Motherhood & Mental Health

May is the time of Mother’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Month. One of the greatest blessings in my life has been motherhood. I couldn’t image life without my children. I often miss squeezing and kissing them as babies and still call them my babies. But each day, I am amazed by their growth, strength under pressure, and achievements as young men.

When I was a young child, I always knew I wanted children. Five, to be exact! I imagined my home being a safe place with a constant atmosphere of fun. What I wanted was the exact opposite of how I grew up. I thought to myself that when I grow up things are going to be different. Little did I know, I would repeat the same patterns as my mother.

My mother was passive-aggressive and would badmouth my father to me as if I was her girlfriend. She would remind me how my father pushed her while pregnant with me, and she bore the scar on her forehead to prove it. She even went as far as telling me he wanted her to abort me and still had the paperwork to prove it. I did not know how to process that information. When my mother told me how evil my father was, I internalized it to mean that I was half-evil. I bore many similar emotional scars from all their inter-fighting and turmoil.

However, I found myself in the same position as my parents in my late twenties. I continued the dysfunctional cycle. Ironically, I resented my mother for staying in an unhealthy relationship with my father for 30 years, but I stayed in an unhealthy relationship for 11 years, which negatively affected my two older sons. I realized I was no different from my mom.

The Day My Heart Turned Blue by Karla J. Noland

My dream of a safe place and fun atmosphere was just a dream without a plan to break the cycle of generational trauma of depression, anxiety, and fear that plagued my childhood. I was unaware of how anxiety affected my mental health and robbed me of being present with my children.

I was parenting out of trauma with a focus on everything that could go wrong. What I have learned is what you focus on grows. Everything I thought could go wrong went wrong.

I was a mother in survival mode trying to be perfect with my superwoman cape intact. However, I held on to the negative core belief that my children’s failures were a direct correlation to everything I lacked. Not understanding these were all human experiences with lessons to be learned, not failures. I could not disassociate the two. I blamed myself when things went wrong and wiped my brow from relief when things went well, but never celebrating my wins.

“Failing is an event, not a person.”

Zig Ziglar

It wasn’t until my mother died that I surrendered to letting go of every negative core belief I held on to so I can live my life authentically. I wanted to break the generational cycle of mental illness so that I can be present as mother and respond to life challenges instead of reacting out of fear and/or internalizing circumstances.

I share my story as a living testimony to empower other women to break generational strongholds of trauma and mental illness has had in their lives. We don’t have to repeat the same patterns. But first, we have to recognize how these negative patterns are showing up in our lives.

I truly believe when you heal the mother, you heal the child. This Mother’s Day, celebrate your journey of motherhood. Allow your family to love on you and give you your flowers now.

A Note on the Power of Our Dream Programs

Many of our Live Your Dream Awards recipients are women who have lived a similar tale as author Karla Noland. They are moms recovering from trauma and suffering from emotional stress and mental health issues. They are moms with a dream, looking to break the cycle that has held them back for so long.

Supporting our Dream Programs means supporting a woman’s journey forward. We are providing tools and resources to help her achieve the successes needed to impact her life and the future of generations to come. Let us reflect on the thousands of moms whose lives we have touched and who have a brighter Mother’s Day this year because they had the courage to dream. And we had the heart to help.

Karla J. Noland is a wife, mother, award-winning author & speaker, and a certified personal development & executive coach. She is the founder and CEO of Reveal Heal Thrive LLC. Karla’s mission is to help the Working Mother to prioritize herself and her dreams to the top of her “To Do” list with a winning strategy to achieve her goals. Her latest book and bereavement companion journal, titled “The Day My Heart Turned Blue,” is the 2022 Eric Hoffer Spiritual book award winner, which chronicles Karla’s healing journey after the death of her mother. Purchase anywhere books worldwide or at

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