When a special needs mom struggles with depression it takes its toll on the entire family.
As I woke, I felt a familiar dread spread throughout my body. I had barely opened my eyes, but already felt anxious and sad about what the day would bring. I wanted to turn over, pull the covers over my head, and just go back to sleep.
After way too long, I finally got up, already behind for the day.
By 11 AM, I could feel the tears.
By 2 PM, I was napping on the couch, not caring how much screen time my kids had for the day.
By 6 PM, I was beating myself for not getting up and planning dinner sooner.
By 9 PM, I was dreading having to get up and do it all over again the next day.
I wish I could say that my boys don’t have a mom that sometimes struggles just to get out of bed, and face the day.
I wish I could say that our homeschooling hasn’t suffered on days like this.
I wish I could say that once I get up and have a cup of coffee, it all seems better.
But I can’t.
What I can say is that I am a mom of two boys. Both have care requirements that can take their toll on me, both physically and mentally.
I have struggled with depression.
When A Special Needs Mom Struggles With Depression
I realize the season has everything to do with this, both for me and for my family.
The days are darker, faster.
My children have a seasonality to their chronic illnesses and mental health. They also struggle with their moods and their overall ability to cope. This increases my struggle with my mood and my overall ability to cope.
I have come to realize this is just simply part of our lives.
Not in a depressed, I need to just give up kind of way. No, in a we need to have grace for ourselves kind of way.
I need to allow myself to sleep a bit more, to get rid of some of the expectations and realize that we will feel better soon. We always do.
If you are a mom, clawing your way through the muck and the mire of depression, please know you are not alone. I have talked to several women, in the past few weeks who all the say the same thing – this time of year is hard.
But when a special needs mom struggles with depression, it can feel like the entire family is failing.
If you are a special needs mom, struggling to maintain the level of care of attention for your child, please know it is OK to relax the expectations a bit, for a while.
And, as always, if you need help, get it. Please.
You would do it for your child. You need to do it for their caregiver too.
For More Of My Story With Depression
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.