Having children brought out the worst in me (at first). I expected parenting to be more joyful than it actually was. My reality, however, was that I spent a lot of time crying when my children were born.

I don’t think we do a good enough job of admitting how hard parenting can be sometimes. There are moments, which are mind numbing, exhausting, and frustrating—we need to talk more about this and what we can do to get the help we need. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men in Canada experience a Postpartum Mood Disorder (depression, anxiety, blues, or psychosis).

I turned to local groups to better support parents and found one called Life With A Baby, located in Ontario. I was chatting with Claire Kerr-Zlobin, the founder of that organization and a mother who experienced PPD, who shared these two misconceptions about Postpartum Depression:

You can experience Postpartum Mood Disorder and still be in love with your baby.

Many think this isn’t the case. I mention this because I want parents and their partners to reach out for help before talking themselves out of it by saying, “I still love my baby, so I guess I don’t have PPD.”

It’s okay to still reach out for help, even if you’re just “feeling a little blue.”

The media mostly reports cases of Postpartum Psychosis (PPP), not PPD.

Extreme cases of PPP are usually what we see in the news, which can sometimes confuse parents who might think their own thoughts aren’t serious enough to warrant seeking help. PPD has a wide range of feelings, thoughts, and associated behaviours—some can be as mild such as crying often, some have a strong urge to walk out the door (I had both), and some may feel a desire to hurt their children.

Dr. Cindy-Less Dennis presented at a recent Life With A Baby conference, and there she shared that social supports prevent depression up to fifty percent of the time.

Many moms become isolated and experience a private hell. Knowing this can be avoided has become Kerr-Zlobin’s personal mission—prevention is the key. Her belief is that: “all new parents deserve a healthy start for their families.”

If you are struggling in any way, please reach out. Here are links to two excellent groups with PPD and PPP support information:

Life With A Baby

Postpartum Progress

To all those parents who stare out the window with tears in your eyes, wondering how you’ll make it to the end of the day: please know how brave and strong you are. You will make it to bedtime intact, and I bet that in the process of making it there, your child will still think “My mom (or dad) is the best.”

Tomorrow is a new day.

I continually post free parenting support on my Facebook page—please feel free to learn and ask your questions there.