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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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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. 

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Day Twenty Six

Day Twenty Six.

“Not happy with your life? Do something to change it. Start small, be brave , and be happy. Your happiness (or unhappiness) is all up to you and no one else”.

I wasn’t happy for a long time. I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand why. I had no idea how it happened and if it was ever going to get better.

I had many dark days. Many days where I really thought that this was it. This was how it was going to be. This was how my life was going to be for the rest of my life.

Why?

Why was I so unhappy?

I had never felt this way before. It was strange, it was confusing, it hurt.

The first few weeks after my baby arrived were undoubtedly the best weeks of my life. I had made a tiny human and he was perfect. He had a perfect little nose. Perfect little toes. A perfect little baby noise. Our family was complete and it was really, truly perfect.

We were all happy.

So why when he was two months old did everything suddenly seem wrong?

I cried all the time.

I hid away all the time.

Going outside was near impossible.

I had always thought that PND happened pretty much as soon as the baby popped out. I never thought it could have happened that much later on. I never thought it could have happened to me.

Hiding away my feelings made everything 10 times worse .

And I was to blame for it. I was to blame for everything. I made myself unhappy. I didn’t talk. I didn’t open up. I mean, who really wanted to talk to me about my mundane problems ? No one wanted to hear that. I didn’t even want to hear about it , especially out loud.

But I did.

I had so many people around me that offered so much support. And eventually I took it. My friends and family have been , and are all amazing. Without them I don’t think I would be where I am today. My partner has been my absolute rock. He has helped me overcome my bad thoughts , my bad days. And I can now be brave enough, be confident enough to open up, be honest and talk . Not just to him, but to anyone.

And it was the best thing I could have ever done.

My little solider is nearly 9 months old and I can finally admit that I am better. I am happy.

It’s so hard to admit that I have a mental health problem. Because some days I still don’t really believe it. It’s still there, niggling at the back of my mind. But it’s at the back, and when it creeps forward a bit. I have to talk about it. I have to beat it.

I’m happy . And I’m going to stay happy.

It’s been a long journey. It’s been a tough journey. But I’m nearly there.

My baby boy is the most beautiful thing in the world. He makes me so, so happy. I make him so, so happy. We have the best time together ever. And these times make me forget the bad times.

I mean, I’ll never forget what happened. It’s all been a part of our journey together. And it’s made me the Mum I am today.

A good one.

A proud one.

A confident one.

A brave one.

A fucking happy one.

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Day Twenty Five

Day Twenty Five.

“Stop focusing on the things that you aren’t and start celebrating all of the amazing things you are . Right here, right now, there are so many things to love about you”.

I had a mini meltdown this weekend. I don’t know why as I had such a good weekend. My best friend was home from travelling and I got to spend a lot of time with her. She got to spend quality time with my little man which he loved. And I got to spend quality time with her. We even went out out. Which was amazing.


So why did I feel so crap?
My little man sleeps through the night. Most nights. But I’m still finding that I am absolutely shattered. All. The. Time. And I think it really got to me this weekend. It got to the point where I didn’t actually know what to do with myself. I sat on my own for what seemed like hours. Why? Why did I do that?

And I thought. And I over thought. And I over thought my over thought. It really felt like I was losing this battle.

I can’t control it and I think that’s what gets me down.

I have worked so hard to get where I am and it is so deflating when I feel sad. And I feel sad and beaten when it’s as though I’ve let my partner AND my son down.

The way my son looked at me this weekend while I was having a bit of a cry was heartbreaking. And it hit home. I shouldn’t be upset. I have an amazing son. I have an amazing partner. I am an amazing mum. I need to celebrate this more.

I have incredible days. Watching my son grow each day is the best thing in the world. He is so happy. And I did that. I make sure he is the happiest boy in the world. I can’t let him see me cry. I can’t cry. Why should I cry? What is there to cry about?

I over think. And I am stubborn about it. Once I’m in that zone, it takes a while to get out of it. So, how I can stop being in that zone?

I need to be strong.

I am strong.

I’m a mum. And a bloody good one .

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Day Twenty Four

Day Twenty Four.

“When you are angry or upset (with yourself or others) try to respond lovingly and see how it changes the situation. Be compassionate towards yourself”.

Right now I am trying to get my little man to sleep. We are both frustrated. He needs a nap. He doesn’t want a nap. I want him to nap. I want to nap. And it’s difficult to not get frustrated with him about it. Even though I’ve been rocking him for what seems like days, I must carry on until it works. And eventually it does.

It’s not his fault. He wants to stay awake and play. He fights it so hard. And however much I get annoyed, frustrated, or angry, I can’t let him see that. He loves me. He depends on me. I must show him that constantly. And I want to show him that.

Once he’s asleep, then I can vent my frustration. Kick a pillow. Throw an invisible plate against the wall. Sit down and have a bit of a cry.

Because I do know that I’m doing a good job. A great job in fact. And I love my little man more than anything in the world. So why on earth would I show my frustration to him? I’m allowed to have these little moments, because it is difficult and I can’t always win. But I try my best. And trying my best works.

There has been times where my frustration has taken over, and it does make a difference . My little man can tell. It then takes longer for him to settle. Takes longer for him to get comfortable. Because I’m not comfortable. It’s just not fair, for either of us.

So the continuous rocking, the repetition of The Lion King soundtrack, the soft cuddles and kisses on the forehead make him comfortable. How ever long it takes. And as I’ve said before , it will happen eventually. I know he’ll go down eventually.

I show I love him as much as I possibly can. Sometimes that gets frustrating because I want to give him as much love as I can and I think I might actually burst.

But I think the main thing is, is however hard things get, I never show my anger. I hide it until I forget it’s there. And most of the time, when a cheeky smile looks up at me, the anger/frustration whatever negativity I’m feeling, is instantly lost.