Explaining my Depression to my Toddler

Dear Baby Girl,

I need to talk to you about something important. You probably won’t understand right now, since you’re not even three yet, but hopefully you will pick up on my love for you.

Mommy is sick. I’m not coughing or blowing my nose like you did when you got sick. My illness is on the inside, in my head. It’s called Depression. My brain isn’t working the way it’s supposed to right now, and that’s why you see Mommy lie in bed or hide in the closet so much.

Sometimes, you see Mommy crying. Did you know crying is good for you? It’s like taking a bath, but instead of cleaning yourself on the outside, crying helps you clean yourself on the inside. When you see Mommy crying, I’m just trying to clean out all the sad, yucky feelings I have on the inside. I love when you bring me a tissue, wipe my tears and tell me everything will be “all better.” That makes mommy smile, and smiling through my tears is really nice.

Sometimes Mommy gets pretty grumpy. Okay, Mommy gets grumpy a lot, actually. I want you to know how sorry I am for taking that out on you. I don’t mean to yell or get mad. It’s not your fault, at all. You are growing and learning about the world around you. I should just be more patient and I promise, I’m working on that.

I’m sorry I don’t take you to the park more, or play with you all the time. Depression makes it hard for Mommy to enjoy the things I used to, or have the motivation and energy to run around with you. I won’t always feel this way, and I do still love playing with you, but Mommy’s illness is why I put on so many shows for you, instead of taking you to do fun things. We used to dance and be silly and I promise, when my brain is better, we will do that again.

Actually, I’m working on fixing my brain right now! This sickness takes a while to heal, but I bet you’ve already noticed Mommy getting better. You know those vitamins I take every morning? That is Mommy’s medicine and it is fixing the chemicals in my brain so I can laugh more and be happier. I don’t know how long I’ll need to take these pills but they are really special and Mommy is grateful for them.

So please, Baby Girl, be patient with me, as I battle my Depression. Keep giving me kisses and snuggles on the couch. Thank you for being such a great big sister and helping with your baby brother, especially when Mommy has a hard time getting out of bed. You are an amazing daughter and I love you very much.

Love, Mommy

me toddler depression explain

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Heather lives with her husband, daughter and son and has learned to accept that Utah is now her permanent home. Before becoming a stay at home mom, she taught elementary school and loves to use that background to create fun activities to entertain her children. Though staying home with the kids is great, Heather has always enjoyed finding more ways she can keep herself sane, including elaborate cross stitch designs and playing with any puppy she can find. She particularly loves to read and write and prides herself in always remaining honest in her posts about life as a wife and mother, even when the truth is sometimes embarrassing.

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