Behind the Smile: #MomsMatter

This is my friend Sara. We’ve never met. She lives in Canada. However, she’s part of my tribe, the tribe of women I know who have experienced postpartum mood disorders. We all have been through something no one else can quite understand. Sara and I “met” online through The Longest Shortest Time‘s Facebook group, and she agreed to participate in my interview project. You can read that essay here. Sara and I have stayed in touch, and she sent me this photo as part of my #momsmatter project this May.

Sara H.

In the photo below, Sara had left the house alone with her seven-month-old baby girl. This was a feat for Sara. Normally, when she would even just plan to leave the house, her mind would be “bombarded” with all that could go wrong, and Sara would imagine scary scenario after scenario like a movie on repeat in her mind. Her thoughts were controlling her most of the time, so this is one of the first outings when she actually made it out. So the smile is genuine; she was proud, even if fear and anxiety were below the surface. She made it to a book fair and back with a baby and anxiety on board. That’s what I call bravery. Although I don’t know if anyone passing by on the street would have recognized they were witnessing such courage.

Send me your looks-can-be-decieving photos, so I can share them for Maternal Mental Health Month this May on Figuring Out Home. Or post them yourself with the hashtag #momsmatter.

Because they do.

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