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My Journey Begins

How do you begin to write about yourself? Where do you start? What do you think others will want to know?

How do you start to write about how sad you are?

So, a little about me. I’m 30 and I have a 15 week old son. He is the most beautiful little boy I have ever seen, and he is an absolute dream. He came into the world pretty early and pretty quick, and we weren’t quite ready for his arrival but I guess he just couldn’t wait any longer to meet us! My partner and I have been together for three years and we couldn’t wait to start planning for our family. He is an amazing man and an absolutely incredible Dad. There is no way I could have gotten through this new journey without him.

I have heard about PND (post-natal depression) but never in a million years did I think it would happen to me. I still find it hard to come to the fact that I am a sufferer, especially when I have such a beautiful baby boy.

But that’s the problem isn’t it? I couldn’t let myself believe that I had it. I had a responsibility now, a new role as a mum. I didn’t have time to feel sad. I didn’t have time to think about what I needed to do for myself. I always knew that it was going to be tough. I knew there would be sleepless nights, countless hours of trying to figure out why my baby was crying, hourly feeding and remembering to eat myself. But, I never knew how much it would affect me both mentally and emotionally.

I put it down to sleep deprivation as to why I felt the way I did. Trying to stay positive when the feeling of fatigue was slowly taking over my entire body. The long days of trying to look after a tiny human and feeling like I’m just talking to a wall.  My partner was constantly asking if I was OK and if I needed help with the baby, but I always convinced him that everything was fine.  I was trying to convince myself that everything was fine.

It’s a hard thing to try and accept. Did it mean that I wasn’t cut out to be a mum? Why wasn’t I good at this? It’s MY baby, I made him, surely this should make me feel euphoric?

I can’t remember when I broke. I think that when my partner asked me for the umpteenth time if I was OK, I gave up. I just couldn’t lie to myself and to him any longer. It was draining trying to pretend.  That’s when things went even more so down hill.

The day I admitted to him how sad I really was, I sat down with a glass of wine and wrote out two pages of what made me sad. Writing that down proved that there was something wrong. Why did two pages of my life make me sad? How could that have happened? What made me feel worse was how could I fix it? If I hadn’t of written these things down, then I would not have had to face them. Now I had to. Now that my partner knew, there was no way I could get out of it. Things would have to change.

There were times were I really had to think and ask myself if I did want things to change, surely it was just because I was so tired and I was just being dramatic and wanting some adult attention. But no, it was 100% depression and I had to face it. I had a baby. He needed me. I needed him.

Now that my partner was aware, I think I started to feel worse. I should have felt better, but I used him to take the baby when I had had enough. Someone to take the baby so I could just go away and cry. Someone who would play with the baby, make him smile and laugh. Because I couldn’t. I would watch him and think why I couldn’t be like that. I loved my baby more than anything, why didn’t I want to show him. I used my partner to give our baby the positivity and happiness that I couldn’t. And that’s what made me feel worse. Before, I would force myself be happy. I would force myself to give my baby some fun stimulation, but now I had an excuse, that when my partner was home, he would do it.

He would always insist that I spoke to someone, always trying to get me to call the health visitor but I wouldn’t. I believed that I could do this by myself.

And I did try. But the days I tried, the nights were awful. I would sit and cry as I fed my baby and while my partner slept. I would sit and think why did this happen to me? Why do I feel like this? Will it ever go away?

Most of time I didn’t even admit to my partner how bad some nights were. I hid my sadness as I was scared I would upset him and I wanted him to think that I was OK and I was getting better.

I couldn’t tell anyone. I didn’t want everyone to know that I was failing. When friends asked how we were getting on, I lied . I lied so much, I nearly started to believe myself. That was until we got home, it was just me and the baby, and reality hit. Here we go again, just me and a tiny human that I have to do everything for. I tried to make plans with friends because at least then I could talk to an adult about normal life and listen to their stories about their lives without talking baby. It was something I looked forward to. When they would cancel, it would set me back and then have another ridiculously sad filled day. It wasn’t their fault, they had no idea what was going on as I pretended my life was great, they didn’t know that cancelling our plans made me sit straight back in my huge seat of depression.  It was then that I realised I needed my mum.

