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I Don't Know If I Can Do This Because Postnatal Depression Is Tearing Me Apart - A new take on Taylor Swifts hit 'I Can Do This With A Broken Heart'

By Amber-lee Buendicho

@thepowerofbirth





Motherhood is often portrayed as a time of pure joy and fulfillment, a season of life filled with little feet, bonding, and coffee dates. However, the reality for many mothers is far more complex and challenging. Postnatal depression (PND) affects 1 in 5 mothers, and its high-functioning presentation is an especially insidious form that often goes unnoticed. When people think of depression, they typically imagine symptoms such as an inability to get out of bed, appetite changes, sleep disturbances, and a decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities. While postnatal depression can present this way, it’s important to note that it can also manifest in subtler, less visible ways.


As an advocate for perinatal mental health, I am committed to raising awareness about this often-misunderstood aspect of maternal mental health. One day, while driving and listening to Taylor Swift’s hit song, “I Can Do It With A Broken Heart,” I thought about all the ways mothers show up regardless of the demons they are fighting. This inspired me to recreate the song to help raise awareness about postnatal depression.


High-functioning postnatal depression is particularly challenging because it often goes undetected. Mothers experiencing this form of PND appear to manage their daily responsibilities with ease and rarely disclose their true feelings to anyone. They maintain a facade of competence, all while battling severe internal turmoil. These women may juggle childcare, household duties, and even professional careers, yet behind closed doors, they face the dark void of depression, feeling emptiness, rage, worthlessness, hopelessness, inadequacy, failure, excessive guilt, and even suicidal ideation.


The societal pressure to be the “perfect mother” exacerbates these struggles. Social media showcases idealised versions of motherhood, leading many to feel inadequate and fearful of judgment. Mothers may be reluctant to seek help due to the stigma associated with mental health issues, fearing that admitting their struggles could be perceived as failure or incompetence. This fear is compounded by the anxiety that reaching out might lead to drastic actions, such as interventions from child protective services. And so, they put on their lipstick, smile, and answer questions like "how are you going" with, "I'm fine," when they are anything but.


Through this song, I hope to spark a broader conversation about postnatal depression and the importance of mental health support for mothers. It’s essential to recognise that the journey of motherhood is not always picturesque and that experiencing difficulties does not diminish one’s love for their child or their capabilities as a mother—it just means you are human and need support.


And with that, here is my recreated version - I Don't Know If I Can Do This Because Postnatal Depression Is Tearing Me Apart.

I can read your mind

"She's got it all together, she's just fine"

In her motherly prime

Balancing bottles and dreams, wearing a brave face every time


I'm so depressed, I act like everything's okay every day

I'm so obsessed with perfection, yet it slips away

I cry a lot but keep the house pristine, it's an art

I don't know if I can do this because postnatal depression is tearing me apart

It's a lonely life

And the pressure's too high

Breaking down in the nursery, I hide

As the world keeps asking, "More," I'm struggling inside

I'm grinning, I'm pretending, hitting all my marks

'Cause I can do it with postnatal depression


I can hold my breath

I've been doing it since the baby's first steps

Finding pieces of me in the chaos and mess

Crucial moments, did I dream it all? I guess

I don't know if I can pass this test


I'm so depressed, I act like everything's okay every day

I'm so obsessed with perfection, yet it slips away

I cry a lot but keep the house pristine, it's an art

I don't know if I can do this because postnatal depression is tearing me apart

'Cause I'm barely holding on, can I handle this storm?

They said, "Babe, just smile through it, you'll make it," and I swore

Lights, camera, fake a grin, in yoga pants for miles

They said they'd be here all the time

But the burden feels too high

Behind the smiles, I'm drinking, shopping, losing my mind

Intrusive thoughts and anxiety, no peace to find

Rage simmering, a constant grind

Hidden symptoms, I'm still acting kind


Some days I want to disappear, not be here at all

The guilt of these dark thoughts makes me feel so small

Loving my baby, but feeling like I might fall

Caught in this spiral, trying to stand tall

I want to ask for help, but I'm scared of what they'll say

Afraid they'll judge me, think I'm failing, take my babies away

The fear of not being good enough, it keeps me at bay

Struggling in silence, I face another day


Scroll through the feeds, see the highlight reels, can't compare

Pressure to be perfect, to look like I care

Society's lens, expectations everywhere

The supermum myth, it's just not fair


I'm so depressed, I act like everything's okay every day

I'm so obsessed with perfection, yet it slips away

I cry a lot but keep the house pristine, it's an art

I don't know if I can do this because postnatal depression is tearing me apart


By Amber-lee Buendicho (with a little help from chatgpt)


If you are experiencing depression and need support please reach out to your local healthcare provider or one of these amazing perinatal organisations that can help you:

Postpartum Support International www.postpartum.net

If you are in crisis and need immediate care please call 000 (Australia)




A bit about me:

My name is Amber-lee Buendicho, I'm a mum of two located on Gold Coast, Australia. I’m a women’s health advocate with an interest in childbirth, pelvic health, mental health, matrescence and the unique challenges motherhood brings, within a feminist framework. I have a degree in Psychological Sciences with Honours and I have further training in perinatal mental health, Seasons of Matrescence, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Trauma Focused CBT. I’m also completing my Masters of Professional Psychology and hope to practice in the perinatal space as a registered psychologist. 

 

My personal and professional experience ignited a fire within to help mothers feel less alone and their lives that little bit easier. With this passion, I have organically grown a community known as The Power of Birth while volunteering for various charities and in support coordination with Postpartum Support International. The website, blog and podcast is a nice little addition to this 😊

 

You can read more about my story here if you’re interested: https://www.thepowerofbirth.net/about-us



Thank you for all your support! Much love x




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