Mummy Mental Health

Mental Health, Mum, Uncategorized

My mental health is something I’ve never really been fully open about, and especially not on this scary platform for all to read. I have always really battled with my mental health, and have felt most of my adult life has been dominated by some particular demons.

When I was 20, I was diagnosed with moderate depression and severe anxiety, and although I wouldn’t say I suffer from either now, I remain an anxious person and find myself constantly struggling with my brain to ensure I don’t find myself in a position of not coping again. I didn’t want to live with labels above my head or use them as barriers. I worked bloody hard to feel all the good in me again.

I went through a summer of CBT sessions and I think these helped to the extent that it was the first time I really laid down the facts about how I was feeling and addressed things that went back as far as the age of 5. On the other hand, I found some of the techniques used in CBT weren’t for me and just filled my brain with more to think about. I constantly found myself looking for answers and the reasons why, rather than just dealing with the issue. This is still one of my hang ups now. In fact, sometimes I find myself questioning other’s behaviour more than anything else.

I worked out that if I wanted to feel better, it was going to have to come from me and I was going to have to do it myself. I read so many books about mental health and coping strategies. I kept journals of my thoughts and feelings and even had a notebook I created myself full of inspirational and motivational quotes and pictures of all the things I loved. I volunteered in the library and desktop publishing department of my now workplace. I threw myself into my degree, completing it long distance so I could do it at home and achieved 80+% in the 3 modules I was covering over that period of time. I came such a long way in such a short period of time and I could really focus on me.

I’ve always had issues with my self image and don’t think very highly of myself. I have a constant fear of not achieving or not being good enough. I come across to most, especially since Ted has been born, as a confident, happy individual. And to be completely honest, I am a happy and confident person too most the time, but I often need reminding of that.

My biggest fear as a parent is that Ted might one day struggle like I have. I know I can’t stop that from happening, but I hope I’m showing him the most appropriate way of dealing with things and that this will impact on him as he gets older. I guess at this moment in time, my new hurdle to overcome is being back at work full time and rejiggling the juggle of mum and work. Learning how to be there for my boy, but also be a professional.

Being a mum is the best thing I’ve ever experienced, and it has been the best way for me to deal with things that would typically and previously bother me greatly. My head now works in such a way that I prioritise how I feel about certain things and what deserves the most time and attention. Also having a little bundle of energy (I realise I’ve started calling him that a lot in these blogs now) running away from you and showing you all the new things he can do everyday is an amazing, wonderful distraction.

Despite my struggles, I am a strong woman. I hold my shit together when I feel like everything else is falling apart, and I just deal with it (after a meltdown or two…) Anything you can do, I can do on 2 hours sleep or vomiting every 15 minutes (pregnancy wasn’t the best for me) or with a 1 year old in my other arm. When my mental health begins to deteriorate, I bounce back. I’m working twice as hard to prove my worth, working full time, writing a book, keeping my blog updated regularly, planning a podcast, planning a masters, as well as attempting to keep my flat tidy and trying my best to be a dream mum for Ted.

I guess my point is, being a mum makes you rethink and reprioritise. Your every worry is now focused on the impact that will have on your child rather than you. Your usual self care becomes more of a team care and there’s no room for selfishness. Since becoming a mum, I’ve been less concerned with my own feelings, and sometimes they aren’t important enough for me to deal with, but the key thing is that no matter how many times people tell you and you don’t listen, you are so important. You need to think about you sometimes and that could be anything from having a nice bath with candles, or going for a walk or run, or a girl’s weekend away to clear your head and have fun. It breaks my heart seeing so many mothers struggle and battle each day because they’ve been taught that looking after themselves should come last, when really we need to look after ourselves so we are fully refreshed to look after our little ones.

Mum’s were people before we were mums and we need to remember that! Look after yourselves ❤

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