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Finding Hope: A Letter to Moms When Your Baby is Sick—Mental Illness

Dear Moms,


I want to start by saying that I see you. I see the love and dedication you pour into your children every single day. I understand the weight you carry on your shoulders when your baby is sick. But today, I want to talk about a different kind of sickness—one that often hides in the shadows but can be just as heavy to bear: mental illness.


When your baby is sick with a physical ailment, you know what steps to take. You rush to the doctor, administer medicine, and provide all the comfort and care you can muster. But what happens when the sickness isn't visible? What happens when it's your child's mind that's ailing?

Mental illness in children can be a daunting and often overwhelming journey. It can leave you feeling lost, helpless, and even guilty, wondering if you've somehow failed as a parent. But I want you to know that you are not alone, and there is hope.


First and foremost, it's essential to recognize that mental illness is not anyone's fault. It's not a reflection of your parenting or your child's character. It's simply a medical condition, just like any other illness. And just like any other illness, it requires treatment and support.


As a mom, it's natural to want to fix everything for your child, to kiss away the pain and make everything better. But with mental illness, the path to healing is often more complex. It may require therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and above all, patience.


It's okay to feel scared or uncertain about what lies ahead, but I urge you not to lose hope. Every small step forward, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is a victory worth celebrating. Whether it's a good day at school, a moment of laughter, or a breakthrough in therapy, hold onto these glimmers of hope like precious treasures.


Remember to take care of yourself, too. It's easy to neglect your well-being when you're focused on caring for your child, but you can't pour from an empty cup. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. Take breaks when you need them, and don't be afraid to ask for help.


Above all, keep reminding yourself that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have. You are a warrior, fighting tirelessly for your child's well-being, and that in itself is a testament to your strength and love.


So, dear moms, when your baby is sick—whether it's a physical ailment or a mental one—hold onto hope. Trust in the resilience of your child and the unwavering power of your love. And know that brighter days lie ahead, waiting to be embraced.


With love and solidarity, Cheryl Wilson, MBA, LCSW-Therapist


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