom

January 18, 2017 - - 0 Comments How a Mental Health Retreat Can Help You Be a Better Mom

Being a mother isn’t easy. There are the everyday tasks of taking care of the home and the children, which can be overwhelming at times, even if you have a spouse who is helpful. Chances are you also have to worry about your career, as most moms also work outside of the home. That can equate to having two full-time jobs, and that can feel impossible. It’s even worse, though, if you have a mental health issue on top of that.

There seems to be a lot of pressure on moms to feel happy and joyful just because they have children. But the fact is, many women suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders, regardless of whether they have children or not. And the pressure that is placed on women, especially moms, to be happy created some unrealistic expectations, which in turn creates more unhappiness. So when a mother is depressed, the guilt and pain can be doubled – because of the depression and because she is not living up to expectations.

How Do You Know If You Have Depression?

Some of the signs of depression are:

  • Insomnia
  • Feeling excessively tired all the time, not related to daily activities
  • Lack of interest in things you used to find pleasurable
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Changes in your weight or appetite – either increased or decreased
  • Reduced interest in sex
  • Decreased ability to focus
  • Forgetfulness
  • Anger
  • Mood swings

If you have some of these signs of depression, you likely have some added guilt about the fact that you may be depressed because it doesn’t fit the picture in your mind of what a mother is supposed to be.

Mothers are “supposed to be”:

  • Calm, positive, and reassuring
  • The cornerstone of the family
  • Able to do everything
  • Someone who has it all together
  • Wise and strong

Moms can get so set on those beliefs that to accept that they may be unhappy, depressed, angry, or falling apart challenges the very core of what they think motherhood is supposed to be. And that to reach out for help is a sign of weakness and failure.

That couldn’t be further from the truth! Motherhood isn’t always a bowl of cherries. One of the best things that a mom who is depressed, anxious, angry, or who has another mental health issue, is to get help.

Breaking Through the “Supposed to Be” and Getting Help

Seeking help for mental health is not a sign of weakness, and it may be the best thing that you can do for your children. Whether you attend a short-term mental health retreat, or you spend time inpatient in a mental health facility, you will begin to see the benefits of doing so – in yourself, in your spouse, and in your children. It takes strength and courage to ask for help when you need it.

Getting the help you need means that:

  • You recognize that there is an issue and you want to change it. That’s the first step to recovery.
  • You will find more happiness and so will your children.
  • You have taught your children that it is okay to not be perfect and to ask for help.
  • You have demonstrated to your children that mental health is important.
  • You have shown your children that you value their mother.

The bottom line is that you have to practice self-care before you can take care of others. Getting away for a short time to work on yourself will make a world of difference in how you care for and interact with your children. And you should be proud for taking care of you.  

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