A mum and a wife and sometimes just me

Tuesday 24 April 2012

A journey

This is a long post with no funnies so you might want to look away now. I have actually debated a lot with myself about writing it. When hubby heard I was writing something he actually advised me not to blog it...people can be judgemental he says. I said that people can also be supportive. The point is I have always felt comfortable hiding my emotions and sharing only what I think people want to hear with the fear of being judged. I am learning to be in a place where I am comfortable with myself that that judgement is not so important. This blog is about me and so here is a little piece of me getting a little bit personal.

It's about a journey, a journey that I have taken recently. A very difficult journey that has changed me so much that I am not sure how much I recognise myself any more. Change for the better I might add, change I never new was possible because I sure can be stubborn. Yes there is lots and lots of the old me still right inside there *poking at my chest* and maybe I should be saying that I have not so much changed as grown. Yeah I know this sounds cheesy but it's like a flower blossoming, enjoying the sunshine. 

Fourteen months ago I gave birth to my beautiful son. I felt a whole lot of love but I also felt a whole lot of fear and trepidation as I entered into the whole new world of motherhood. I wanted to be the perfect mother, the perfect mother who needed no one. The problem is I have never been a mum before and babies don't come with instruction manuals. I think even if I had done this amazing parenting course where I felt so prepared, I know that nothing could have prepared me for holding real life in my arms. A small, dependant, baby boy who I knew needed me. In those first weeks it was just me and daddy and baby and it was hard. The midwives felt it was important to come nearly every day in those first few weeks but it did not help that each one tended to offer different advice none of which seemed to make a difference anyway. I struggled with breastfeeding and I was struggling as a mum. My son has a great dad and he's a great hubby and with a good health visitor offering support I managed to find my way through. 

By 6 months I felt it was time to start finally looking for a job having been unemployed for so long. I was struggling just being a mum and I did not want this label to completely take me over no matter how much I knew I loved my son.  When I was offered a position as a Social Worker with a local council I was over the moon as I was actually getting to use the degree I had worked so hard to get a year before. It was hard at first and as everyone said I thought it would get easier. It was the best for all of us. It wasn't just the constant late nights it was also the heavy emotions I was bringing home at the end of the day that was just gradually wearing me down. Slowly it got difficult to get motivated to get up and go in the mornings. I usually managed to skip lunch and was just eating a lot of crap. I went to a training session and we had to think about what we did to have time for ourselves and I could think of nothing. I was feeling sick and tired.  I think there is a saying that goes how can you help others if you can't help yourself. Eventually I was sent home from work and went to my GP where I was signed off work with stress.

That GP appointment was scary but such a relief as I felt I had some space to breathe again. I have a great GP which really helps and she has really listened to me and given me mini counselling sessions every time I have seen her. On the first visit when she mentioned medication I honestly started to cry. It suddenly became so real to me that something was wrong. I now had to go and tell my family and it took a lot of time before I could even admit it to my friends. It should not have surprised me that everyone was supportive. The worst person judging me was myself. Getting healthy was also not just about taking this little white pill. I have started speaking to a counsellor once a week. This was a battle in itself, really opening myself up. I am now really concentrating on speaking openly and honestly with everyone. I am learning to nurture my friendships with others as I can't go on trying to do everything on my own. It's been really important to me to spend time with family and when they offer me support, say yes.

Here I am 3 months later. I am still off work. I tried to go back after 5 weeks but when I arrived at the office I was fighting so much panic that it was hard to keep the tears at bay. I was not ready and now I am not sure if I will ever be ready. I know I want to work but I had to admit to myself that this job was not for me. The battle for me was to admit this and realise that it did not mean I was failure. I have never before not seen something like this through to the end, never thought about giving up a job without other options in the wings. That is another big part of this journey to admit that it's not about giving up, it's about learning and admitting that some things are not meant for me without being ashamed.

For a long time I have not had a pretty image of myself and I am still working on that. I have had a lot of negative thoughts and emotions swirling around me and I guess being a new mum, starting a new job, being a good wife just finally brought it all to a head. What it's meant is that I have finally admitted and confronted the negativity. I'm getting better, I'm recharging my batteries. This journey though is far from over and being open about it actually makes the journey a lot easier.


  1. Well done for writing all that down and hitting publish. Thats such a great step in itself. It sounds like you've done everything right by getting help when you really needed it. Parenting is NEVER easy and anyone who says it is, is lieing. I think all mothers battle with guilt and feelings of inadequacy, I know I certainly do. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses in life and in parenting. You have a wonderful husband, son and family and you will get through this. All my love. xxx

  2. Sending you LOTS of HUGS and cyber support!!! There's NO need to feel ashamed. Everyone struggles with something and it takes a lot of strength and bravery to admit it and then get help for it. You are so not alone in this. Check this out if you like. (Ignore that it says "special needs parents". I think it goes for all parents) http://oxygenmaskproject.com/our-mission/ It's all about women who were going thru a hard time and then realized they needed to take care of themselves before they could really take care of anyone else. I'm happy that your husband is so supportive. Michelle and I are in your corner for sure. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help.


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