Everyone was so excited when you announced the news of your pregnancy. People asked about baby names and gender, they asked if you were going to breast or bottle feed. They maybe gave you advise and told you it worked for them so it would work for you too.
You were overwhelmed. People told you how you were glowing and how they missed being pregnant.
You felt guilty. All you could think is how much you can’t wait to be back to your normal self.
The pressure to give your baby the best diet, to not gain a lot of weight and to stay active when all you wanted to do was eat crap and watch tv with your feet elevated.
When your baby was born you thought all the hormones would stop. But since you’ve been a mother it’s non stop. The guilt of not feeling overwhelming love when you first saw your baby and not having that connection. The constant worry that you’re doing right by your child. The never ending comparisons to mothers all over the world that they’re doing so much better than you. The loneliness of having no one to talk to all day. The haunting realisation that your life isn’t going to get back to normal any time soon, and the hard work is inescapable. The unexpected drain on your relationship, no sex life, no desire to have sex, resentment, distance. Will you both make it through this? Having nobody to confide in because why would you admit you can’t do something that millions of women have handled since the beginning of time.
Being a parent is so tough. You sacrifice every part of yourself for this tiny human who you love more than anything you can imagine.
Your child loves you back. Unconditionally.
Today marks Maternal Mental Health Day.
Let’s speak out without shame or embarrassment. We are mothers. Mothers with human emotion not superpowers. We are not perfect or magical. We are strong because we have to be. We didn’t get here without fighting through what can be the most challenging times in our lives. Having a baby is a beautiful thing, but we might not realise that as it’s happening and that’s okay. Because we love fiercely and we raise amazing humans.
Speak out and seek help, I can guarantee there isn’t a mother out there who hasn’t felt even a fraction of how you’re feeling. Speak to a friend, a mother, your partner, even a Facebook “baby group”. We’re all here to support each other.
Keep going, you’re doing an amazing job.