We each, as a parent, have a story...
What led us to parenthood. What surprised us. How it felt becoming a parent.
We asked some of the parents who currently provide peer support in Whatcom County to share about their own journey into parenthood.
We hope they help you feel not quite so alone.
Video Stories & Historias en Video
These stories are part of a collection of videos that advocate for building support for Whatcom County families from pregnancy through parenthood. In collaboration with Connecting Community, StoryCenter and our sponsor, the Mount Baker Foundation.
Estas historias son parte de una colección de videos que abogan por generar apoyo para las familias del condado de Whatcom desde el embarazos hasta la paternidad. En colaboración con Connecting Community, StoryCenter y nuestra patricinador, la Fundación Mount Baker.
"Describing the feelings of becoming a parent is hard. If I am being truthful and not saying what I think everyone wants to hear, I would say I was overwhelmed and scared and excited and nervous.
This journey was one I had never been on and had no clue how it would turn out. Once my son was born my feelings of parenthood were feelings of failure and also immense love. These feelings were so opposite, but I felt them at the same time.
Without much support from my doctors, I worked on trying to figure out these feelings of sadness and loneliness on my own until I found the right help. Becoming a mother has been the best, hardest, most joyful and challenging times of my life."
"It felt inauthentic to share the good things about my motherhood journey when I was struggling so deeply.
The world lost its color, and all I could do was take care of my baby.…I nourished my body not for myself but so that I could continue to nurse my new little baby. She kept me putting one foot in front of another.
It felt like postpartum was trying to bury me alive, but my little baby girl also brought my heart so much joy and sunshine. I didn’t know it was ok to allow space for all the emotions I was experiencing.
I kept thinking about how tenderly I would care for her if she felt like I was feeling. It allowed me to give myself permission to rest, seek help, and heal."
"Becoming a parent is the scariest, hardest, most physical and emotionally taxing, exhausting yet most fulfilling thing all at the same time. It's quite confusing."
With my first born, I was 16 and had zero support. It was so hard trying to navigate through everything while being so young and unexperienced in life. I wish someone would have caught on to how much I was struggling. I had major postpartum depression and didn’t know it.
With my next at 19, I had severe perinatal anxiety and postpartum anxiety/depression. I was very lucky to have a couple ladies at the local WIC office guide me through the steps to get help. Because of the help from WIC with my prior pregnancy, I was able to identify the struggle in my next 2 pregnancies and get the help before it became uncontrollable.
The crazy amount of responsibility that lays on your shoulders as a parent is nothing I could have ever imagined. It's so much harder than you think. There is no going home when you're tired. Take good care of your self. Accept help. ASK for help. It does get easier, but don’t avoid the hard times. Walk through them gently knowing that, what you are feeling, most other parents have felt before too. It's ok."
"As an immigrant mother, I had to go through all my process on my own which became a little lonely, and sometimes it really made me sad.
I'm a mother of four incredible kids. My last pregnancy was five years ago. I lived my pregnancy very differently this last time. I moved to the States and became pregnant with my fourth child. Although I've always had my husband around, I didn't have any other family or friends to count on.
I wasn't a new mom, but I was definitely living a new lifestyle away from my culture, family, and friends. It was hard for me, but I was so lucky to meet some great people along the way. Through Sea Mar, I met great social workers in the WIC program. They eventually invited me to help out as a support group facilitator where I made good friends. I've been working hard on making new relationships and helping out my community."
"No matter how much I prepared - no matter how many books I read or podcasts I consumed - I found that I was still profoundly unprepared.
I didn't realize the sheer number of changes that would accompany the metamorphosis from 'me', into 'parent'. Sleep deprivation, increased responsibilities, lack of time for self-care, and the increase in anxiety take their toll.
I feared that sharing my sadness would make people think I was a bad parent. I began hiding or minimizing my feelings of helplessness, overwhelm, confusion, ineptitude, and fear, out of respect for my partner. I didn't believe I deserved extra support or attention, because they were also going through such a profound spiritual and physical transformation.
It wasn't until I began to speak with other peers and parents in an intentional space that I finally felt the ability to express the challenges, pains, and successes of parenting without shame. Having the space to share my real feelings about parenting untied the knots of self doubt and helped normalize feelings I thought only I was having. It helped me to realize that I am not alone."