Have you ever felt temporarily insane? I think we all feel insane at some stage of motherhood – maybe throughout the pregnancy, within the first 6 weeks of having a newborn, or maybe it’s a while after the birth of your babe and you simply just don’t know who you are anymore (ya know, besides a Mum, wife/partner, cleaner of bodily fluids…)
Well, you are not alone.
I listen to the universe, when I am not spending too much time in la la land and I am able to actually pick up on what it is telling me. Well, a lot of experiences/encounters I have had lately, compelled me to write this blog. Let me begin by sharing, that if you google ‘insanity’, this is the definition in the Oxford dictionary…
Extreme foolishness or irrationality.
That was me (Teina might tell you that it still is). It was/is a lot of other women I know too. You are not alone. As my friend broke down to me, she explained to me how she was feeling. I told her that I felt like that just after I had Amaya, she looked shocked and then through her sobs, she asked ‘really?’. I told her “you are not alone. I have been there and so many other women have been there too.” If you show some emotion after you have a baby, everyone labels you with post-natal depression. Like uhhh you didn’t label me ‘depressed’ every time I cried, before I had a baby. Um, hello, I am a Cancerian. Hormones + Cancerian = a lot of fucking tears and irrationality. I didn’t get post natal depression, yet anyway. But if I did, I would have no shame about it. Having a baby is massive. It throws your life into a whirlwind. Preparing yourself for all of the emotions that come with having a baby is almost impossible. The love, ohhh the love. The lack of sleep. Oh…that.lack.of.sleep. But somewhere, in this wonderful bubble of love, snot, vomit, poo, milk, sore boobs + no sleep, is you, catering to someone else entirely and probably forgetting about yourself. You are not only a Mum, but also still a wife. You are trying to make sure that your partner is ok, making dinner and maybe making his lunch, washing his work clothes and trying to put some of your free time (what is that?) and energy (don’t you get that from sleeping?) into your relationship. We should have a date night! Yeh good idea…yeh soon, I won’t feel so guilty leaving the baby when he/she is a little older. Weeks go by. You forget about you. You lose balance. Everything goes to shit when you lose balance. You forget about your relationship, because the baby is the obvious thing that needs attention. You are tired. No, exhausted. You cry easily because you feel empty, exhausted and like you don’t even know who you are anymore. You become temporarily insane. You become snappy. You are frustrated with yourself because who the heck are you? Why am I so snappy? You’re both tired. Your partner gets snappy. Sleep deprivation causes you to temporarily turn on each other. In this moment, you realise that you only see your old self, on occasions. Probably just when you look at your Facebook memories. You feel like a Mum, a wife/girlfriend but you don’t feel like yourself.
Balance is everything. I lose balance so easily it isn’t funny. Just recognise these feelings, these signs and know that you aren’t alone. Now do something. Because you deserve to be happy. You deserve to look after yourself. You, your child(ren) and partner deserve the best version of you. But don’t take this on, on top of your other responsibilities/obligations. Delegate. Ask for help. Don’t worry about the washing – go see a friend for coffee/cheeky wine. Because your friends are your sanity. They will listen, they will love you and they will understand you. As much as men are wonderful, they don’t truly understand, nor should we expect them to. They have never felt the hormones crashing, the frustration of not being able to get to the baby to latch etc. Explain to your partner how you are feeling, ask them for support and help. Turn to your friends. Don’t judge each other. Whether you believe it or not, us Mumma’s are all in the same boat, trying our damn best to raise good humans and learning to to keep our balance along the way. It would make life a lot easier if we held each other up.