I posted an article yesterday on Facebook about postpartum rage. Something I’m sure the VAST majority of mothers (and fathers) have felt – even if you won’t admit openly about it. I don’t think it’s a positive emotion to feel nor something that’s ‘OK’ but it’s probably fairly ‘normal’ and I feel it’s a warning sign that parenthood is too much. I believe we experience this when we feel overwhelmed. When we try to do too much. When we set expectations of ourselves or our babies too high. When we’re fed up with the monotony of parenthood. When we are tired beyond belief. When we’ve had no time to just be and nurture ourselves. After all, we are not meant to raise our babies on our own yet with modern-day life many of us are left to do just that.
This article focussed on the initial postnatal period but as rightly pointed out by a close friend and interacting with others this week it’s very clear this goes beyond the first few weeks/months and this term came up ‘I don’t recognise myself’. In the depths of PND and various periods post PND – this is something that happens to me – I don’t recognise myself as the parent I know I can be. And then the tears roll and I think I’m not cut out for this parenthood malarkey.
The last few weeks have been quite challenging due to a number of factors that have all collided at once and it’s made me realise that I need to start listening to my own advice. I realised I was getting overwhelmed, that I’m not parenting where I want to be, that I’m not the mum that I recognise and know I can be (and I’m a pretty good one!!!). Many of these have been totally out with my control and I feel I’ve been juggling too many balls – not letting any one of them drop – except one vital one – ME.
So it’s time I start listening to myself and start taking my own advice. That’s firstly make life easier for us as a family – recognise some of the pressure points that are making life too much for us all and tackle the ones that I can so that we can work with the ones we can’t. I already feel better by making a plan, by taking positive steps forward and also having the help of a few close friends who have listened to me so that I’m able to actually hear what’s going on rather than let it boil round and round in my head. And space – I needed a tiny bit of space to remove myself and reflect.
So make sometime this week to self care. To reflect. Ask for help. Get some support. What will make your life easier as a parent?
If you are experiencing PND – do get in touch – I can come work with you, explore what’s going on, provide advocacy, suggest areas to work on and signpost you to various support services – this can whether you live in Edinburgh or by phone/skype/messenger further afield.
With love, Tricia xxx