So this week is Maternal Mental Health week.
Mental health is not just about those with underlying mental health issues, it is also about keeping you mentally healthy.
Looking after your mind. Looking after yourself.
After my daughter was born, nothing was quite how I imagined it would be.
For starters, the birth had been harder. The labour, was longer and the emergency c section was unpredicted.
The sleep deprivation was MUCH tougher.
The love for her was deeper.
The anxiety was overwhelming.
It was intense, and foreign, and like my life had ended, yet only just started, all at once.
I questioned these feelings. Was this normal? was it really this hard? Why do I feel so lonely, and yet so suffocated? Why can everyone else cope except me?
I used other people as my benchmarks, without actually asking them. I took the image they portrayed on the outside, and blamed myself for not being like them.
I now know, from being open and honest, that I was certainly not alone in any of the above thoughts and feelings. I wasn't rubbish, or weak, or selfish for feeling like that. I was adjusting.
Motherhood is relentless. It is 24/7 whether you like it or not. There are no weekends, no holidays, no sick days and no time off. Adjusting to such an enormous change, takes time.
Allow yourself that. Don't rush it. Don't beat yourself up and DON'T use other people as benchmarks without knowing the truth.
If you need help, with ANYTHING, ask for it. Don't expect people to notice, you will be doing a good job of hiding it, trust me. If someone asks you if you are doing ok, and you're not, tell them! (maybe don't blurt out your life story to the checkout girl in Morrison's, but you catch my drift).
We all need a vent every now and then, a little de-brief session with our nearest and dearest. Get it all off your chest. I'm sure we have ALL moaned to our girl friends about our other halves over the years, babies are no different. Doesn't mean we love them any less.
So consider this your 'nudge', to either help yourself or help someone else. Don't be afraid.
We are women, lets do what we do best.... lets TALK!!!!