In light of the recent articles and discussions I’ve been having about motherhood, I worry that the point has been missed. There can be a lot of negativity floating through the parenting atmosphere and I most certainly don’t want to come across as a ranting, begrudging, regretful mother because that could not be further from the truth.
For those who don’t follow me on Social Media, you may have missed the weird yet wonderful last seven days I’ve had. It started off last Tuesday by being on 96fm’s Opinion Line talking about the mental hardship of parenting after suffering postnatal anxiety and ended up with little old me on Virgin Media’s Ireland: Am, discussing the challenges of motherhood. It’s made me fully understand and appreciate one very important thing. We have to own our Motherhood.
I obviously quit my job in January, after months of wondering and hoping, while on maternity leave, that working from home would be a viable option. And it has been. Financially we are better off than if we were forking out for childcare. I’ve worked every hour that I’ve been afforded and raised my profile as a writer, social media manager, content creator and more. I wear many hats! So many hat’s that I need to buy a hat rack. As the summer ended and we wrapped up our holidays in Wexford, I thought more and more about my quality of life and how working from home was pulling me down in ways I wasn’t expecting.
Being Momma Bear has changed me. I’ve changed drastically and dramatically and for the better. We grow up, drag ourselves in to the world of adulthood and expect nothing. For some people things don’t change. They blend from one decade to the next with the same ideals and shoes. Others change quickly, become bigger, better versions of their younger selves. And then there are new parents. The change is sudden and immense. The growing up and learning is vast. Parenthood is like an affliction that changes the internal mechanisms of your body and brain – in a positive yet frightfully severe way. Has parenthood changed you?
I’ve had some incredibly mixed emotions lately. Little Bean is almost one and I can’t help but think back over the year it’s been. It’s been good but it’s also been bad. And those bad days are standing out more. But I am ending today focusing on Little Bean and her big sister because while the year has been a challenge, guess what, we got through it.
It’s been almost two months since my anxiety “blip” which left me floored for two weeks with intense frustration, anger and anxiety that I lost control of. I wrote a letter to my Fricking Flamingo and kicked it out of the door. Before this blip I thought I was ok, in the safe zone, and had let life jump back on board making me forget about the ways I manage my anxiety.
I almost called this The Isolation of Motherhood as I’m in the thick of being a Stay at Home Mum on maternity leave but I’ve gotten to know so many Stay at Home Dads the last year through blogging and friends, so I’m being politically correct with my title. I wrote a post last year about the loneliness of parenthood which was about how your relationship can change when kids come along. I didn’t think I’d write about how lonely being a Stay at Home parent would be because I’ve read so much about it, I swore I wouldn’t let the isolation get to me. But it does. And I do wonder if dads feel the same.
I did it! One whole week without an anxiety attack. There was plenty of opportunity to feel the rush of panic with stress sitting in the corner laughing at me, needlessly taunting me. But no, this week I am Rocking Motherhood. Next week I’ll keep rocking.
Myself and B have been told on a few separate occasions on Twitter that we are #RelationshipGoals which is a pretty damn nice thing to see and hear. Basically, some people out there seem to see us as having a relationship that others should aspire too. I guess we come across quite well on Twitter but more often than not, one or both of us will respond to the tweet by bringing that kudos down a peg or two. We effectively deliberately knock oursleves off that pedestal. We tend to try to reiterate the point that we’re human and have our ups and downs like anybody else. And while this is true, it sort of got me thinking about our relationship and you know what I thought? Well, damn, yes, we are #RelationshipGoals but for one reason and one reason only…
I’ve been blogging somewhat sporadically the last few weeks. Gone is my focus, my routine and my schedule. It’s less to do with the fact that we have a five week old baby and more to do with that fact that a little over two weeks ago I accepted the fact that I was suffering from either anxiety or Postnatal Depression. D was only two weeks old and it had hit me hard. In the beginning I questioned whether it was the baby blues as the pregnancy hormones began to leave my body and sent me into a spiral. But now that I am five weeks postpartum and I’m still experiencing the painful pang of what feels like depression mixed with anxiety and confusion, I realise that I need help. I was nervous about publishing this post because it’s incredibly personal, probably the most personal I’ve written on the blog as it leaves me somewhat vulnerable, but if even one person relates to this post and realises that they too are suffering which then leads them to get help, then this post has been worth publishing.