I needed to wait until time had past to write this post and reflect back on this hard time. I think it is an important topic to write about and to show that whilst motherhood is the most joyful, wonderful thing you can do that there can be big bumps in the road too.
It was at about 4 months after a bout of sickness I noticed that I was falling into a pattern of utter exhaustion, snappy behaviour and feeling unusually low when I has this bundle of joy in my arms. These on an odd occasion, it seems from talking to others are not unusual in the world of motherhood but I knew it was something more. I had suffered from depression and anxiety in my teens and early 20s so I was familiar with old traits and the ‘signs’.
I felt awful, guilty even, on the one hand I was the luckiest person in the world and on the other I had this cloud hanging over me, returning at such a pivotal point in my life. It seemed everyone one else was on top of the world, coping impeccably, some probably were and I was sinking. I felt shameful even. To the outside world I probably seemed fine, I got on with it, myself and Josh continued getting out and about but I was struggling inside and that wasn’t fair on anyone.
My traits as a perfectionist were rocked when I became a mum as you have to learn to just go with the flow a little more and baby tends to dictate your day. However I didn’t want to lose all of this as it’s what makes me who I am and keeps our house, lives and me in a good place but the constant thinking I wasn’t doing a good enough job, trying to balance my old life with my new needed to be addressed.
I had too much at stake so took action. After speaking with my husband and agreeing that a change needed to occur I approached Nurture which I had heard about through various sources. They are a post natal counselling service for women and their families who suffer depression or trauma relating to childbirth, parenting or even the loss of a baby. It is a non government funded charity and is invaluable to thousands of women each year. It is also subsidised so that the cost is kept low for participants. I felt a little like a fraud contacting them at first as I knew forms of post natal depression can be far more serious than the symptoms I was feeling. However they couldn’t have been kinder, speaking with Irene that first day took a weight off my shoulders and she didn’t once make me feel that what I was feeling was any less than what others may have experienced. After a short while we found a suitable councillor down in Greystones.
I clicked with Caroline straight away, which is key and she had me ‘sussed’ within minutes! Over several sessions over a number of weeks I talked through my issues with her and she gave me feedback, exercises and a new viewpoint. It was a real turning point for me and something that I am so glad I did.
It is 6 months later and do I still get exhausted-yes, do I have the odd bad day-yes, do I occasionally feel like a bad mother-yes but those blue days are behind me and whilst I continue to mind this mad mind of mine I am out of the hole, thankful for the guidance and cherishing the moments in the way that I should.
If you feel your ‘bad days’ are not just an occasional occurance and you feel that maybe you have things to be addressed I could not recommend Nurture more highly. There is or should be no shame, by going and talking to someone, feeling better, you are doing the best by your family and that ultimately is what makes you a
good mum not hiding behind a facade as so many do…As
they say-Happy Mum is Happy Baby!