Opening up to mum made things feel a bit better, I didn’t let on how bad things really were, but I think she secretly knew. Talking about some things did feel like a weight (a very small weight) had been lifted and I could see the tiny light at the end of the tunnel. But again, I was still convincing myself that this would one day go away on it’s own .

I had countless conversations about PND, and how many woman suffer from it, and what needed to happen to make changes. The thing was, was that I needed to make these changes , I needed to own up to this depression and start making a life for my son. I needed to be the mother that he needed me to be. I started looking online as to what I had to do to sort this out. There were pages and pages and this then became overwhelming so I stopped. Then started the vicious circle of my emotions again. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle, but still wouldn’t open up.

My sister, my best friend, was next to know. Now three people knew and again I felt too much pressure to make things better. She however had spent time and sent me links to self-help sites and I never felt pressure to read them. If I’m honest, I didn’t want to read them, I had no motivation to do anything anymore. When baby slept, I wasted time watching TV or reading magazines. My energy levels had pretty much disappeared and I didn’t really care anymore. However, one link I did read. I read from start to finish.

So today, I am starting “31 days of self-love”, and this is my journey.

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Why Mummy Drinks..

It’s Sunday. It’s my “day off”. Well a day off from work. But it’s 5.20pm and I have spent nearly three hours doing payroll, managing the next months rotas, drew a fucking boots mind map ( although it is pretty epic ) and I’ve also put washing away, put a new load on, hung that washing up, emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the bits that didn’t clean in the dishwasher (why does that happen?!) cooked pizza, cut pizza into super , tiny slices of pizza fit for a mouse as every slice seems to be “too big” for my 2.5 year old. I have been emailing, texting , messaging the work whatsapp group..

I don’t stop.

And this is why mummy drinks.

Noo is getting through his 50 tiny slices of pizza and it’s taking forever because there are so many god damn slices. Oh, did I mention that he has insisted on having two drinks too? Juice, not Mummy’s kind of drink.. Let’s just clear that up.

I am half way through my HR degree. It’s great. Very informative. Lots to learn. Just love it when I have 12 hours to write a 4500 word essay as I’ve left it to last minute as I haven’t had a day off or even a minute to sit down in the last 986 days. Yeah that’s right, the age of my child. 621 days back to full time employment. 305 days doing my HR degree, and 274 days of my retail NVQ .

This is why Mummy drinks.

Above everything else, I have a wedding to plan. 265 days.

To be fair, we’re pretty on schedule. Although the copious amounts of pom poms I have hand made over the last year is beyond belief , check out my insta for pom pom updates LOL.

How do I fit it all in?

I drink and believe I am superwoman.

I never knew how much I actually do until a Sunday, because on a Sunday I have to not only finalise the last week of work but plan ahead for the next week. It never ends. I also have to change pants (Nicky’s not mine) , watch The Bee Movie (Sunday favourite, and Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, you get it) , build a train track , do painting, play playdoh (although that is Matt’s favourite) , take the boys out shopping for food , do washing for the week, study , tidy up , sort recycling , bathtime, milktime, bedtime, be a mum , and be a partner.

Nicky got upset earlier as I wouldn’t give him a third bowl of skips.. don’t judge that I gave him two.. I mean skips are made of air, but three really?! I can’t even manage that. His poo will ultimately smell like prawn.

It’s 5.50pm and pizza has finally finished . Behind me is the TV playing the most annoying American baby songs. I watched American Horror Story earlier, I can only imagine what kind of nightmares I will be having tonight… Floating giant men with the background music of “pjammas are good for you, monkeys like pjammas, we like them now”.

Thank the lord that Matt cooks for us, I mean I would just die. Actually to be fair, if I cooked , we would die.

I just had the poo summons.

Yep, you guessed it, smelt like prawn.

And this is why Mummy drinks.

