I am a mom. I am mentally ill. When I was thinking up the title I wasn’t sure which one to put first. I’m still not sure. We want to believe that being mentally I’ll doesn’t define us. But sometimes it does.
It sucks but there are days when being a little crazy wins over being a mom. Those are the days when I come home and turn on the tv or I phone it in on dinner and get happy meals.
Other days I am supermom. Like this day! I work, I pick them up, go to activity #1, home for dinner, then activity #2. If only I could be supermom every day.
I am honest with my children. Two boys. One is six, the other is four. My six year old understand, sometimes he sees it before I do. He hugs me when I need it before I can say I need it. My four year old is largely oblivious. He has moments when he says the perfect thing. He had one tonight. He told me “You’re not a crappy mom. You’re a good mom.”
It is my belief that being honest with them is the best way to go. Then when mommy loses her cool they can know that it isn’t just them doing something wrong. So I tell them that “mommy suffers from mental illness. Sometimes it makes me really sad, sometimes I cry, things get overwhelming, I can’t always focus.” You know the list.
My mother never talked about her mental illness. She suffered for years never finding what she needed. She was so wrapped up in herself that she forgot my brother and I.
When I was 13, I planned my suicide. My parents went out for their anniversary dinner. I locked myself in the bathroom with what I needed and then my brother knocked. He asked what I was doing and I told him. He called our parents. When they got home they didn’t offer me the help I needed, there were no comforting words. They told me I ruined their night out.
I didn’t really want to die. I wanted someone to save me or hold me and tell me it would be better. My mother failed me. I didn’t get the help I needed till I was 20-21. I don’t want to do that to my children.
My littlest has ADHD. He is hyper active, has impulse control issues, and becomes physically agressive. Lately he has been heard saying things like he hates himself or he is no good. So even though I’m not a big believer in positive affirmations… Every night we repeat the same thing. “I am a good boy. Sometimes I make bad choices, but I can be better. I love myself and others(then he makes a list of who he loves.”
I am a mom with mental illness. Even though my mental illness has shaped me it does not define me completley. I am a mom, I will remember that, and I will make sure my children have me when they need me.