Is this normal? What do ‘normal’ mums feel?

This is dedicated to one of my friends right now who is struggling and for her, and all the mamas out there who are on a rollercoaster of emotions – I want to normalise some of the ways that you might be feeling.

I also think it’s helpful to understand what’s not normal too and when you need to get help.

We are all amazing mums, all of us looking after little people to the best of our ability.

IS IT NORMAL TO:
• want to upsticks and run away? YES
• cry at the drop of a hat? YES
• to shout at people you love when you’re struggling? YES
• be in need of a holiday from parenting? YES
• to feel as though “I’m not good enough?” YES
• beat yourself up with a stick about how crap you are as a mum? YES
• make a fuss about getting a break, then when you do get one to not know what to do? YES
• feel so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start? YES
• lie in bed all day? YES
• have occasional intrusive thoughts that harm might come to your baby (i.e. you might drop your baby down the stairs or drown your baby)? YES
• resent your partner? YES
• worry about getting it right? YES
• want to be perfect? YES
• find intimacy hard? YES
• struggle with relationships? YES
• feel angry? YES

WHAT’S NOT NORMAL?

• to actually get in the car and run away without telling anyone
• to not be able to get out of bed day after day
• to cry all the time
• to constantly cancel seeing people because it feels too much
• to not manage normal conversations
• to have thoughts about not being here anymore
• to harm yourself or your baby
• to have constant intrusive thoughts
• to have visual disturbances
• to not sleep when your baby sleeps
• to not be able to wake up when your baby or child wakes up because you’re sleeping too deeply too much of the time
• to check on your baby every 5 minutes
• to not be able to relax
• to stop laughing at all the wee things in life
• to scream at your children all day

Motherhood is a rollercoaster of emotions.

There’s nothing that will test you more in life as much as becoming and being a mum.

These are conversations we need to be having as women and as mothers. There’s no shame in any of these.

If you experience things on the ‘not normal list’, you may want to seek out additional support. Please speak to your GP, Health Visitor, or contact me and I can help signpost you.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the moment, take a few minutes to take this Overwhelm Screening Tool which helps you to gauge how overwhelmed you may be feeling.

Much love, Tricia xxx

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