Tag: holidays

Mother's Day

The Mother’s Day Milestones

When you have a child, Mother’s Day is one of those holiday milestones you look forward to. Or you hope to, anyway.  Many of us envision sleeping in, being served breakfast in bed by the kids and handed flowers by our doting husband or partner. Everyone is all smiles and ready for a perfect day..….except, when it isn’t.

My first Mother’s Day left much to be desired.  It was May 8, 2005, which was also my son’s 6-month birthday.  And it was also one of those unwritten deadlines that I gave myself to “feel better.”  Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was suffering from a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, more specifically postpartum OCD.  I had it in my head that all the intrusive thoughts would just go away.  This deadline made all the sense in the world to me.

After all, it was my first Mother’s Day and Corey’s 6-month birthday, right?  I was to wake up that morning with my breakfast in bed, flowers, smiles, etc… and all will be dandy.  

Except it wasn’t.

My son, Corey and I on Mother’s Day 2005

Being that it was 15 years ago, the memories are a little fuzzy.  What I do remember clearly is NOT feeling better.  Crap.  “It” didn’t go away. 

Now, my husband did go out early with my son to buy me the obligatory large coffee from the deli and a breakfast sandwich.  But shortly after, we were heading to lunch with my parents, aunt, uncle and cousins at a diner about 45 minutes away.  As we were driving there, I felt a little queasy, but figured that it would pass.  We walked into the diner and members of my family were in the waiting area.  So many people.  It was hot. I was sweating.  And crowded and I didn’t want to be there. I couldn’t be there.   I had to step outside for air. They’re calling me in now – the table is ready.   I can’t do this.   And we left.  I never even made it to the table and I don’t think I even saw my whole family.  

When we arrived home, I crawled into bed.  I asked my husband to keep my son away from me, as I didn’t want to spread any germs in the case that I was really sick.  A little while passed by and my husband asked if he could take my son and spend the rest of Mother’s Day with his mother.  He’d let me rest and relax.  And it was fine….go.  I just wanted to be alone and to sleep, which I did for the rest of the day on and off.  

It was my first Mother’s Day.  My beautiful son’s 6-month birthday.  Two milestones.  Gone.  I’ll never get that back.   This was supposed to be a good day.  

My son, Corey and I on Mother’s Day 2006

 Fast forward 1 year to Mother’s Day 2006 – May 14th. My son just turned 18 months old.  It had been about 4 months since I was officially diagnosed with a PMAD, started therapy and began to take meds.  I was starting to feel like myself again!  We held the Mother’s Day celebration in our apartment, with my side of the family and my husband’s side of the family all in attendance.   It was truly a time to celebrate!

My son, Corey and I on Mother’s Day 2007

 Fast forward another year to Mother’s Day 2007 – May 13th.   I had found out that week that I was expecting again – all fully planned.   We spent the morning at the playground with my parents and watching my son playing.  We shared the news that day with my parents that Corey would be a big brother later on that year.

What a world of difference – in the span of two short years!  On that first Mother’s Day, no one could have convinced me that this day would ever be a day that I’d look forward to.   I’d always be sucked back into how I felt on that first Mother’s Day.  The day would forever be officially ruined.   I’m happy to say that this couldn’t be further from the truth.  That said, I will never forget how low I felt on that first Mother’s Day.  It makes me quite thankful and grateful for my eventual diagnosis and subsequent recovery.  It’s a time for me to reflect and celebrate how far I’ve come in this motherhood gig! 

Holidays can be tough and might not live up to your expectations. And with the hype around Mother’s Day and the way it’s portrayed on television and in the movies, or your observations of friends and family, it’s inevitable that you’ll want to make comparisons to your life.  All I can say is please do your best not to.

If you’re in throes of a PMAD, don’t question yourself if you’re not feeling festive.  You have all the permission on the world to feel what you feel.  Take it from someone who has had that rock bottom feeling – it’ll come in time.  It might not feel like it, but it will.    If you’re ready to celebrate, please do and don’t feel guilty.  Look how far you’ve come – you’ve worked hard for it.   

Mother's Day letter

A Love Letter to My Boys on Mother’s Day

To my sweet boys, 

You are too little to truly understand this, but you are my entire heart. You hold it, carry it, and bring it with you wherever you go. I hope you can feel it even if I’m not there – whether it’s on a Monday when I’m at work and you’re with Daddy, or when you’re at nursery school playing with your friends. My love is there always. It’s a cloud of love surrounding, protecting, and guiding you. 

The moment I found out I was carrying you inside of me, my heart grew and my heart helped shape yours. I instantly fell in love with both of you even before I knew who you were, but yet I felt like I already did, somehow. I rubbed my swollen belly with awe and tenderness, sang you “our” songs, read you countless books, and told you endlessly how much I loved you. Nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared me for how much I would adore you. Each of you are exactly who you’re meant to be. Perfect in your own ways, beautiful in mind and soul. 

Although I was not at all prepared for how enormous and intense my love would be for both of you, I was also not ready for the fear and anxiety that overtook my mind. The panic, terror, and sheer fright that something awful would happen to you clouded my life. Suddenly I was afraid of everything and everyone. I wanted to protect you and keep you within my bubble of fierce love. As time went on, I learned that I could not live like that for myself, but more importantly, I could not go on like that for you. Just know that it was my love that created this discourse, but it was also my love that pulled me out of those dark, stormy clouds. You’re both the rainbows at the end of the my storm. My love for you will always be your constant, your light in the fog, your sunshine radiating through the clouds. 