Over and out.

Why Mummy Drinks...

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What makes a good mum?

It’s been a year since I last wrote ! A whole year! And it only seems like a week.

Every minute , every hour , every single day is passing by like a blur . Why can’t it just slow down for just one moment ?!

Noo is now talking. Well, I say talking.. he knows words and words that only my partner and I can understand but he’s getting there . And counting to ten! How did that happen? Why isn’t he struggling to roll back over onto his front like a turtle in distress anymore?

I’ve taken on a lot at work. I’ve gone back full time and in the past year , I’ve gone from managing one store to three. To starting an NVQ and taking on a degree . I’m beginning to realise that I do a lot outside of home . A LOT. And it has taken its toll on my home life. I want to succeed for my family and ultimately I want to succeed for myself.

My anxiety makes me nervous. It also makes me a perfectionist . And it’s a fucking nightmare. I can’t be great at my job and be a great mum , a great partner , a great friend , all at the same time. And it’s difficult to make that balance .

Noo under no doubt has the most happiest life. We have been so truly blessed with who he has become to be. And I take advantage of that. I take advantage of the fact that he’ll be happy wherever he is. I’ll go to work on my days off. I’ll work extra hours. I’ll work a 60 hour week without a second thought. Because I know he’ll be ok.

But am I ?

It’s really difficult for me to work with the struggles I face with daily . I want to be the best for everyone. And the majority of the time I know I’m not.

Noo needs me to be happy. To be confident in my life balance . And at the moment I’m struggling to find what that is.

I miss him.

His little nods. His giggle. When he farts and thinks it’s hilarious . When he just wants a cuddle. When he argues when a van is a bus when it is actually a van. When he says thank you. Says thank you to everyone and anyone . When I mention we might go out and he brings me my shoes , daddy’s shoes , his shoes and his backpack and we’re not actually going out for another 4 hours , when he recites the alphabet with only 2 letters, when he asks to go in mummy and daddy’s bed , when he snores .

That makes me happy . Noo makes me happy. Knowing noo is happy , makes me happy. Watching him grow makes me happy.

I work a lot yes. I study a lot yes. But I also play as much as I can . I teach as much as I can. When he stays at grandmas , I call him as much as I can. Because being a good mum is being happy . Being a good mum because your baby is happy. And noo is still my baby . He will always be my baby and I will always do my absolute best to keep him happy. Even if that means giving in and saying a van is a bus.

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Juggling work and home life.

I haven’t written in a while. And I guess that’s because I haven’t been sure on what to say.

I’ve been back at work , full time, for six months now. And it’s great. But it’s hard. It’s so hard.

I absolutely love my job. And I always want to do my best. I want to be best. I want to work hard to provide for my family. And with that, it comes with a price.

There are some days where I see my little man for only half an hour, an hour tops. I leave at 8 and get back at 7. I miss breakfast and bedtime.

I have one day a week where I get to spend the entire day with him. One day. One day where I should devote the entire day to him. But I don’t.

I have one day a week to do housework. To visit friends . To visit family. He doesn’t get me all to himself. And I don’t get him all to myself.

And I feel awful about that.

I feel awful if I leave chores. I feel awful if I don’t get to visit friends. To visit family. To get a load of washing on. To hoover. To play fire stations or truck races.

How can I give it 100% to him when I need to fulfil my role at home life too?

I wish I had more time with him. I miss him every single day I’m at work. I miss him every single minute I’m late back. I miss him every time i choose to meet a friend after work.

But where does the balance start where it’s all acceptable?

My anxiety makes this a lot worse . I get anxious that I don’t see him enough. I get anxious that I need to succeed at work but can’t if I have to stay home.

It’s never ending . And I feel like I can’t win.

What’s best?

The time I spend with my little solider is undoubtedly the best time I ever have. And he comes with me wherever we go on my day off and he absolutely has the best time. He loves going outside, he loves meeting new people , he loves seeing friends and family , and most importantly , he loves being happy.

