I thought becoming a mom would be the happiest day of my life, but that was far from the truth. I struggled with all that came with being a new mom and felt nothing but sadness. Writing became a way to express my thoughts, connect with other parents, and feel better.

By Ciara Smith
July 22, 2021
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An illustration of a woman on her computer.
Credit: Illustration: Caitlin-Marie Miner Ong.

Learning I was going to become a mom was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life and I'm not afraid to admit that. Getting pregnant at 21 was never the plan and it really threw me off the path I envisioned for myself.

Mentally, I struggled my entire pregnancy. But I thought that when my daughter arrived, I would just magically feel better. I thought it would be the happiest time of my life.

I was completely wrong.

When my daughter was born, I felt more sadness than anything else. She would cry then I would cry, and the cycle was never-ending. People like to speak about all the wonders of motherhood, but they rarely talk about the isolation that comes along with it, or how hard it is when you're not producing enough milk when breastfeeding, or how much your body truly changes after childbirth.

I acknowledged how much I was struggling when my daughter was 4 months old, but it wasn't until my daughter was about 18 months old that I created Mom 2 Mom Lifestyle to document what I was going through. I should have probably sought therapy, but at the time I didn't want to. Now that my daughter is almost 3, I'm finally seeking therapy and I'm glad that I am. But writing was the start of me expressing my thoughts and feelings so that I would stop suffering in silence. Sharing what I was going through made all the difference in my parenting journey.

How My Online Community is Helping Me Through Parenthood

I began privately journaling my thoughts and emotions when I was about five months pregnant. I started to write more and more as time went on because that was the only thing that made me feel a little better. Research does show that journaling helps reduce stress, manage anxiety, and cope with depression.

I knew that I couldn't be the only young first-time parent experiencing these feelings and I didn't want another person to feel like they were alone. It's not always easy to express your feelings because often people will make you feel like they aren't valid, especially when you become a mom. Society also sends the message that you should just love being a mom, which isn't always the case. I wanted others to know that it's OK to feel whatever you are feeling.

My blog became a place where I wrote about postpartum depression, body changes, breastfeeding, vaccines, and any other thing you worry about or have questions about as a new parent. As I began to write more and more, I also began to focus on the need for self-care. I realized that I am my best self when I am taking care of myself and catering to the things that make me happy. As moms, we often feel guilty for taking time for ourselves. Now, I'm all about letting moms know that they are "more than just a mom."

One year later, I've been able to reach so many parents through my online community. It also continues to be therapeutic for me. While I'm sharing my story to inspire young and first-time parents, it has been healing for me to express how I've felt throughout my motherhood journey. Writing has allowed me to release my sadness and embrace this wonderful rollercoaster journey that is parenthood. Anytime I write and another parent messages me, it brings me joy and helps make my "hard" days a little easier to handle—especially because I know I am not alone.

If you're ever having a rough parenting day, I encourage you to take a second away from your kid(s) and just take a deep breath. Write down your thoughts so you can get them out of your system. It may not cure all your emotions, but it may just help a little. Of course, if you are really struggling, don't hesitate to also reach out for professional help.

Although I am still not completely healed from what I learned was postpartum depression, and some days are harder than others, I continue to heal every day, one word at a time.

To follow along with Ciara Smith's motherhood journey and experiences be sure to check out her Instagram and blog.