World Mental Health Day :: When Something’s Not Right

Today, 10th October is World Mental Health Day and I think it’s important that we talk about how a parents’ mental health can change after having a baby. It still seems to be a bit of a taboo subject and it shouldn’t be – we should be sharing our experiences and how we are feeling to normalise it a little more and help others. Having said that, I’ve never shared how I was feeling – not even with my closest friends and family. Sometimes uttering those words “I’m struggling”, can be too much and it’s easier to just carry on. But I wish I had been brave enough, if I’m really honest with myself.

From the moment Emma was born, I was in love. Even at my six week check up, there was no cause for concern. It was only a few months later that I began to see that something wasn’t quite right. There is no doubt that our days were full of chaos and unpredictability but I found myself feeling angry often and unable to make sense of why I was feeling that way. I felt there was this huge weight on my shoulders, even though it wasn’t my sole responsibility at all and my other half couldn’t be more supportive.

One of the turning points for our family was when my other half turned to me and said “I know this is hard, but I see what you’re doing for all of us”. It felt like I could breathe again, hearing him say this – he gets it, he sees that this is the toughest job I’ve ever had to do. Every night I would lie in bed thinking that one night, soon, I’ll feel like I’m nailing it ever so slightly more than I am right now. The only way I can describe these weeks is like a fog in front of my eyes, making it hard for me to see how far we had come and that really, we were doing an amazing job. Over time, that fog lifted but in that time I never really mentioned to anyone that I wasn’t okay – even though one of the girls in our NCT group openly talked about her struggles with postnatal depression.

I still feel the fogginess even though Emma is 2.5 years old. I know there is a lot of talk around maternal mental health when your baby is newborn age, but not so much beyond. I still get overwhelmed and in a very different way to when Emma was a baby. Even recently, I’ve had moments where I have suddenly burst into tears and it always makes me feel terrible afterwards. I should be able to cope with this – after over two years of being a mother, I should have my shit together. Except some days I don’t, and that’s okay.

When I look back, all I wish is that I’d have said something. I knew something wasn’t right and kept it all bottled up inside instead of just saying that I’m not okay and I need a hand. I want everyone with a toddler to know that it’s not unusual to feel like you’re struggling at times. Parenthood is incredibly rewarding but there’s no doubt how hard it is and none of us should have to pretend we’re happy if we’re not. It takes such a lot of courage to admit it to yourself and those around you that you might need help and I hope that by sharing my story, it will encourage other mums to speak up if they need to.

If you think you have post natal depression, click this link for a list of charities and helpful resources and please speak to someone about it. Bottling up these feelings will only make you feel worse.

Bringing up Georgia

Share:

13 Comments

  1. October 10, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    it is so tough isnt it. and you’re right, it isnt just post-baby maternal health. i found the first two years tough and then got some help. things picked up but it’s still been up and down. i try and take each day as it comes. as cliche as that sounds, it does help me x

  2. October 10, 2017 / 9:41 pm

    Such an amazing post! So honest and I cried!!!! Thank you for this and reminding me that it’s okay to not always have my shit together! ❤ xx

  3. October 11, 2017 / 8:26 am

    Oh love ❤️❤️❤️ I think it’s so hard to admit these feelings to yourself, let alone anyone else, I know for me it feels like I’m admitting I’m not in control. But by sharing it, all of us sharing it, it keeps on breaking down the stigma around mental health and post partum mental health in particular. Wonderful post as always xxxx

  4. October 11, 2017 / 9:50 am

    I think these posts are so important. The more people can talk, the better it is for them. #FortheloveofBLOG

  5. October 11, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    You’re so right – there’s so much focus on PND (and rightly so), but people often don’t discuss the fact that mums can experience mental health issues related to parenting long after the newborn stage. I went through a rough patch when my daughter was 5-7 months, but it was a few months after the birth so I never mentioned it to anyone. #fortheloveofBLOG

  6. October 11, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    You are so right that there is much more of a discussion surrounding mums of newborns than there is of those with toddlers. My 4 year old still has me in tears sometimes, motherhood is so hard. I’ve had pnd and definitely agree that once you start to talk you feel like a weighty has been lifted xx #fortheloveofblog

  7. October 11, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing such an honest post. We really do need to open up the mental health discussion more than it is! #fortheloveofBLOG

  8. October 12, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    I love that more and more people are talking about mental health. It’s a step in the right direction. At 16 when I first looked for help from my Doctor’s I was told I was just young and there were exams and to basically get over myself. It had been a massive step to actually talk to someone about how I was feeling and to be made to feel like I was making everything up has stuck with me and it took an almost complete breakdown some 15 years later before I asked for help from a professional again. If there had been people talking about it like they do now I know that would have helped me. #coolmumclub

  9. October 13, 2017 / 6:23 am

    I love this my darling. It’s ok not to be OK – we’re surrounded by this Insta Perfect world and comparisons. But we need to give ourselves a little credit now and then. You’re an amazing Mother (and friend) xxx

  10. October 13, 2017 / 10:52 am

    A lovely post. I think there is so much wrapped up in motherhood isn’t there? We are expected to be amazed by our children, soak up all the love, feel this unrelenting love for our offspring. But this is unrealistic. Parenthood is tough and comes without a manual! Anything that brings such joy has to bring despair too. It’s the nature of emotions. We can’t be happy all the time; that is unrealistic. I don’t think that means that we have mental health issues either….it’s just normal human emotion. Being in tears with a toddler is shear frustration! They can be infuriating! Being ok with that is the difference though….let’s not be bogged down with guilt if we are frustrated, angry or sad with our children. #blogcrush

  11. October 15, 2017 / 12:54 pm

    This was me with my first baby! I was so anxious all of the time and felt if I wasn’t doing everything exactly right and getting loads done every day that I was failing. I love how honest you have been in this post. We all have bad days I think, none of us feel like we’re getting it spot on every day. I think if more of us were honest about how much self doubt we have it may lift other mums’ confidence. Thanks so much for sharing with #fortheloveofblog

  12. October 17, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    Well done for opening up the conversation on this. The role of being a mum changes all the time – our kids are constantly developing and we have to adapt quickly and know what they need at every new stage. It can be overwhelming as we’re in a constant state of learning and never feeling like we’re on top of things. Thank you for being honest about your own experiences – I’m sure it will be encouraging to many people.

    And congratulations because somebody loved this post so much, they added it to the BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush

  13. October 18, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    It sure isn’t easy being a parent and I too feel foggy and overwhelmed a lot even though my kids are a little more grown up. Asking for help is a great sign of strength and there are lots of people able to help. thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

Leave a Reply