“Dear Daughter, I’m Trying: From Your Mommy Who Has Depression.”

mother holds little baby

We’ve told you before about the powerful symptoms of depression. There was this anonymous imgur user who shared powerful before and after photos of a messy and then clean room to illustrate a small victory over the illness. And there was the story of this woman who explained how adopting a cat changed the tide in her battle with depression and anxiety. But what about parents who struggle with depression?There isn’t much wiggle room to allow for the fatigue and lethargy often associated with it, in a busy parent’s lifestyle.


Mom Madelyn Heslet knows better than most how difficult it can be to balance motherhood with mental illness. In an honest, moving piece written for The Mighty, Madelyn addresses this difficulty, and reassures her young daughter that she is there for her, no matter how hard the fight may be.  The letter is called “Dear Daughter, I’m Trying: From Your Mommy Who Has Depression.”

Check it out below:

Dear sweet darling,

Please know this has nothing to do with you. It has to do with depression intruding on our lives and impeding on our happiness. I’m fighting this difficult and tiring battle every day, and sometimes I want to quit. I know you see the exhaustion in my face and feel the weakness in my touch. I try to hide it from you, but you are smart. You know me better than anyone, so I won’t hide my struggle from you. Instead, I will try to help you understand I am trying.

I am trying to hold it together because you need me to be strong. You need me to take care of you and be there for you every day. You want me to get up off the couch and play with you. You want me to have the energy to take you outside. Your wants and needs make me try, and help me succeed at holding it together.

I am trying to appreciate the simple pleasures and little things in our life. It can be hard for me to see those things when I am blinded by my depression, but I try to see them anyway. I see you smile while you pick dandelions in the yard. I see you enjoy the books your aunt bought you. These little things make me try harder, because if I don’t, I will lose these moments and I won’t get them back. I try to appreciate the little things, and I succeed, because I don’t want to miss out on the simple pleasures you bring to our life.

I am trying to be a good mother to you. Most days, my depression makes me believe I’m failing at that. But your warm hugs and sloppy kisses remind me I’m not failing; I am trying, and doing the best I can. I try to be a good mother because it is what you deserve. I try and I succeed because even on my darkest days, I want you to feel the sunshine in my heart.

I’m trying because of you. You are my motivation, my kick in the rear when I can’t get going. You are the flag at the starting line, and the coach who encourages me to keep going. You’re so small, but are the biggest reason I try. You are the reason I try to live, and the reason I succeed.




What a beautiful story of love through struggle.

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