Being back at work hasn’t changed who he is. And I wouldn’t change that for the world . I have the most happiest son I could ever have asked for. And yeah, I work a hell of a lot. And yeah, we have busy days when we’re together. But, on that very rare occasion where we have a whole day just two of us, it’s fucking brilliant . And I absolutely love the fact we get that.

Yes mummy works full time. But mummy is bloody great at being a mummy.

And we have the best time ever.

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Being Truthful

A few days ago I made a social media post about my progress. It had been a year since I went public with my PND. A few days ago I felt good. A few days ago I felt positive.

The day after I posted , I broke.

Was I really kidding myself that I was better?

I have tried so hard this past year to feel more like me again. Maybe I pushed myself too far. Maybe I’m not cut out to be Mrs positivity .

Am I lying to myself?

Am I lying to everyone?

I feel broken. I feel hurt. I feel exhausted.

It’s got to the point that I can’t leave the house. Even the thought of it absolutely scares the life out of me.

I have been off work now for three days. Have I ruined any chance I have to progress? I can’t help but worry about every little thing that is happening to me. It affects everything. Everything.

Will I feel normal ever again?

Will I be happy ever again?

Will my partner still love me?

Will my son still love me?

I could go on and on with questions. All these questions battle in my head and it’s draining. I’m tying to fight them all and it’s making me believe I am failing.

I am failing as a person.

A partner.

A Mum.

I tried meditating while I had a bath on the first day. It confused me. What should I be feeling while this is going on? I had to close my eyes. Why? How long does this last? Even meditation makes me anxious.

I don’t think I am ever going to beat this.

I can honestly admit that when I did write my yearly post, that I was in fact feeling better. I was more positive. I tried hard to get this far. But was I actually covering up again?

I do believe that I won’t feel like this forever. But I just don’t know when it’ll end. And that frightens me.

My son does make me smile on a daily basis. He fills my world with love. But, I am exhausted with trying to keep up. I do not in any way, want to let my son or my partner down. And I think it’s that pressure that I’ve put on myself that I’ve spiralled out of control again.

I try hard at work. In fact , I try very fucking hard at work . As I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to let my team down. I don’t want to let anyone down. And again, I push myself too far.

I need to learn how to relax.

To calm down.

To take things easy.

To love life again.

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Mother’s Day

Today was my second Mother’s Day. Today was a really lovely day. Today my little solider bought me lots of gifts and even signed the card . Today was the mark of strength. Today proved that I can do anything.

Last year on Mother’s Day, a man publicly shamed me for breastfeeding while in a pub. My first ever Mother’s Day. My first time out. My first time feeling brave. I had never felt so hurt, so sad, so humiliated.

I was so excited about going out with my little one, who was five weeks old at the time, and we were having the best time ever. We were celebrating. We were being a family. Never did I know that the next day it was all going to be ruined.

The next morning I had a knock on the door from a reporter. I was so confused at the time, she went on to tell me about a neighbour of mine shaming a woman breastfeeding in a pub. I didn’t think anything of it really, until I googled it. Then realisation hit me. It was me. It was me he was shaming.

I will never , ever forget that moment. How could someone do that to a young mother ? A first time mother ? On Mother’s Day?

Anyway, the next few weeks were tough. I was paranoid. I didn’t want to go out in public. I didn’t want to do anything. It was on This Morning for crying out loud. I felt ashamed. I felt confused. I felt betrayed. Betrayed by humanity.

But you know what? I grew strong. I grew brave.

And to the man who has no respect to Mother’s feeding their child, to the man who thinks it’s OK to publicly shame Mother’s feeding their child, to the man to obviously lives in the first ever century, to the man who lives directly opposite me… you didn’t beat me. In fact, you made me a stronger person. A stronger Mum. And now I feel I can do anything.

So in a way, I thank you for being a complete and utter old fashioned arse because , I feel fucking great. So cheers !!

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Day Thirty One

Day Thirty One

“We all make mistakes, sometimes terrible, horrible, life-changing mistakes, but remember, that’s what makes you human and it’s okay. Know that”.

