Quick note: I started this post two weeks before Christmas, and I was in a completely different post when I finished it two weeks later, and I think the change in the way I talk is pretty obvious. Pre warning for anyone wondering why the hell it sounds like two different people writing it…
I always knew that having a baby wouldn’t be easy, that much is obvious. I’m now entirely responsible for another person, another life, someone that relies on you for absolutely everything. How could that possibly be easy? What I didn’t expect though was the change in my personality, I’m sad, I’m frustrated, I’m anxious to leave the house, and I have absolutely no motivation whatsoever, for anything. I’ve gone from being someone who had their life in order, who had plans and goals and who knew what they were doing, to someone who feels like they have absolutely no control over anything, but with the added pressure of having a baby to provide for. I’m not writing this because I want sympathy, I can tell you right now that I don’t deserve any – I have an amazing life, an amazing child and all of my successes still to be had – I’m writing this because I’m sick of feeling sorry for myself. Having a baby is not simply a matter of milk, nappies and love. My life has been flipped on its head, and whilst it is entirely for the better, right now I’m completely lost and I’m trying to find my feet again. I love my son, and I couldn’t imagine life without him now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss how easy everything once was.
I feel like I’m not allowed to complain, or say I’m sad, or struggling. I’ve got a baby and that’s something that should ultimately bring only joy, but it truly is not that easy. In the last week, I’ve not left my house once with Harrison alone. I have a set spot in my couch which has been all but imprinted with my body, I’ve re-watched the entirety of Greys Anatomy, binged on Criminal Minds and I’ve somehow found myself back at Series 3 of Geordie Shore. It’s all just a bit sad. I’ve let myself get bogged down in the new found complications of leaving the house and socialising, and more or less became a hermit. I do have my good days and bad days, in Harrisons’ 2 Month Update, I talked about how I’d made it out most days in the last week to see real people – real adults, and I felt so much better for it. But then we hit the 8 Week Leap and I found myself back in a funk, back feeling sorry for myself and not pushing myself to do anything at all, bar sit on that same spot on the couch. It’s not fair on myself, and it’s not fair on Harrison for me to close myself off and spiral deeper into whatever this funk may be. I’m so aware of how common Post Natal Depression is, 1 in 10 women are affected after childbirth, and whilst I’m not suffering with it now, I can’t help but look at the symptoms and think I’m all but self-inflicting them all. ‘Symptoms may include sadness, low energy, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced desire for sex, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability’. Towards the end of 2016, I’ve gotten myself down. shut myself off and I stopped doing the things I loved doing before having Harrison. I’ve been drowning, but drowning without wanting to admit it.
There is something so taboo about saying your not enjoying time with your baby, or that your not adjusting well to being a mum. It’s supposed to come naturally after all, mothering should be the most natural thing in the world – but for me, I’m a baby with a baby. I’ll be 22 in two weeks time, and I’ve had to grow up more in the last 2 months than I have in the last 10 years. I wasn’t too young to become a mum, but I was too young to be pregnant. I couldn’t get my head around it, or get excited about the idea because I was too busy focusing on everything I was losing. I was still acting like a child. Life was no longer going to be easy and straightforward, and in a way, I resented that. I would never have changed when I fell pregnant in hindsight, but I won’t lie and say that at the time my world didn’t crash around me a little. If you read my posts though from when I was pregnant, I was happy, super excited, ready for a child. Was I heck. I said all of those things because it was what I was supposed to say and how I was supposed to feel. I was lying to myself and I was lying to everyone else – I was scared, in fact I still am. Everything happens for a reason, and I now believe in that more than ever. Over the Christmas period, the extra help and the more family time made me realise just how lucky I am to have the family that I do. It is difficult at time, and there’s no shame in admitting your struggling, I’ve came to terms with that and I already feel better for doing so. I’m now looking forward to the New Year, to all of the milestones 2017 will bring, and to the entirely new journey I now get to go on.
My New Years Resolution this year doesn’t involve weight loss, or money, or no chocolate (the first time it’s not been since I was about 12…), it’s simply to enjoy life as it happens. In 2016, everything changed, for the better – even if it didn’t feel that way all of the time – and I want to live in the moment and enjoy every second of it. I don’t want to look back in a few years time and have these first key few months clouded with my own anxiety and stresses. I may have struggled, but everything is slowly but surely falling into place, and will continue to do so in 2017. Any doubts or negative thoughts will be left in 2016, where they belong. Being a mother is the most difficult, but most rewarding job possible, it’s simply sometimes easy to forget that. Everyone struggles, most just don’t make those struggles public, and when you realise that the world of parenting feels like a much less lonely place. Here’s to 2017.