The mental side of motherhood

Having a baby changes your life. You know this throughout pregnancy, you know to expect it to be hard at times, you mentally prepare yourself in those 9 months. You mentally prepare yourself for the labour and birth. You think about how you will cope with the pain. You know that it’s going to change your relationship with your husband once the baby arrives. You’ll both be tired and know that one and another may suffer at times. Sleep deprivation is looming round the corner and you make a plan with how you will cope. Even with knowing all of this you can still never fully prepare yourself for what the reality will be.

Over the last few months I have been well and truly through the wringer. My labour and delivery was a very rapid, yet positive one. I had a third degree tear, which came with many complications in the months after Aria was born, with many, many visits to see midwives, doctors, gynaecologists and a trip to the ultrasound department.

Not only have I been on a journey physically, but I’ve also been on one mentally.

Mental health is something the health visitors ask you about at your 8 week check, but after that you don’t have a routine appointment until your baby is 10 months old! In those 8 months so much can happen, you become more and more sleep deprived, the adrenaline wears off and the visits from friends and family dies down.

I have certainly been on a rollercoaster with my emotions. Some days I really feel like I’m bossing it, Aria’s routine is fab, she’s happy, healthy and thriving. I’ve managed to get washed and dressed and actually get out the house! Then there are some days when I honestly feel like I cannot do it anymore. How on earth can a baby have so much energy when they have been up every hour of the night? Whilst I struggle to get out of bed and complete simple tasks like putting my socks on and remembering to wear deodorant. The self care goes out the window. You feel like you have no time, or you think why bother doing it in a rush because you won’t feel better for it so why even bother wasting you time? You find that your patience is wearing thin and you lose your temper when your baby screams out on that monitor for what feels like the 50th time that night. The next day you feel like a terrible mother and wonder how you even deserve this precious child you have been given.

You start to feel like you can’t tell anyone how you’re feeling. You know they are going to start thinking you have PND when in reality, you’re just having a bad day or even just a bad week. They seem to focus on the negative day you’ve expressed rather than the hundred good ones you been having. You feel like you have to keep quiet or just say how great it is being a Mum. When in reality you just feel like running away.

But then you have a good day. No tears, no tantrums, hardly any wake up calls and you feel a little positive. One good day turns into two, and before you know it you’ve had a great week! Motherhood is a constant rollercoaster, the journey has a lot of bumps on the way, but ultimately it’s a positive experience.

Being a mum truly is the best job in the whole world. It’s the biggest blessing yet the hardest sacrifice. The days feel long, but the years are so short. Before you know it they’re developing at a rate that you can’t keep up with, your tiny little new born is developing into this cheeky little toddler and you wonder how you’ve got here already.

It’s okay to feel like things are difficult every now and then, everyone had those periods where they feel like they have nothing left to give (however if it seems more negative than positive I would recommend seeking advice from a doctor). But us mums are magical, when we think there is nothing left in the reserve tank, we go and surprise ourselves by finding that last ounce of energy and ploughing on with the job.

Being a mum is good, but it’s also hard. Don’t ever be ashamed of that, just think how awesome you are for being so selfless and carrying on despite the situation. You rock mamas!

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