Well, you've had the advice. SOOOO much advice (don't worry, it's not going to stop anytime soon). But how much of the stuff that says you need to take care of you first have you really listened to?
I mean, really listened to?
This week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness week and never has this topic been so close to my heart. Yes, parenthood is a blessing and a wonder and an absolute privelige. There are men and women everywhere who cannot be parents and so desperately want to be and in NO WAY do I want any of them to think I don't know their struggle is real. But this can be a struggle, too. And one that they don't always tell you to look out for, or how to handle, or who to turn to.
There are times when it's overwhelming, or a bit exhausting, but there are times when it runs a whole lot deeper than that, and it isn't easy to talk about. But it MUST be talked about.
There are some other amazing mummy bloggers who are running a #ThereForHer campaign that resonates with me. It speaks of togetherness and support that people don't always assume will be available. I was lucky; I had a network. I had family and friends and relative strangers (who became close friends incredibly quickly) who were at similar times in their lives or had been not so long ago, so I always had an ear. It didn't mean that sometimes I wasn't lonely, or scared or just good old fashioned down-in-the-mouth. So many people don't. Or do, but can't seem to open up about their feelings when they need to most. It's not always an easy conversation to have.
You don't always have to ask for help. You don't always have to appeal to a group of strangers and divulge your deepest and darkest feelings. But you DO have to know that they're there for you, if you want them. As am I.
And listen, don't ever think that the mum at the doctors, or at that baby group, or at some cafe you might have been to or just seen walking down the street that looks like she has got this gig down isn't battling her own demons. I don't know a soul that didn't on at least one occasion say 'Christ, this is harder than I thought it would be.'
I had a shit day yesterday. My kids didn't do anything particularly wrong, I didn't have a day any more out of the ordinary than the one before that or the thousands before that, but it felt... shit. Sometimes they do. If you cast your mind back to that time (that now feels like a lifetime ago) when your baby hadn't even been heard of, you had rubbish days then, too. Don't let the fact that you're a mum make you believe you're no longer allowed to find life a bit tricky sometimes.
Equally, your man might be struggling. Or he might see you struggling. Make sure the two of you talk, it's a balm for the soul. Maybe the two of you talk about it at length all the time and have a totally healthy approach to the whole situation, but for you as well as anyone else that might be reading this here is a reminder; it is okay not to be okay.
Just don't be not okay alone, okay?
Lots of love from me xx