A new book hopes to help parents explain to their young children why they are sad, for what may seem like no reason.
Mama’s Cloud is written to gently start the conversation about depression and mental health.
Author Jessica Williams says the inspiration for Mama’s Cloud came after she went through a battle with postpartum depression, while her child was colic.
When she started sharing her story, she learned that many others had gone through the same thing.
Williams says young kids have big emotions and so the concept can be difficult to understand.
“They can’t necessarily relate to why a parent, or a loved one is sad for what they perceive as no reason,” said Williams. “It’s written with that in mind, that it can help explain that sometimes grown-ups have sort of a cloud that settles over them and you can’t fix it and it is not your job to fix.”
Williams says while young children might not fully understand what the underlying messages of the book are, it lays the groundwork for later in life.
“Children aren’t expected to have a full understanding of what depression, what mental illness is, but they can as they get older and sort of ‘oh I think that’s what they are talking about’, ‘oh, okay my parents talked to me’ about that or ‘oh and I heard about that.’ It’s about giving them the tools so later on when they develop the tools to understand it they can refer back to that.”
Williams says the book has been very well received, with many people telling her they related to the message and their kids found it really engaging.