You’ve both given me so much to be grateful for. You’ve taught me a lot- unconditional love, continuous patience, and true, pure joy. This Mother’s Day, I honor both of your beautiful souls, for without you, I would not be a mommy, your mommy. 

All my love always & forever, 


Allison Sharkey

My Anxious Christmas

[vc_row][vc_column 0=””][vc_column_text]

It’s Sunday. I’m sitting on the couch nursing the baby when our 5 year old sits next to me. She pauses, drops her head and frowns. I roll my eyes without her seeing. I can only imagine what she’s about to say.

Today has been a good day so far. Granted, it’s 9:12am but waking up feeling genuinely good these days is a celebration in itself.

We’ve already made pancakes, not box mix but from scratch (only because we ran out of the boxed one), and watched the movie “Elf” while eating them.

“I’m sad because we didn’t put up more decorations for Christmas..” she says, still frowning and about to cry.

Big thanks to Will Ferrell and postpartum anxiety for this moment.

I look at her and answer the only way I know how to lately, through half sincerities, “baby we’re going to put more decorations up just not today.” Total lie. I have no plans on putting up more.

“I want to right now,” she says.

“We can’t right now. I’m feeding your sister,” I answer.

The baby has recently foregone napping anywhere except my arms, usually 10 min after nursing, leaving me paralyzed.

As my daughter was yelling at me about decorating, my bladder was also screaming. I had to pee for the past 20 minutes yet was also unbelievably thirsty since I forgot to grab a water before sitting.

For the 500th time this week I think to myself, “I really need to get her to nap in her crib already…”

There’s a container of Christmas decorations sitting next to the tree yet to adorn the house. The tree that’s been up since 2 days after Thanksgiving.

It’s December 2nd and I know very well having the amount of Christmas decorations up right now makes us ahead of the game. After all, I grew up with our tree and home being decorated one week before Christmas. So prior to this year I make sure to go full on Clark Griswold and decorate on Black Friday.

I blast Christmas music, we make hot chocolate, and we dance around the living room while decorating our lives away.

My five year old is obviously aware of her Christmas crazy Mom taking a back seat this year.

She gets louder now.

“Can’t we turn on Christmas music, Mom!” She begs. 
“Make hot chocolate for me PLEASEEE!” She pleads. 

“Alexa, play Frosty the Snowman!” She yells.

Frosty starts blaring from the speaker. The baby wakes up screaming. I knock over three ounces of milk collected in the device suctioned to the non nursing boob catching every drop of milk. My daughter sees the milk spilling and rage building. She immediately apologizes.

The rage that comes along with postpartum anxiety arrives. 

I scream my head off.

I want so badly to yell back at her:

“I’ve done enough decorating already!”

“I could care less about Christmas this year!”

Sending cards. Decorating. The movies. The cheerful songs. The lights and sparkles. Words like joy, merry and bright showing everywhere none of which depict the way I feel.

The holidays can be a lot for any Mom, but in the midst of postpartum anxiety I am so overwhelmed that Christmas has me underwhelmed.

I feel guilty. Guilt I’m not my holly jolly self for my five year old, and I’m not over the moon for my baby’s first Christmas. This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year but right now the pressure of the holidays is making it feel like the worst.

I don’t want family members passing the baby around like a hot potato.
I’m worried about whether or not everyone got a flu shot.

Questions about her not taking a bottle yet.
Comments about her tiny size.
And I really don’t want to bake cookies.
Or send the cards I’ve had on my kitchen table for the past 3 weeks.
I don’t feel like decorating more.
Or singing Christmas carols.
Or watching Christmas movies.

I am telling myself it’s just fine to take it easy, to tone everything down this one Christmas and focus on myself. Every year won’t be like this. It’s fine because our 5 month old surely won’t remember it, and 5 year old will still run down the steps with her eyes wide on Christmas morning.

And it’s especially okay because the way I feel right now is just a season.

A cold, dark, and at times stormy season that’ll pass in time. Right now the only thing I can equate with Christmas is the intense chill in the air. I know it’ll get warmer soon enough. The sun will melt the darkness away, and everything will Bloom again.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=””][vc_column 0=””][vc_separator 0=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row 0=””][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image 0=”” image=”1996″ alignment=”right” style=”vc_box_outline_circle”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space][vc_custom_heading text=”Allison Sharkey” font_container=”tag:h5|text_align:left” google_fonts=”font_family:Cinzel%3Aregular%2C700%2C900|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]

Allison is a wife, mom to two beautiful girls,
and freelance writer living at the Jersey shore. She loves writing, cooking, Pinot Noir, Bruce Springsteen, and combing the shoreline for seaglass. After having her second daughter in the summer of 2018 she’s slowly navigating the world of postpartum anxiety.
You can follow her on
Instagram (Instagram.com/alli_shark) and


Contact Us


The Bloom Foundation
716 Newman Springs Road, #117
Lincroft, NJ 07738


postpartum depression support group New Jersey the bloom foundation for maternal wellness logo

Copyright © by The Bloom Foundation All Rights Reserved

The Bloom Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization