Mommy Monsters and Depression

Mommy Monsters, Depression and Special Needs Children

My husband has a favorite comic called “Rose is Rose”. One of our favorite strips is where she can’t sleep because the “mommy monsters” are plaguing her and making her feel like a bad mother, even though, like all fictitious characters, she is a great, almost perfect mother. I am dealing with Mommy Monsters. With school around the corner, and our typical stressed out preparations, my son has become a raging bundle of anxious nerves. He is not ready, but I am ready to lock him in his room.

Add to that a heavy dose of personal depression, and an illness or two and you have a combination for disaster. I don’t yell, but this week and month I have yelled. His talking and other behaviors don’t typically annoy me, but this month they are driving me nuts. All I want to do is sleep. I can barely get out of bed to feed us and make sure everyone has clean clothes. The depression is part of my disease process, but it certainly makes parenting a special needs child difficult.

I find myself craving and outlet, somewhere else that I am desperately needed, a reason to get out of bed that doesn’t whine at me, or say un-thoughtful and hurtful things. My son has empathy, but no tact. I need a friend, a mentor, or just a good vacation. My husband is stressed because it is the crazy start of the school year, he’ll be teaching at three schools this year, and he just finished a really stressful long-hours summer camp. I am bored, sick and cannot find a reason to leave my bed.

So here’s my plea to the universe. Send me something that gives my life meaning and doesn’t just make me frustrated and guilty feeling. Send me a friend, send my son and I mentors who can take both of us under their wings and guide us through this difficult time, and please don’t give up on me when I get like this, because it will pass, and I can’t control it, and I need you.

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Photo: clala1220/Flickr


  1. Natalie – Thank you for sharing what you’re going through right now. I think that being able to share your experiences is a good first step in getting out from under the shadow of stress and depression. Try to get out of the house every day, even if it is just to sit on the patio to watch a sunrise or a sunset.

  2. Rowena Beatty says:

    I get what you are talking about. I have felt some of the same feelings you are feeling. At times, I underestimate the power of my love, support and advocacy for my daughter with a disability of Autism/ID and health issues. I lose track of the fact that it takes a strong mom to do this every day with a smile on your face.

    This summer I experienced a period of total burn out for a brief amount of time. I realize for me, a healthy denial of how challenging things are for me and my daughter, allows me to wake up in the morning and feel like I will handle anything that comes our way, no mater what it is. I laughingly call my burn out period, my time of really being in touch with the reality of my life.

    My saving grace has been a couple of mom’s support group for parent’s of person’s with a disability. Everyone of those mom’s goes through a version of my life. The group moms understand my stress. I can tell them of my worries and they don’t feel sorry for me, they respect me for the effort I make every day.

    This past year I started working on a bucket list of large and small things I wanted to do as a stress relief mechanism. Every time I thought, I always wanted to do that, if the item was realistic, I added it to my bucket list. As I checked off things on my bucket list, it made me feel more of a sense of control of my life and that my needs and desires were being meet by me a portion of the time. I have also found that relaxing by a local lake can be a cheap, mini getaway that refreshes me.

    I appreciate what you shared and that it takes a strong person to blog about the intimate details of your life. I will think of you in the coming months.