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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.

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Day Thirty

Day Thirty .

“Watch what you say to, and about, other people. Don’t buy into gossiping and bullying. Create a loving atmosphere around yourself. Let love shine through”.

I’m not very confident about taking about my PND or my anxiety as I get embarrassed. I get embarrassed because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what other people will think of me. Of what they will say to other people about me. So I tend to keep very private about what’s going on in my head. I try to stay strong in front of others to, I guess, prove to myself that everything is OK. So there won’t be any gossiping. And I expect there actually isn’t any gossiping but I just can’t and won’t believe that.

I’m not one for bullying. Never have , and never will. Bullys are weak people and it’s sad. So I have stayed well clear of all of that.

But I guess I kind of bully myself. And as I keep so quiet about everything , it builds up and I begin to doubt myself. Why do I do that? Am I really that sad? Am I that stupid? I argue with myself. Should I have been that bit braver ? No. Because I’m not brave. I’m weak.

This past year has been a huge struggle. A struggle that I have tried to be strong. A struggle that I am proud to say that I’m nearly overcoming . But I still can’t help but think about everything. And wonder why I do the things I do, or don’t do for that matter.

So I am very careful about what I say and who I say what to. Because I want to beat this and I can’t let my anxiety take over and think about who’s saying what about me and why. And that’s why I keep quiet.

I’m my own battle.

It’s a never ending cycle I suppose . But one where I can actually , finally see the end.

I must be stronger and try not to worry if people do gossip. I have a mental illness and that’s OK. I should be able to speak about it. Because it actually helps. And the people who I talk to, I know won’t gossip, who won’t joke that I’m flakey , and a little unhinged, who I know that have my back.

And I’m happier most when I’m with these people because I love them, and they love me. And they’re the people that are helping me get better.

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Day Twenty Nine

Day Twenty Nine.

“Don’t judge your beauty by the number on the scale. You are sexy and beautiful no matter what your size. End of story. Believe it, beautiful”.

So, I weighed myself for the first time since having a baby. 10 months on. And even though I have lost pretty much all of my baby weight, I’m still not happy.

Having a baby changes so much . So many things that I’m not used to. So many things for me to worry about. To be self conscious about.

I know and I realise that I should be so proud of what I’ve achieved . I made a human and that is the greatest achievement ever and I am 100% proud of it. However , I can not come to the fact that my body changed.

It is a daily struggle choosing what to wear, especially if I am going outside and being seen in public. I have real bad social anxiety so body awareness is huge for me. I care so much about what others think and how I am and how I look. It makes day to day life hard for me.

My partner , now fiancé (proposed at Christmas , thank you!) has been and always is an amazing support and tries to reassure me pretty much all day every day that I’m beautiful . And I shouldn’t shy away from it.

You can always tell people how you think they’re beautiful but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll believe it too. And then when you hear it too often , you start to actually doubt it. You just can’t win.

I look in the mirror and it hurts. I have tried really hard to get where I am today. I exercised every day for months. I have tried to eat as well as I could. I walk rather than drive. And yet I’m still seeing bits wobble around that weren’t there before, that Just. Won’t. Budge.

I am so, so proud of what my body did to make the perfect little human I have today. And I really must learn to love every single inch of it. And I am trying. I am trying really hard.

This year has been a huge challenge for me. Nothing is easy and I’ve had to work at what I’ve achieved. I know I will get there, one step at a time. And I will love my body again however it looks. Because at the end of the day, I have to thank it for doing what it can, as without it, my little solider wouldn’t be the perfect son I have today.

So above everything, I thank you body, for being amazing. And I’m sorry I don’t love you the way I should right now, but I will. I promise.

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Day Twenty Eight

Day Twenty Eight.

“Make boundaries. Trying to please everyone will not make you feel nourished or happy. Set your boundaries and stick to them. Best thing you can do for yourself”.

I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember . I most probably had it as soon as I came out of the womb. So I’ve always been a very reserved person, which means I have boundaries for everything.

One of my biggest fears is socialising. Socialising especially with people I do not know. So I set boundaries to not do that. Not to push myself too far . And it’s difficult . Especially since having a baby. There are so many baby groups it’s unreal. I said from the beginning that I’ll try. I’ll try and go to at least one group. Try and make new friends .

I never have.

We go to Water Babies every week which I suppose counts .. and I struggle every single week. It takes me at least four days to the run up of actually going to calm myself . We’re on our third term and I still can’t really cope with it all. But I go. Even though my mum comes along with me. I know how much she enjoys coming , but I need that person close to me, near by. And that is enough for me.

Today I went to a baby Christmas party. By myself. It was fucking terrifying. The friend I was originally going with had to unfortunately cancel, and instead of my usual “phew, I can stay in and hide from everyone”, I went. By myself. And oh my God I panicked. I over stepped my usual boundaries . Because I wanted to do it for my son. He had a Christmas jumper he was just eager to wear (he told me obviously..) and there was free cake.

It was tough. I didn’t know anyone and my little man was a bit sleepy. But, he played and seemed to actually enjoy himself. He had a free gingerbread man which he was just ecstatic about and there was Christmas music and lights and oh so many toys.

Sometimes I have to go over my usual boundaries not because I have to, because I want to. I want to do things for my son. I want him to enjoy every little thing possible. And I know how much he loves gingerbread , so obviously we had to go today!

However nerve wracking it was , I can say that I went . I went by myself . We played , we ate , we had fun. And I can be proud about what I did today. It’s another tick off the list. Even though I burst into tears as soon as we left, I am proud of myself.

Probably won’t do anything like that for a while… but for the meantime I can say that I did something mentally challenging , I beat my anxiety for just that moment and I watched my son enjoy his party. Our party.

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Day Twenty Seven 

Day Twenty Seven. 

“Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Break down those walls and barriers every now and then and let others in. Don’t hide. Don’t suppress. Let love in”.

Every day I feel vulnerable . I mean, I still don’t know what I’m doing. Every day is new. Every day is different. Every day is a bit hard. But, every day is good. 

I have very tall , thick walls surrounding me. And in all honesty sometimes I feel more comfortable leaving them there. It’s easier for everyone. Once a brick falls off, I want to instantly put it back. It opens up a problem. An issue. Something I don’t want to address. 

But, these past few months I have tried so hard to let other bricks fall. I am in a much better place and I have to remind myself that it’s OK that I still have days that are a bit hard and I can talk about it with others, especially my partner. 

There was a time where I felt alone. Where my wall was so high that it was dark. Because I mentally couldn’t let anyone in. I had left it too long and I had given up. 

I thank my partner for everything. He finally got me to believe that I wasn’t alone. I did have people who were around to help. Who loved me. Who wanted to help to make it brighter for me. 

I hid away for so long and even thinking about it makes my heart ache. Why did I do that to myself? Why did I do that to my son? Why did I do that to everyone who cares for me? 

Because I was ill. Because I didn’t understand what was happening to me. Because I was embarrassed. I was ashamed and I was hurting. So I hid. 

I can admit now that even though I feel so much better, I do still have those days where my vulnerability takes it’s toll and I feel weak and useless. But, all I can do is keep going. 

My little solider is nearly 9 months old. He is an absolute character and he makes my world so much brighter. He makes me let love in and keep it there. He shows me that it’s OK to feel vulnerable at times, who’s more vulnerable than him right now? I have to show him how the world works. What it means to be happy and to be loved. 

I honestly can not thank my family and friends enough who have been there and helped me through this difficult time. I didn’t seek any medical help. I self helped. I have used the love around me to help. And I don’t think I would have had it any other way.