Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Are you ever free from Post Natal Depression?

As I write this I am not sure whether I will actually post this on the blog or just use it as a personal vent.

As someone who has suffered with infertility, having a family of my own is something I have fought long and hard for.  I even quit my dream job for something that paid better so I could save enough to be able to give up work and look after my children full time.

The majority of people I have seen in this position savour every minute of motherhood when they are finally blessed with a family.  Every sleepless night, every long day, every milestone, they take in their stride.

But what if it doesn’t happen like that for you?

What if you are not enjoying it?

What if you are struggling to cope?

This is a huge taboo subject.  Motherhood has its ups and its downs.  Some days are always better than others. But we frequently hear that “it’s the hardest job in the world but worth every minute” and “the good days always outweigh the bad”.

But what if they don’t?

What happens if you can’t remember the last time you had a good day?

What happens if you are not sure you have ever had one?

After C was born I am pretty certain I suffered from Post Natal Depression.  The stress and anxiety associated with giving birth prematurity, coupled with her being an extremely high need baby, her health problems and my husband working away from home, made the first six months especially difficult.  I was miserable.  

When B was born 21 months later, things were so much better and made me realise how bad things were with C, however I am beginning to wonder if you are ever really free of those feelings.  Whether they prevent you from ever really enjoying motherhood.  

My husband is not very helpful. He says if I am not happy at home I should put the children in childcare and go back to work.  To be fair I do know one or two mothers who have done just that!  But it is not for me.  I will not do it. They are MY children, I love them, I am fiercely protective of them, and I will not palm them off on someone else just because of my own personal struggles!

I love giving them cuddles and kisses.  I love reading them stories.  I love watching them grow and develop and learn new things.  I don’t even mind the nappy changes, the cooking, and the endless washing.  However hard I try though, I do not enjoying being their entertainer.  Whether it is stacking cups, shaking rattles and doing role play. I really do not enjoy it!  The thought of a day alone in the house with my children is depressing!  I just do not have the energy to enjoy playing with them.  I crave my personal space and the ability to pop to the toilet without it causing a meltdown.  Every day is a monotonous countdown to bedtime.  It shouldn’t be like this but it is, and that makes me feel like a terrible mother. 

I am tired.
I don’t just mean that I had a bad night last night.  I mean I am physically and mentally exhausted.
I haven’t had more than a couple of hours break for 865 days.  
I never expected motherhood to be a walk in the park but I did expect to be happy. 
These feelings have come as a shock and I am at a loss to know how to improve things.

The worst thing is I know that this wonderful age will pass all to quickly. In the blink of an eye they will be all grown up and not need me at all. I will never get this time again and I will look back with sadness that I did not make the most of this time when they were all mine. Yet try as I might I cannot shake myself out of this hole!

As usual I do not have any answers but writing things down does seem to help...


  1. I could have written this exact blog post! I know just what you mean. I love my children dearly, love the precious moments I have through being a SAHM but I also find it overwhelming and monotonous at times. I don't want to go back to work, I want to be with my children but I do find motherhood so much harder than I expected it to be and it makes me feel very guilty at times when I don't enjoy it as much as I would like to. I don't have any answers, just a virtual hug and to let you know you are not alone in this.

  2. Ok, so in my professional opinion there is strong link between PND and expectations of yourself and motherhood. So if these expectations are excessively high or rigid then there are likely to be difficulties with low mood.

    In my personal opinion, I've found that going back to work has really helped me.
    I don't feel as though I'm palming my kid off at all! I think he gets two days having lots of fun, playing with others and doing activities he doesn't get to do at home.
    I get a break! I get to do the job I love, use my brain, talk to other adults. And when I finish my 2 days I am genuinely looking forward to spending my time with my boy and think I'm way more motivated to plan stuff to do together.

    I think it's about balance. I'd wouldn't want to work full-time but actually part-time seems to work for both of us.