When A Special Needs Mom Struggles With Depression

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.

When A Special Needs Mom Struggles With Depression

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

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.

When A Special Needs Mom Struggles With Depression

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

I Am Depressed and Trying To Keep It All Together

When A Homeschool Mom Is Depressed

For The Special Needs Mom When You Want To Quit


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  1. Jen in Oz says:

    I don’t think I have special needs kids. I have two who are demanding as in it takes a lot of mental energy to stay steady so I don’t set them off or let their moods rule the day. It is draining and I have been hard on myself. This year the two youngest of my four start public school in year seven and year ten. It is stressful and I worry about how well school really happened at home when I worked three and four nights a week but I am trying to give myself grace too. It isn’t easy. But it really does help to be kind to ourselves. One of those starting school is one of my temperamental ones. I hope and pray we can negotiate teen changes plus school changes with no long lasting repercussions. Still praying for all mums out there with kids who challenge us and sometimes cause us heartache.

    Best wishes
    Jen in Oz

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I have struggled with depression on and off my whole life. As a kid I’d play house and would imagine I was a widow whose husband was killed in the Vietnam War. Really wacky stuff for a 9 year old!

    I have three adopted kids, one with attachment issues, two with learning disabilities and one with a brain tumor.

    Being kind to myself, modeling self care and lowering the bar are all “newer” to me and necessary.

    I got a cpap machine last week, and I am hopeful that addressing my need for quality sleep will improve my mood and lessen my irritability…we’ll see….

    big hugs to the struggling moms…we will not spend eternity feeling this way…❤️

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