Hey there ladies.. and men if you’re reading this.
I want to address a very serious and real topic that I don’t think we talk about enough these days. You’ve probably heard of PND aka Post Natal Depression. Before I start talking about this, I want you all to know that I was very hesitant to write about this as its very personal and I guess we all have the fear of being judged right?
But I think more woman than we would expect, suffer from this. So I think I need to put it out there and it needs to be discussed and I’m hoping by writing about this, it will help more mothers to realise that its completely understood by so many other mothers.
I’ve always been very open about children, the bad times, the good times and I’ve told mums/ expecting mums/ friends things that they might not hear honestly from other people. But its come to my realisation recently that not everyone feels the way I do about being a mother. You see families and parents out in the world, down at the cafes, in the parks, looking very happy and peaceful and filled with joy that they have little people in their life. I used to look at these people and think that was fake.. its not real.. how can they be this happy when having a child is so hard? When in reality.. some people really love it and find it very natural. Please don’t get me wrong, I also LOVE being a mother.. anyone that knows me knows this. But, I think I find it a lot harder to deal with than other mothers. Giving birth is meant to be such a joyous occasion.. so why did I feel so sad afterwrads? Addison is now just over 1 year old and I still struggle daily. I get overwhelmed easy. I stress a lot. I feel guilty a lot and I find it hard to enjoy my time at home being with my son because I constantly am on edge. I have no idea as to why I feel this way, but its how I’ve always been since I had Addison. The first 5 weeks when he was born were hell on earth. I would go as far as saying they were some of the worst weeks of my life. I really struggled being a new mum and it felt like Addison and I had no connection. I figured I had the baby blues, but as the first couple of weeks went by, It got better and things got a little easier. I formed a bond with my beautiful son and I was happy. For the most part.
As most of you know I’m from the Gold Coast and I moved down here to be with Jesse (Addi’s daddy). I didn’t know anyone here at all and in the 4 years I’ve been here, I’ve made quite a lot of friends and acquaintances. But when I got pregnant, I was the only one my age in Melbourne that I knew that had children. I didn’t have close friends with any babies and I didn’t have family here. For a long time I didn’t get a break. Jesse is a hard worker and an amazing father but unfortunately it meant that a lot of the time I was home by myself. I know thats how its meant to be, mum takes care of the baby and clean the house ect and dad goes to work to provide. But for some reason I couldn’t grasp this. I wasn’t dealing well being alone all the time. Jesse would come home and the house was still a mess, I wouldn’t have showered or eaten and I would be either cranky, upset, or somehow just very emotional. This past year has been very hard.
My mother recently asked me, “Do you ENJOY being a mum?”. I had to be honest and reply No. It occurred to me that I’ve never enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed moments of it.. but I’ve let my anxiety, anger and my worries of trying to be the best mum to Addi, get in the way of that. Most of the day we would stay inside and I would cook good meals for him so he can be the healthy big boy he is today, but we never went out and did things we both enjoyed.
This is hard for me.. as I write this I have tears running down my face, of feeling like I’ve been an inadequate mother. But I couldn’t help the way I felt and no one understood how or why I was feeling this way.
The last few weeks I haven’t felt right, I had a huge emotional break down recently and I decided it was time for me to seek help for how I was feeling. This wasn’t an easy task for me to do. I hate asking for help. I hate looking weak and I thought I would be judged for not enjoying being a mum as much as I should.
I was diagnosed with severe post natal depression by my psychologist a week ago now. I didn’t actually realise this was a proper thing. I thought it was just “baby blues” that you hear about or you think mums just say it when they’re sad. Let me tell you, now that I know this, I know its very real. Its explained a lot as to why I’ve felt like this for such a long time and made me realise I don’t have to feel guilty for feeling this way. I’ve been doing research and did you guys know that 1 of 7 new mums suffer post natal depression? And most of those woman suffer in silence, just like I did for so long. Seeking help was the best thing I did. I can start to slowly work on myself and understand why I feel this way. I can work on enjoying being a mother and finally feel the happiness that so many other mothers around me feel. Its a long road but theres a lot of support out there for mums dealing with depression.
Addison is such a bright, beautiful, placid, calm, determined, free spirited, loving little boy and I owe him everything good in the world. I was told I probably wouldn’t be able to have children because of medical reasons and that broke my heart into a million pieces. So, when Addison came along, it was the biggest blessing I’ve ever been given. So as I said, I owe him everything, I owe him the best life possible. He doesn’t expect me to be the greatest mother in the world, he just expects me to be the best mother I can be to him, do the best to my ability, love him unconditionally and thats what I’m doing and what I’m going to do.
If you’ve read this and you feel similar to how I felt.. overwhelmed, anxious, guilty, sad, emotional, angry ect, all of the time… Then PLEASE, I urge you, to tell someone who understands, someone who can help. I wish someone told me earlier that its common for some mums to feel this way and that its treatable. Confide in someone and get the help you need, for yourself and for your beautiful little babies.
We aren’t always as strong as what we seem and as strong as people expect us to be. We’re all different and some others cope better with certain things in life. So don’t feel inadequate. We all do the best to our abilities and knowledge. Thats why as mothers and PARENTS, we have to support each other and understand eachother. Stop criticising, because you never know that families circumstances.
I hope this has opened your eyes a little and even helped you understand a little more about myself. Things aren’t always as perfect as they seem on the internet! Haha.
To all you mums out there, You’re doing an amazing job.
P.s. Here’s a photo of the love of my life and the one that even after everything has brought so much light into my life