Why when we are pregnant, we are warned of so many things. Do this, don’t do that. If you do this you will be ok, but don’t ever do that. We are taught so many things, how to look after our new baby, feed them, burp them, change them. But what about us? Why are we not taught how to cradle our own souls when it’s 4am and we’re up feeding for the 3rd time that night. Why are we not taught how to take care of ourselves after having a baby? Most people will read this and be baffled, but it’s true. Why are we not taught to care for ourselves after giving birth. You see there’s an elephant in the room that not many people talk about and that elephants name is “stay at home mum depression”
What is stay at home mum depression you ask? Well let me explain first hand as somebody who has and still is dealing with this every day.
When you’re pregnant, everybody is so excited. All your friends are saying they can’t wait for baby to meet his/her auntie & uncles. They can’t wait to meet baby, they’re going to be there every step of the way, they buy gifts and everything just feels so exciting. Then baby’s born. Suddenly those friends fade into the background one by one. All of a sudden nobody comes around anymore. Everybody has excuses. They have lost interest.
You start by feeling disheartened, you don’t really understand but you hope that you’re just over reacting and that they’ll turn up any day now to pay you and baby a visit. A week goes by, no friends, two weeks, no friends. They still text you rarely, but you no longer get invited anywhere. You’re no longer part of the jokes. Like they faded on you, to them you’ve completely faded into the back ground. It’s hard. Loneliness kicks in and suddenly you feel so alone, like you have nobody. It’s just you and your little bundle of joy. You love her, you love her more than anything in the world and you feel riddled with guilt from head to toe for feeling anything but pure happiness when you’ve just given birth to this beautiful little human.
As time goes on you begin to feel trapped. You’re stuck behind the same four walls day in day out. In the same routine. Just you and your baby. You feel like you’ve lost part of your identity. Your know longer known as you, your known as mum. And as lovely as it is to be a mum, sometimes your body just aches to be called by your real name by a familiar voice, at least just once.
You start to get lazy, you don’t go anywhere so you no longer make an effort with yourself. You stay in your pyjamas and dressing gown, keep your hair in a messy bun/pony tail and spend your days over thinking about what life what like before and why it’s so different now. You don’t understand. How Can everybody who was excited disappear and no longer care? They’re my friends. Why would they do this? Do they hate me now? Who wants to hang out with a person whose constantly covered in baby sick. So many questions tick round in your head. You feel SO worthless and SO alienated. You’re trapped, trapped inside this life of been a mum and only a mum. Your no longer you, you’re just mum. You feel parts of your personality deteriorate and when you look in the mirror you notice your eyes don’t shine as bright as they used to.
But you love your little person, you love your little person more than life itself but GOD FORBID a mother needs a break from time to time, why is it so frowned up on? Mothers going out and enjoying themselves. I watch them with envy. One night to do what I want? I can only wish. My nights revolve around bubble baths and bed time stories and also making 9 glasses of water a night because my child insists she’s thirsty a thousand times before she will actually go to sleep.
I don’t really have many tips to dealing with SAHMD, it’s something that I’m still dealing with even more so now after loosing my job earlier this year and falling back into the same routine. But one thing that I did find helped make the days easier was breaking the routine. Even if you just do one thing differently to what you would normally do any other day. Do something you enjoy. Take five minutes to breath, remember that excitement when you first saw your baby’s scan picture. Read a book, drink a coffee, listen to your favourite music and remind yourself that you are still YOU. Yes you’re mum, first and for most you will always be mum. But you’re still YOU. You still have a life and you still deserve to be loved.
Remember, you may feel Like everything is pointless and your trapped inside a life you dont know how to break free from. But one day all of this is going to be worth it. Because your little bundle of joy, will grow up and realise that his/her mummy did everything she possible could to overcome and obstacle to give him/her the best life possible.
Stay Strong Mammas ❤️
If anybody is going through this or knows somebody who is, I’m always here for a chat. Just leave a way for me to contact you in the comments and we can talk!