Moms to See in the 843: Amber Weakley – Moms First

Amber Weakley is doing big things. She is a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. She is working on her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at The Citadel, she is the Outreach Coordinator for Postpartum Support of Charleston, and she is raising two sweet, intelligent, and kind boys.

Amber Weakley and family
Amber’s family

I met Amber in 2017 when my second son was around eight months old. I had reached out to Postpartum Support of Charleston for help with the postpartum depression, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts that I had been struggling with. She became my Mom Mentor and came into my life when I needed her the most.

Amber had a sense of calm and peace about her that I had yet to find on my motherhood journey. She always had a smile on her face. When we would meet up, my son naturally gravitated towards her and she would hold him — giving both of us a much-needed break.

Amber Weakley

Even as my son has gotten older, he loves to spend time with “Miss Amber.”  He needed her and her calm as much as I did. Even now, I still reach out to her for support and advice, like when my son started Kindergarten in August of this year and we struggled with separation anxiety.

It seems she always knows what to say to make things better. Amber is the type of person everyone needs in their life: a cheerleader, a friend, a confidante, and someone who I aim to one day emulate. I’m so happy to share with you a bit about Amber’s story and perspective!

Moms to See in the 843: Amber Weakley

Can you tell us a little about your postpartum journey?

I didn’t have a very easy postpartum experience, and I love sharing my story to help other moms know that they aren’t alone if they are struggling. After I had my first son, Eli (eight years old), I suffered from postpartum depression, but not until six months postpartum. I had decided to be a stay-at-home mom, which was really difficult for me. I was lonely, felt like I was doing the same thing day in and day out, and fell into a depression . . . sad, angry, not happy at all. I reached out to my OBGYN, and she prescribed me medication (which helped) and suggested I find a community of moms to talk to. I reached out to Postpartum Support Charleston and spoke with a very sweet mama, and immediately felt better.

Fast forward a few years to when I had my second son, Colin (five years old). I was staying at home with both of my boys at the time and was loving motherhood. I was working really hard to keep the depression at bay (but was not on medication). After five months with him, I started feeling overwhelmed, sad, and really angry. I started back on my Zoloft and quickly discovered that something wasn’t right. I was getting worse; suicidal thoughts started occurring and I just couldn’t handle it. My amazing support system noticed I wasn’t doing well, and my OBGYN suggested I find a psychiatrist. I was given a grant through Postpartum Support Charleston to see a psychiatrist. That’s when I got my diagnosis of Bipolar II. After about six months of therapy and medication changes, I started feeling better. I still have my days and am still being treated for Bipolar II, but I’m so thankful for the supportive community I had surrounding me at that time.

Why did you decide to become a Mom Mentor, and later the Outreach Coordinator, for Postpartum Support of Charleston?

I knew I wanted to give back to other moms and let them know they aren’t alone. Ever since I got well after my postpartum experiences, I was drawn to other moms. I was never an outgoing person previously, but I felt the need to talk to every mom I met, and make sure she was doing okay. I didn’t want a mom to be suffering in silence. Becoming a Mom Mentor was so rewarding for me. Being able to talk to other moms and encourage them was just what I needed to fill my soul. I am honored to be a part of Postpartum Support Charleston and work every day to support mamas. It’s my passion.

You must have a secret in order to be able to juggle it all: working on your master’s degree at The Citadel, working for Postpartum Support of Charleston, and raising two young boys. 

Ha. Juggling is the right term, for sure. I actually just listened to an amazing podcast about how to manage time, and what I was reminded of is the importance of being mindful . . . not trying to multitask all the time, and of setting boundaries around your time. I think taking the time to focus on one aspect of your life at a time is key. I never try to do schoolwork when I’m with my boys. I always give the moms with Postpartum Support Charleston my undivided attention. My husband and I have alone time each night before bed. Most importantly, my boys get me — all of me — as much as I can give them. I’ve learned that I enjoy doing certain things with them: playing games, reading books, and eating meals together. My amazing husband takes care of the pretend play and roughhousing. It’s a balance, for sure, but being mindful when I’m working on one aspect of my life definitely helps.

Can you share some of your goals for yourself?

When I think about my goals, or maybe how I want to be remembered, or what legacy I want to leave — I think about my family and my career. My goal is to raise my boys as kind human beings. I don’t care if they are the smartest or the fastest. I just want them to be kind. My goal in my relationship is to be best friends with my husband, forever. My goal for my career is to help moms. I don’t know what the future of where I work looks like, but I know that I want to help. I want people to know that I care. But most of all, my goal is to be happy — and I’m meeting that goal right now!

What’s been the best part of your motherhood journey so far?

I love going on adventures with my boys. This is my favorite part of motherhood: visiting new places and seeing the excitement in their eyes . . . knowing that they will remember these trips for a lifetime. Exploring, learning, and being 100% focused on them — it’s the best.

If you could give only one piece of advice to moms, what would it be?

Do what is best for you and your family. Don’t worry about what your next-door neighbor or your cousin is doing with their baby, just do what works for you. Don’t compare yourself to other moms on Instagram. You are the mama; you make the decisions.

Check out our other Moms to See in the 843!