Dr Sharon Hastings, author of Wrestling With My Thoughts and  Tending To My Thoughts, shares her five key lessons after having her son.


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I’m a Christian and I have schizoaffective disorder, a mental illness which affects mood and thought. Three years ago, I became a mum. My first year with my son was filled with happiness, but during the last two years, joy has sometimes been buried deep as I have wrestled with long bouts of depression.

Here are five things I have learnt about life as a Christian mum with depression.

You’re not alone

You might think that we are blessed as mums and so we ought to be happy. The reality is that around 10-15 per cent of mums suffer from postnatal depression, and around 20 per cent of UK women in general reported depressive symptoms in a 2022 survey. If you have children and you’re feeling down, you’re not alone. Depression itself can make us feel guilty, but there is no shame in being unwell.

You can be depressed and still be a good mum

If you’re a mum with depression, I know you need to hear this. We each long to be the perfect mum, and you may feel that you don’t have as much to give as other parents. However, psychologists agree that "good enough" mothers – those whose children are fed, clean, clothed, and loved, even if their every need is not always met immediately – have more resilient kids.  If this is you, you’re doing great!

It’s okay if your child sees you cry

We can feel guilty about crying in front of our kids, but child-rearing is a challenging and emotional experience, so ALL mums cry! Seeing us express and process a range of emotions, including sadness, is good for children. However, if your emotions are overwhelming you, it’s important that another adult can say, "I’m taking care of Mummy," so your children don’t feel responsible for "fixing" you.

It’s also okay to ask for help

Sometimes we can be afraid to ask for help in case professionals think we cannot care for our children. In almost every circumstance, your health visitor or GP is there to support you in continuing your role as a mum – and they can offer access to effective treatments, such as talking therapies and/or medications. Others around you can help you with self-care – a child-free hour when you could exercise or simply drink tea and unwind could be just what you need to recharge.

God loves your kid(s) more than you do

Worrying about our kids is common to all mums, but as Christians, we know that the buck doesn’t stop with us – God loves our kids even more than we do. He knit our children together in our wombs (Psalm 139:13) and beckons little ones to come to him (Matthew 19:14). When we are depressed and feeling inadequate, we can find peace through entrusting them to his care. What’s more, we can look to God as our heavenly parent, whose deep compassion for his adult children when they suffer from depression is expressed in scriptures such as Psalm 13.

Perhaps you’ve read these five points through tears. I know what it is to force those smiles, to long for bedtime so that you can let down your false front. But I also know that no episode of depression lasts forever. In the meantime, there will be brief moments when your child fills your heart with joy. Join me in asking God to use these tiny glimpses of hope to give you strength until brighter days come.

For more info on depression, visit www.nhs.uk. In a mental health emergency, call 999 or visit A&E.