Moms discuss pressures of parenthood, how they cope

PORTLAND, Ore. – The search for missing Dundee mom Jennifer Huston ended Tuesday, when her body was found on a remote property in Sheridan. On Wednesday, her death was ruled a suicide.

The tragic loss shocked the small community of Dundee. It also resonated with many moms who said the pressures of motherhood can be overwhelming.

KGW talked to working moms, stay-at-home moms and mothers of small children about the pressures they face.

Some say they are misunderstood.

"In Western culture, we make moms feel bad if they feel like they can't handle it, or if it's too challenging. As a mom, you feel that if you ask someone for help you're a bad mom," said Sarah Suhrstedt, a stay-at-home mom.

Suhrstedt told us she often feels the pressure.

"We live seven-and-a-half hours from my family and so there isn't a 'I need a break, let me call grandma and have her come over.' There just isn't that," said Suhrstedt.

She credits a caring husband and her mom-group for helping her deal with how hard parenting can be.

So does stay-at-home Beaverton mom Nicole Oshiro.

"I definitely had a mommy group with the hospital with my first, to be able to get out and meet other moms and be able to talk through everything life is throwing at us," said Oshiro.

"It does, it gets really tough, especially with a toddler," said mom Danielle Smith.

Smith has a 2-year-old daughter and says she cries when things seem out of control.

"Sometimes the only thing I can do is cry. I just have to stop and just take a minute," said Smith.

So, how do you deal with all the pressures to be "perfect"?

"Getting some help was really the best thing I could have done," said Angie Fitzpatrick, the program director of Baby Blues Connection, which helps moms deal with depression and the challenges they feel to be perfect.

"You've got to tell someone how you're feeling and if that is that is "Baby Blues Connection," great. If it's not, fine. But, your best friend, your mom, your sister, your husband, your partner, whomever. You've got to tell someone. Don't hold it inside," said Fitzpatrick.

It's not just moms. Dads and partners feel that pressure, too.

Best advice from the experts? No matter who you are, talk to someone.


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