When I am sad, angry, feeling crap; I write. I find it cathartic, and it somehow eases the pressures I put on myself as a woman and even lifts the ‘mum guilt’ a little. I am going to share something with you, which I wrote when my son was about a year old.
Warning: this is pretty unpretty! It’s my very own ramblings, scribbled down at stupid o’clock one morning about 6 months ago. Before you read this, I’d like you to know that I have never had poor mental health in the past, and I don’t even think I had postnatal depression. This is simply how shit being a mum can make you feel!
We always hear about the positives of being a mum, the “yay, sunshine is seeping out of my every pore” bull-crap, we tend to tell ourselves that children are a gift from above, something special, to be cherished, a “bundle of joy”. I do agree, but seriously ladies, let’s be realistic. These feelings and emotions are (sometimes) on a par with the “I haven’t slept for more than 4 hours solid in like, forever” – “I just want to poo on my own” – “I wanna have dirty loud sex (whilst thinking of Captain Ross Poldark) and not wake the baby”-“I want to feel like a damn hot mama, not a damn hot mess”.
You know what? Yesterday I replaced my “sexy undies” draw with a selection of joggers, leggings and baggy jumpers! I am that mum that rejoices and praise myself when I manage to find a clean pair of jeans AND actually wear them instead of the comfy Asda ‘lounge wear’. And even worse than Asda joggers, I don’t even care anymore!
For me, the fleeting words of “I just want my old life back” creep out from time to time. And you know what? It’s okay to allow ourselves to feel like this, and to say it out loud. What’s not okay is keeping these feelings locked inside our scary female heads, letting them fester and become something too big to handle. What’s not okay is ALWAYS feeling like this and NOT seeking help. I don’t want this blog to make you think “pah, well there you go, she’s thought worse than me so I’m not gonna bother seeing my doc or talking my tablets”…. you know what I mean? One in ten of us get PND or have prolonged ‘baby blues’ and it’s okay to be that statistic, it is not okay to ignore the feelings. Seek help, get support, you are not weak, you are a beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made mama bear who needs a little cwtch in the brain space department. You are a brave mama bear!
So here is what I wrote, while I was in the pits.
“To my love, my baby, my darling, my son. I can’t do it anymore. I don’t want to have to do it anymore. I hate that I hate it. I hate that I’ve failed, that I’m shit and useless. I despise my annoyance, my poor patience, my lack of compassion. I detest my mind, my body, my lack of soul. I am scared. Scared of the impact of my incompetence on your fragile brain. Why don’t you sleep little one? What is wrong? What did I do? What did I not do? How can I change it without damaging you further? I feel so alone. So lost. So hopeless. I feel empty. Like a dirty, hollow vase. Useless. Ugly. Shattered-mind and heart. I am so sorry I have failed you. I love you so much. I love you completely, entirely, unstoppably. I love you. I think I should leave you. Is that still abandoning you? Even if it’s to benefit you? I’m empty. I have nothing to give you. I’m losing everything, everyone. I’ve lost myself. I am dead. Cold. An echo, an empty promise. Pathetic. Stupid. Pointless. My puzzle-piece relationship – severed. Gone. Marriage-like a shadow. Nothing is tangible. Nothing is left. I can’t pretend any longer. I can’t believe in a life that isn’t “Ronseal; does what it says on the tin”. There’s too much I can’t fathom. Happiness? Where are you? Purpose? I can’t find you! I feel nothing. I am nothing. But YOU are everything. My boy, my darling boy. Tell me, how do I breathe again? Where do I start? Should I attempt it? I don’t feel the right feelings. I don’t give you enough. If I leave who will give you more? Will you be another statistic regardless? I just can’t.”
My little handsome spud was 12 months when I wrote this, he has NEVER slept, ever! Sleep deprivation IS the biggest bitch. We need to give ourselves much more credit, we need to be kind to ourselves and we highly need to drink more wine!
You can read Jess’ last blog, a heart-breaking and painfully honest account of miscarriage, here
I am Jess, wife to a talented photographer aka “Fraser the Amazer”. Mother to a 17 month old curly haired monster called Noah! A Beach-loving, Tula-rocking, wine-drinking, cheese-eating legend! I say legend because I am a Mama and we are all legends! I suffer from a condition I’ve named “random Tourette’s roulette” – the latest outburst was “side pussy”! Don’t ask, I don’t know! I am also a SCPHN (sadly not as exciting as it sounds). And I am 1 in 4.