As I’ve blogged earlier, I experienced PND with my first bubba, and it has also made itself known this time around. But I’m talking about something a little different. I’ve lost ME, for a little while. I think that it’s normal – after all there are massive changes after giving birth – physical and emotional. My focus has completely shifted. It is so easy to lose sight of yourself, as an individual, whilst mothering. Perhaps it’s easier when not in paid work as well? I’m at home, and not in the paid workforce at this time. So you know, spending days at a time talking to small people who don’t understand a) what you mean and b) logic, can be exhausting. Exhausting!
The relentless routine of feeding, cleaning, feeding, cleaning, and laundry. So much laundry. Every. Day. Perhaps it’s not really surprising that the mojo disappears for a while. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Right? Right?! Hehehehe.
So i’m on a bit of a mission to get my mojo back. And I’m not just talking losing weight and doing some exercise, although that will be a part of it. It’s about finding me as a person again. Or perhaps more accurately, easing some of my individual self back for me. And for The Mister. ‘Cos that’s a whole other issue – the evolving nature of the couple, once kids are added to the mix!
I’m starting with some obvious things – trying to improve the household diet, and add some regular exercise in. But I’ve also thought I need to do some more interaction with adults. So I’ve joined MOPS – Mothers of Pre-schoolers. It’s a playgroup where the kids are cared for in their rooms – ie baby and toddler rooms, and the mums get to participate in conversation, some activities and listen to different speakers for a whole two hours, no kids! (unless they need their nappies changed, then you get paged….). It’s really been interesting and has lead to another positive. They held are little Market just prior to mother’s day, just for the MOPS mums. We were encouraged to have a table there if we were starting up a new business, or if we already had one. It kicked me into gear, an a little seed of an idea that we have been sitting with has sprouted! The Mister and I are still working on it, but we are setting up an online store. Once it’s active I’ll write about it a bit more.
It’s been a bit of a challenge, and a bit nerve wracking – I’ve not really done any retail or markets before, but I do feel it’s actually helping my energy as well. We’ve got the office tidy and back in control, the same with changing out the pantry, and organising the kitchen. All things we’ve been meaning to do for ages.
Tell me, what have you done to get your mojo back post baby? Are you still looking for it? Tell me I’m not the only one????!!!!!!
* I’ve linked this up to the Digital Parents Blog Carnival for May 2014! Click through to check out some really excellent blogs.photo by: MSVG
Post Natal Depression. Ah crap. That can’t be right. Not me. My husband is super supportive, I have fantastic support from my mum, family and close friends.
Mothering was ‘supposed’ to be my thing! I’m ‘supposed’ to be ‘good’ at this! I should be feeling seven shades of bliss and happiness right now. Not feeling so overwhelmed that I can’t make a decision about how to finish the shopping, or to even get out of the house.
I’m well educated and aware when it comes to PND – I’ve worked with vulnerable women and their families for over 10 years, including new mums and community agencies. I know that it’s a lot more common than people think, that it has nothing to do with your ability or education.
I was diagnosed with PND when my first bub was four months old. And this came about because I knew how I felt wasn’t the way it had to be. I talked to my husband and to my mum – a current Maternal and Child Health nurse. A then I went to my GP. She was brilliant. Listened to me, reassured me, and basically acknowledged how I was feeling and just how hard and UNEXPECTED mothering can be.
For me, a combination of counselling and medication helped. But there again was another thing to ‘feel guilt’ about – medication whilst breastfeeding! However, I was reassured by my GP, and to be honest, I needed something to help me out of the fog I was in. Medication helped me with that. I’ve always thought and advocated that if the mum isn’t at her best, how can the rest of the family be?
In the time since this all came about, I’ve done a lot of thinking and reflection. How have we developed such expectations of ourselves? Why should I as a woman, automatically ‘be good’ at mothering? Why do I think I should be? Why do I think that I’m not? Mothering, parenting, is such an amazing, tiring, funny, exhausting, wonderful and shattering experience all at once. It’s not something that you can fully prepare for, despite the reading, the classes, the internet trawling you might do. It is different for EVERYONE. The pregnancy, the birth process, the feeding, the sleeping, the change to your partnership. The change to yourself.
The most important thing I think I can say to anyone about to become parents, or even those already in it, is to be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Love your baby and family. But love yourself as well. Chances are, you’re doing a fabulous job.
If you think you could be feeling better, or your partner could be feeling better, check PANDA out. They’re a good place to start.