What's Weighing On The Mind Of A Mom With Depression

by Sara Green for The Mighty
Originally Published: 
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Is it morning already?

I barely slept last night, and my body aches. The alarm clock is about to beep, just a reminder of what awaits. My bed is warm; it’s comforting here. No one is needing me yet. Maybe I could turn off the alarm clock and oversleep? No. My husband has to work and can’t take the oldest to school.

There’s no need to shower; there’s nowhere to go but school drop-off. It’s wasted energy.

Mornings are the hardest. They’re supposed to represent new beginnings—a do-over. But this day will be the same as any other day, because mornings require too many decisions and doubts.

Will it be OK if my son buys lunch at school? There’s no bread, and his yogurt is expired. I need to go to the grocery store.

I haven’t done laundry, and he only has a pair of ripped jeans and a shirt that is too small. Why haven’t I bought him any new clothes?

I should probably make him a hot breakfast. Oatmeal from the microwave is good enough, right?

I hate carpool. My car is the dirtiest. Can they tell I haven’t brushed my teeth or hair for days? Do they know I’m depressed? I haven’t signed up for PTA or volunteered at this school.

I wonder if my youngest will let me lie on the couch as he plays. Thank God he’s potty trained so I don’t have to get up and change diapers.

Shit. I haven’t taken him to the park in weeks. He needs to play with others. But what if someone talks to me? No one talks at the library. I don’t think I have any overdue book fees. Undoubtedly, I’ll end up putting away the books that he dumps out. He won’t stay quiet. How come I’ve never taught him library etiquette? He’s the only toddler who runs around. No, we’ll stay home today.

Maybe I’ll put some paper and washable paint on the table. That should distract him for a little while. When is nap time? I really hope he naps. I’m so tired. Perhaps he’ll lie down in bed with me while I sleep and watch a movie. He wouldn’t get out of bed if I’m asleep, but if he does, I’ll hear him.

I should unload the dishwasher; the sink is full. I haven’t swept in days. Is my house starting to smell?

Oh! My friend Instagrammed a picture of a Mommy and Me cooking class. I should sign up for that. No. I did that once. It cost $200 for several classes, but we never went. The car drive was too long. We’ll bake cookies tonight. Do I have all the ingredients? Do I even have a clean cookie sheet? Am I going to have to clean the kitchen first? Shit. I need to go to the grocery store.

Did I return my oldest’s field trip form? They know I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I didn’t sign up to chaperone. I shouldn’t have mentioned wanting to volunteer at his parent-teacher conference. She knows I don’t keep my word. This will hurt is feelings. I’ll have to give him an excuse for not going.

He should start riding the bus home. Carpool will see that I’m still in my pajamas. Maybe he can stay home with me tomorrow. He’ll help watch his brother, and then I can sleep some more. Why would I do that to my oldest? He has to go to school although it’s much easier for him to stay home. No way. He’ll just tell his dad, and I don’t want to deal with that fight.

I’m so tired of helping my son with homework. Why does he need me to sit with him and watch him write out his spelling words? I want to lie on the couch and finish watching my show.

Damn it. I didn’t pick up cookie dough for tonight. I’ll let them pop some popcorn. Ah! Popcorn and a movie. I can lie down, and they’ll be entertained.

I need to make dinner. We’re having popcorn later, so we can’t have a lot of starchy food. Crap. I didn’t unload the dishwasher. Scrambled eggs would be fun, right? That’s healthy—and requires only one pan. I’ll unload the dishwasher tomorrow. We’ll use coffee cups as bowls. They’ll get a kick out of that. I’ll just tell my husband it’s breakfast night! I haven’t cooked a good meal in days. Maybe he’ll decide to cook. No. He worked hard today. I’ll call him and ask him to pick up some food on the way home. I hope he doesn’t notice the laundry pile. The boys’ toys are all over the house. I forgot to wipe up my toddler’s juice that leaked on the floor. I’ll just tell him I had a really bad headache. He’ll understand.

It’s bath time. How can I bathe my child when I can’t bathe myself? It requires focus. My arms ache with every stroke. Of course my kids don’t like taking showers. If only, I wouldn’t have to sit in there and pretend to watch them play. Showers are fast. Why are my children so difficult and needy? I would like to sit in the bathtub for 30 minutes. It would be nice if they could manage to do something, anything, without my help.

I can’t breathe.


Please go to bed on time. I’m exhausted. I would like to watch a movie with your dad. And for the love of God, try to sleep in your bed all night.

I’m tired of being touched. We haven’t had sex in weeks. He’ll want to. Why doesn’t he care if I haven’t showered in days? I hope he falls asleep while watching the movie; then I won’t have to turn him down again. Maybe I can remind him I had a headache today.

Someone needs to read the boys a bedtime story and start the laundry. No one has clean clothes. I wonder if I can get him to do both. No. That isn’t fair. I should have done the laundry. I’ll just wash what we need for tomorrow.

The youngest is up again. He won’t go back to bed without me. It’s always me they want. I’m never alone. Why are they so selfish? I can’t do everything. I wasn’t ready for bed. He won’t stop crying, and he’s going to wake up his older brother. Netflix. I’ll put Netflix on, and he’ll go to sleep. Of course he wants to watch that show again. I can never watch anything. It doesn’t matter. I’ll just go to sleep.

Sleep takes its time. There are more failures to overthink and worries to pick apart. The struggles of the day are on repeat. The same and new will play out again tomorrow. Tomorrow is already cursed. The burden becomes heavier. The fight becomes harder.

It’s an unachievable goal to be a passable parent while I fight this feeling. It spotlights the failures. The harsh light becomes so glaringly bright that it’s nearly intolerable to look beyond and into reality. It takes away my ability to thrive.

I can’t do this on my own anymore. I hope my husband won’t be ashamed. Will he make sure I call someone? I need help. Maybe my mom will take me if he’s working.

I know I won’t go. But I need to go. I need help. I need help. Listen, I need help. Don’t make me do this anymore.

I finally fall asleep knowing my depression will still be there in the morning.

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