It’s time to get postnatal mental illness out of hiding.
Reflecting on my own experiences as a mum of three now grown up children, I struggled with my own mental health after my second son was born so I can empathise with the challenges of battling internally with emotional distress. I was a qualified and experienced Nursery Nurse so I felt I ‘should‘ be able to cope with parenthood as I was trained to be knowledgeable and skilled in this area but still didn’t fully understand why I felt the way I did and this just added to the frustration I felt within myself so I hid how I truly felt from others. I had a wonderful friendship group around me as well as family who was great at supporting me but I still felt very alone in my thoughts of not feeling able to recover quickly in my own mental health.
I had my second son on the day of his brother’s 2nd birthday which was an emotional day in its self, not being at home for my son when he woke up to wish him a happy birthday or be able to watch him open his presents and celebrate with him from the moment he woke up. I wasn’t able to take him to his lunchtime meal we had arranged with our friends. The delivery of my second son had been fast and incredibly painful compared to my first delivery. I was in a great deal of pain trying to recover from the trauma of my birth experience. Life was difficult trying to adjust to two wonderful but very small dependent people who relied on me to be there emotionally as well as practically to meet their needs so the guilt I felt of not feeling good within my own mental well-being was immensely overwhelming at that time. I now recognise I was suffering from anxiety and really appreciate that it was a challenging time for me as a young mum trying to do my best to cope with the life transition I was experiencing.
At the time Google, internet forums and websites were very limiting and I didn’t know how to access them. I didn’t have access to other people sharing their stories of their difficult experiences or wasn’t able to access self-help support. Somehow through my own awareness of wanting to enjoy my experiences with my fabulous boys who did bring love, warmth and happiness to my days, I was able to find the inner courage and strength from within to battle through and recover from the dark place I had found myself in. I went on to have my third child four years later, a beautiful daughter and experienced some anxieties during the early months. Within those four years after my second son, I had participated in a couple of supportive groups in my local area and went on to run toddler groups so I could encourage many younger parents to share their stories giving them reassurance that they will get through their difficult days too.
I am very passionate about family life and aim to provide a safe place for families to access emotional support when they individually need the space to work out what is going on for them through their difficult life transitions. Get in touch if you would like support with any of your parenting difficulties, relationship issues or internal self-doubting challenges. Don’t be afraid to open up and share your story.