When Mama is the One Crying

Sweet Baby

I was sailing through this motherhood thing. I had a boy and then a girl 15 months later. I loved staying at home with them. Sure, there were bad days, but I really loved being a mom.

I have always enjoyed babies and children and felt that I was made for this. So when I brought home my beautiful baby number three, I couldn’t figure out why I could not stop crying.

I felt heavy. I could not breathe. I felt inadequate. I was tired. I could not make everyone happy. Everything seemed hard and overwhelming. I was not happy, and I felt very sad…I had difficulty even describing it.

Mostly I was ashamed and disappointed in myself because I was sad and yet confused about why I was sad. I had a healthy baby girl who completed our family and that I loved! I was blessed, and I knew it. SO WHY? WHY could I not pull it together? WHY was this so different from my first two? What was WRONG with me?

Hormones are a crazy thing, and they can control our mind! I respect mental illness and depression. I understand feeling helpless and hopeless. My best friend would just cry with me. She was worried and honestly it felt good because I was worried too. It was comforting to know she loved me for the mess that I was, and I believed her when she said I would be okay. She was the only person that I felt I could really share my emotions with. I did not want anyone to know. Why was I so ashamed?

I would have really good days and really bad days. It was a roller coaster, and the smallest thing could send me sailing down the big hill. I remember feeling like I was watching one of those buckets at a splash park filling up with water, and then that one drop would spill the bucket. When my bucket would spill over, I would cry and cry and cry. It was such an unstable, vulnerable and difficult time. Looking back on it, I wish I had done some things differently.

A Few Things to Think About….

  1. Get help! Help with anything to lighten the load. I should have carpooled. I should have had a maid. I should have had more babysitters. I was drowning and needed to ask for help! I am not sure if it was pride or that I did not have the resources or that I did not want to be around anyone. People offered and I would say no, BIG MISTAKE. I should have said yes!
  2. Have a check in person. My best friend and I talk every morning. This is good because she knew I was not well. There were days that I would not answer the phone, and she would not give up calling and just show up at my door. That was a good thing. Even though I thought I wanted to be alone, I needed to be with people who loved me. I am so happy that I was open with her. I should have been open and honest with more people close to me.
  3. Be surrounded with positive people. Focus on top priorities and top people without feeling bad. Don’t work on anything or anyone else. I volunteer at my kid’s school and had to start saying no, and that felt good. I could not solve anyone else’s problems or be around much drama. I needed to be selfish and be okay with it. This was hard for me but a great lesson in the end!
  4. Don’t overanalyze! I was stressing out about everyone in my family not getting enough of me or my husband or fun or outings….STOP the craziness! Know that this is a transition time, and everyone will adjust and be fine.
  5. LISTEN TO THE BODY! Sleep deprivation does some crazy things. Add to that a baby that cries a lot, being in the car a ton picking up the other kids, and a packed schedule. My nerves were frayed. SLEEP whenever and SAY NO more often.
  6. Take time to exercise! Getting back into some sort of cardio clears the head. Even a walk around the block can make a huge difference. This is something I missed and yet did not make time to do, and I should have. The fresh air and time alone is so therapeutic. When I finally started running again was when things started getting better for me.
  7. Talk to the Doc. Be honest and not ashamed. It is very real and very okay. Every morning I would wake up and think, this is it, I am going to stop feeling like this today. Unfortunately, it was not that easy. I was so embarrassed to admit how I was feeling and felt so weak. Doctors have many options and can help figure out what is right for you. I waited way too long to do this!
  8. Love yourself. I was so hard on myself. Loving yourself is easier said than done because it is hard to control thoughts. I am normally a very positive person but would find myself thinking that everything bad was happening to me. I could not see the half full in anything. I would become more disappointed in myself because of how I was thinking. A vicious cycle.
  9. Just know it will be okay. I wish I could have reassured myself that this was nothing I chose or could control. That it had nothing to do with how weak or strong I was. That it was not about how much I loved my baby. And that I would feel this way for about six months, not forever!

Sweet Baby

My sweet baby is now almost three-years-old. She completes our wonderful family and brings me such joy and happiness! This was a short time in my life of 40 years, but one I will not ever forget. I learned so much about myself and believe that everything happens for a reason. I thought I had it all figured out and I now I know… I don’t have it figured out at all and that is refreshing.

Who wants to have it all figured out anyway?

Kristen grew up in the Midwest and loves that she can now wear flip-flops all year long! She is the mom of nine-year-old football fanatic Zach, clever and crafty seven-year-old Kayte, and the wild and crazy three-year-old Quinn. Kristen loves being a SAHM, as long as that does not involve staying at home much- she is always on the move and a big kid herself! She stays busy volunteering with her kids school, being involved in the MOM’s Club, and staying active with her neighborhood. Working in human resources as a recruiter for 10 years developed her love for being involved and meeting new people. During down time she enjoys DIY projects, perusing Pinterest, live music, date nights, dancing, hanging out with girlfriends, running on the beach and laying in her hammock.


  1. I’m about to move to Jax and am very happy I found this blog! This is a great post, I think the point about not being ashamed to speak to your doctor is soooo key. I had PP Anxiety and my doctor helped me so much (but not until I was really honest about what was going on). Cheers!

  2. I can totally relate, Kristen. Thanks for sharing. One additional thing I experienced with PPD was paranoia. I felt that I couldn’t take my eyes off my child and that no one else could possibly care for her properly. I love all of your suggestions. My doctor was amazing in helping me with this. She let me come in to her office as often as I wanted, if only just to get a break. It felt weird because of the fear in leaving my child, but I also felt a sense of relief. All is well, now, of course. Thanks again for sharing.

  3. Kristen, thank you so much for sharing! I write for the New Orleans Moms Blog and shared my PPD story back in November of 2012. It was scary and freeing all at once. I am twelve weeks into my first pregnancy and often feel anxious as to whether I will experience the darkness of depression after the new baby arrives. These tips are so helpful as are your words of encouragement.

  4. This is such an important subject to be open about! I had postpartum anxiety disorder and finally was open about after baby number #3 and finally was able to get help. Now I try to talk to all my pregnant girls and offer to be someone they can call for support anytime and talk. Thanks for sharing your story, it happens all the time and we need to love ourselves and each other enough to speak about it!


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