Mothering with Purpose in the Midst of Depression

I struggle with depression. I've actually got Bipolar Depression, which means I struggle regularly with times of depression.

I am coming out of one of those times right now.

Life just feels too hard when I'm hit with a downswing. I don't sleep well. I have very little energy. I lose my motivation to do things. Normal things like laundry, but also fun things like blogging (hello two-week blog break!) or staying engaged with friends.

I have to work hard to not get completely lost in the dark of depression.

And I don't also win. Some days I struggle more than others.

Mothering, however, is the task that usually feels the most difficult when I'm depressed.

Every argument and push back feels way worse than it actually is. Trying to be proactive and intentional with my kids feels nearly impossible. It just feels like too much.

So what's a purposeful mother to do when struggling with depression?

Although this blog post has been on my mind, I've been fighting to write it. Honestly, there's no cure-all here. There's no secret formula. Especially because depression can look different for each person.

If you struggle with depression regularly or intensely. First, I would recommend seeking medical help. There is no shame in needing to take medication for depression. Even as a Christian.

Here are a few other really hard but simple and effective tips.

You've got to fight. 

This is a big one. Believe me, this is next to impossible. But you've got to have a fighting spirit. You've got to fight to get out of bed. You've got to fight to be present with your kids.

Fighting is the last thing I want to do. But it's what keeps me out of bed all day.

Lean into routines.

We would not have been able to continue doing school had it not been for the fact that we are already falling into our new school routines. When the kids learn to expect something and it flows easily, it's not as hard for me to follow through and do it even when I'm down.

Don't do everything.

I don't push myself too hard. I only do what is necessary. I don't go above and beyond when I'm depressed. And that's okay.

Ask for help.

I'm not very good at this. But asking your support system for help can alleviate some of the hard. Also, although they probably see that you are struggling with depression, simply communicating with them can help grow awareness and increase the level of support they can offer you.

Recently my daughter and I talked about how I have Bipolar Depression and what that looks like. It was as if a lightbulb when off for her. She finally had some answers as to why life looks like it does sometimes. I also felt a great amount of love and compassion from her.

None of these are quick fixes. But they can help. 

Above all, I wanted to write this post to let you know that you aren't the only one struggling with depression but also wanting to be a purposeful mother. It is hard. It feels impossible. But don't lose heart.

God uses you even in your times of depression. You are not wasted space. You can still impact your family for good.

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