From the first day I started feeling weird, a bit like I was on a different planet, somewhere that I wasn’t fit to be in, I thought I had made a mistake. Why was it OK that I had a baby and was going to bring him up in a world where I didn’t understand, where I didn’t know of what I was doing was right. Why would I do that to him? Why would I allow that to happen ? Surely that is absolutely unfair to the little , tiny human that should have the best in life. And I couldn’t do that for him. I wasn’t going to be the Mum he deserves. He deserved the best. The best mum in the world. And I just wasn’t that.

WHAT AM I DOING?!!! WHAT AM I DOING WRONG??!!! HELP MEEEEE!!!

Since writing this blog, I have grown so much as a person . And so much as a new Mum. I have undoubtedly had the best year of my life, and also the most hardest, most terrifying year of my life. I admit , there have been times where I wanted to give up. Where I wanted to hand my baby back. Because I felt like I wasn’t good enough. And I did want what was best for my son. And at the time I wasn’t that.

My little solider is now a year old. A YEAR OLD! And he is the most happiest , smiliest, funniest little human I have ever met. And that’s because of me.

I admit there have been times where I have made countless mistakes , because everything was new. I had never done this before. And that’s what scared me. I hadn’t had this confidence before . I hadn’t had this knowledge before.

I mean there are still times where I have to take a step back and think oh my god what am I doing?! Because I am still learning. And I have to remind myself that I have done a fucking good job this past year. Through all the tears and meltdowns , through all the door slamming and near walk outs, we have done the best we can. And that is what counts.

I feel so proud of myself. I am so proud of my partner who has put up with all my shit and helped and guided me through this. I am so proud of my son. I am proud of our family.

We will continue to make mistakes as that is what life is. We make them and we learn from them. And that is what this past year has taught me. And that’s what has made me stronger. And happier.

PND will always be there. I still have days where I want to do a runner or hide in a hole for a week. But I now have the strength to battle past that.

Writing has saved me. Writing down and sharing my story has helped me. And I hope that I have helped other mums out there who have felt the same way I did. And I want you to know that it is OK to feel the way you do. Because you are only human. We have feelings that we can’t control and don’t understand. And it is scary. But, there is help out there . Stay strong, speak out and be brave. You can do it.

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What is sleep?

At 4.30 this morning I was losing the sleep battle. Do I get up? Is this the start of my day already ?? Being kicked in the head at that time of day was not what I signed up for.

Usually my little man is pretty good at sleeping. He goes to his bed and then comes in with us in the middle of the night and that’s that.

The poor little mite has a cold. He couldn’t settle because he couldn’t breathe. He woke up when his dummy fell out. He woke up when his dummy was put back in. At times he wasn’t even awake, he was just having a little disco between me and his dad. Haha. A little disco, who am I kidding. It was a fucking rave. Resulting in feet, hands or head being bashed at either one of us.

I literally feel like a zombie.

Sleep deprivation really is the worst.

I remember being told when I was pregnant to “get enough sleep in, you’ll be up all the time when the baby arrives blah blah blah “, “make sure you rest blah blah blah” , “sleep blah blah blah”, ” BLAH BLAH BLAH”.

Sleeping when pregnant ?!! Seriously . What does that even mean ?! I can’t remember feeling comfortable, ever! That was probably worse than it is now! How ever many pillows I shoved around myself didn’t stop the kicks in my ribs, bum, my entire body.

“Nap when the baby naps, blah blah blah”, “try and relax when the baby is down, blah blah blah”, “BLAH BLAH BLAH”. All a load of bollocks. I wish I could sleep during the day. But who will come and do the chores? Oh yeah I forget, the fucking chore fairy.

I love my son sooo much. And I do feel for him when he’s poorly and not feeling himself. But he really is a devil when it comes to the lack of sleep.

The fact is that now it’s 8.30am and he’s wanting a nap .. why didn’t you just sleep longer earlier ?!

I’m never going to understand it.