The title of this post was said to me last week and I am still reeling…
Yes you’re reading right someone actually scolded me for suggesting that I was struggling with becoming a mother. I am very sorry world, but I am not perfect and nor have I ever claimed to be. Motherhood and the emotions you get after childbirth is not something you can practice, it is not something they teach you in school, there’s no guidebook to talk you through hormones and emotions. Becoming a Mum is life changing, it’s all consuming, it’s beyond overwhelming and I have never been more scared of anything in my life.
Admitting I need help has always been something I have struggled with, putting my hand up in class and saying I don’t understand was my worst nightmare. And admitting that I needed help with Nora was so hard I beat myself up for a long time debating whether or not I should ask for help. I felt like a failure, my daughter wasn’t even a two months old and I had already fucked up her life because I couldn’t cope on my own. I was in a horrible place, I would dread being left alone with my own child, she would cry and I would cry too and the moment Yvo would walk through the door Nora would be in his hands quicker than he could say I’m home. I didn’t think I wanted to be a Mum anymore, I genuinely didn’t think I could cope, the days were endless and everything passed in a blur. I would have conversations but walk away not knowing what we spoke about. I was living on auto pilot and it was horrendous.
But here we are, 12 weeks down the line and I can genuinely say I am happy and Nora is happy and pretty content too. I no longer dread being left alone together, and the highlight of my day isn’t when Yvo comes in the door and takes Nora off my hands. And the only way I made it through was with support, I was no longer ashamed to say I was struggling. Yvo made me see not only was it for my mental health that I needed help it was for Nora’s well being too. Because these babies they’re pretty smart you see, and they feed off our emotions, so unhappy Mummy means unhappy baby. And knowing that I wasn’t just getting help for me spurred me on too.
Sometimes a support network isn’t enough and you might need to seek some advice, the NHS website provides some pretty great advice when it comes to dealing with all these emotions, have a read here. There is also some super duper advice and help from the lovelies over at the charity mind, they also have some info on PTSD after childbirth, if you want more info, find it here.
Mental health isn’t a joke, depression doesn’t discriminate and you don’t chose to have it. You are not a failure for admitting you need help, you are doing the best thing for you and your baby and providing a better future for you both. So don’t be ashamed, help is there for you.
I still get bad days, I don’t think I will ever be completely free of depression. However my good days out number my bad days and I know that help is there if I need it. I didn’t have a response to the individual that spoke to me like I chose to have depression and I still don’t. I think the ignorance of this individual has shocked me to my core and just emphasized the need for greater education when it comes to depression.
Also it is worth remember that post natal depression can affect Dad’s too, for more info on that, click here