Friday, 30 December 2016

Motherhood - A lonely journey.

There are many things our friends, family, health professionals etc tell us about and prepare us for during pregnancy and once we have a new baby. But for me the feeling of loneliness was one I was definitely not prepared for nor did anyone tell me about.


When my first baby arrived I would trap myself in the house, it was my safe place. A place where I didn't have to pretend to be happy and perfect, I didn't have to pretend to have it all under control. I could stay in my pyjamas and feel safe and un-judged. The days were long, really long and I would be counting down the minutes until my husband would walk through the door from work and I could speak to another adult and I was no longer "alone". It was like this wave of relief would hit me as soon as he walked in the door. Another person to talk to, to help, to understand how utterly daunting this journey is and to almost pass the reins on to each evening.

I felt ashamed that I often resented the life I had. I struggled to adapt and questioned whether parenting was really for me. I knew there are people out there who would give the world to have a baby and here I was wishing my days away until my husband would get home, struggling with something I had been led to believe would come naturally. I guess its hard when you just want to give this new baby everything and all the love you have, to find time to love yourself and give yourself a bit of TLC.

In the beginning just after my husband went back to work, adjusting was hard! I had suddenly gone from working 6 days a week surrounded by adults and having a role and an importance to being a mum in what felt like an isolating and lonely place. For a while being a mum felt like the most difficult job in the world and I was a complete novice, except unlike in a job where someone was there to guide you I was alone in a scary, new situation.

Whilst the daunting fear of looking after a new baby did go and it did get a little easier once we had found some sort of routine, the loneliness was still very much there and now a new feeling had crept in, I was jealous of my husband! Yep as crazy as that sounds I was jealous that he got to leave the house, alone! He got to have some Independence at work and talk to other adults, he got a break from the nappy changing, the feeding and the constant need to care for someone so dependent on you. I became resentful and at times it would feel like I had cut the raw deal out of this parenting malarkey.


Parenting is not always the easy journey so many programs and people make it out to be! For some people that love is instant but for others it takes a while. For some people they slip in to a routine and have it all under control. For others like myself it takes time, there are other feelings that seem to overwhelm us like the fear or the loneliness.

James is now 7 and Evelyn 2.5 years old and it has most definitely got easier. I still get a little jealous that my husband gets to get out of the house and have some time away but I certainly don't resent him anymore. The loneliness is much easier too, I definitely found with my second baby that I had more confidence to approach mums and just be me, I felt more confident in my parenting choices which certainly helped me doubt myself less too. I worried less about being the perfect mum and focused more on just being the mum I wanted to be and not what I thought I had to be.


Mums and Dads there is no right or wrongs to parenting, that's why there's no manual or guide (unfortunately!). Each journey is unique in its own way and we will all encounter a rocky path or mountain we need to navigate at some point. It doesn't mean we don't love our kids any more or less, it doesn't mean you are any less a parent or that you don't deserve it just as much as anyone else.

This is our journey as totally exhausting, lonely, emotional and magical it may be. Don't be afraid to speak out, ask for help or just shout from the roof tops just how your feeling! Those feeling of loneliness are totally normal and caring for a tiny new totally dependent little person is draining more mentally and physically then we can ever really prepare for.

Sometimes we just have to remember to cut ourselves a break and give ourselves a little bit of that love too!


xXx



7 comments:

  1. Well done for tackling this subject - you hit the nail on the head totally! I was very lonely after having my first child. In fact, I returned to full time work just 3 months later because I couldn't handle the way I felt - well done you for sticking it out - you are probably really close and have an extra special bond because of it. I think more help needs to be given to new mums on this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You look like you have done a great job at being a parent. I couldn't do it myself but well done. You've done great x

    ReplyDelete
  3. So wonderful of you to share this, love how raw this post is Jessica! I used to work in Perinatal mental health and it's actually SO common for women to feel alone and forgotten about when they have a new born, it's such a HUGE adjustment for women to make, so much more than we give ourselves credit for. You look like you're an incredible mum <3

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm certain your honesty about this subject is going to be of immense help to a lot of new mums who are wondering why life with baby doesn't feel perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Such a wonderful post - and so brave to share. You will undoubtedly help others who are feeling this way. Kaz x

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's great that your spoken about this - I'm sure a lot of other new mums feel the same x

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well done for been so honest about this, I'm not a parent so I can't really comment but I can imagine it being quite lonely. I'm sure this post will help some new mum's out there xo

    ReplyDelete