As the weather gets warmer I begin to think not only of my garden, but also of fundraising. June 18th will mark my third Climb Out of the Darkness walk for Postpartum Progress. The organization’s mission is to help women who are struggling with perinatal and postpartum depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. You can learn more read their mission statement here.
I am asking everyone who reads this to please consider donating to this wonderful cause and/or joining me for on Team South Sound. You can do either at the link below.
I believe that we, as women, have an obligation to help other women. I also agree with Glennon Melton when she writes, “there is no such thing as other people’s children.” For these reasons and more I will raise funds, walk, and help spread the word about Climb out of the Darkness.
I will also walk because I remember what it was like to be a new mom. Below is a transcript of the testimony I wrote for this year’s walk:
It has been 6 years since I have had an infant, 9 since holding my first. Much of those early months are a blur, with blank spaces caused by severe sleep deprivation. I was in survival mode. There are, however, moments that stand out, some good and some not so good. I remember 2am feedings, and the feeling that my child and I were the only ones awake in the world. I loved those moments when it was just the two of us snuggling in a rocking chair.
I also remember laying my crying baby boy in his crib and walking away. That day, I sat on the floor in the hallway and cried myself. My husband found me there an hour later. The baby had fallen asleep, but I was still crying. They were the tears of the tired and the guilt-ridden. In those moments before I laid my precious baby down I thought, this is how shaken baby syndrome happens. I understand now. What horrible thoughts to think about a helpless infant.
I have since learned that these thoughts are not uncommon, nor are the feelings of guilt, anger and isolation. Parenting is hard! It is not meant to be done alone, yet many of us feel that we have to do so. We feel that we have to be perfect, to have joy in every moment of parenting. This isn’t realistic. Of course, it is hard to be realistic without sleep, with hormones bouncing all over the place, with a helpless child needing you for everything.
I still have plenty of moments of guilt as a mom; sometimes I lose my temper and yell, at times I still struggle with anxiety, I am still a mess when I don’t get enough sleep. But now I know I am not alone. I know who to call when I need a friend to lean on. I know the value of my Bible and my gratitude journal. I know that my children don’t expect perfection, and that it is ok to tell them I need a time-out too sometimes.
Two years ago I joined a Climb Out of the Darkness team for the first time. On that walk we threw away that which was weighing us down and we carried hope (symbolically and literally) up our individual mountains. This year I will do so again with as many others as we can find. No mother should ever feel without love and hope, for she will pass them to her children.
Please join us. Together we will change lives. We will shout to the city and the world that no mother is alone.