Some of them are pretty innocent – like how we hide from our kids in the bathroom to get 10 minutes of alone time, or cheat at kiddie board games to make them end faster.
Other secrets we keep quiet because we are worried about being judged for our parenting choices. Choosing not to breastfeed, how much TV we let our kids watch – even that we stay with our kid until she falls asleep at night – all these topics can cause people to pass judgement.
And sometimes … sometimes we keep bigger secrets. Personal ones that we are actually dying to talk about but are afraid to, for fear of what others may think.
Two years ago, that was me. I was aching to talk about my struggles with depression, but at the same time, scared to admit it.
I felt ashamed that I was taking antidepressants, embarrassed that I was seeing a therapist, and like a bad mom for not enjoying every minute of parenthood. And it was tearing me up to be holding it all in.
After I spilled the beans to some friends, a few confided in me that they too, dealt with depression – but not many.
I knew I couldn’t be the only one dealing with it. And that’s why I started talking about it here on Honest Mom.
Every post I write about depression or the difficulties of being a mom gets a strong reaction from moms in the same boat. People thank me for speaking out and helping them to not feel alone. Some even are moved to get help. So I keep writing and keep talking about it.
But honestly, sometimes it’s scary for me, too. I still worry sometimes about what people think – I’m not immune to that feeling.
For me, though, the benefits of drawing awareness to depression in moms is worth the risk of what other people think of me. I keep going back to what my mom always said when I was a kid: “If someone doesn’t like you for you, then you don’t want to be friends with them anyway.”
Such a simple notion, but a great one to live by, right?
Like you, I have secrets that will stay quiet. Some just aren’t meant for public consumption.
But some secrets aren’t meant to be kept, because keeping them inside will do more harm than good.
Are you keeping secrets that are holding you back from enjoying your life?
If so, I urge you to take baby steps and think about how you can unburden yourself.
It will be a little scary, yes. But trust me – lots of moms feel just like you do. And the sooner you let go of a secret that shouldn’t be quiet, the happier you will eventually be.