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Post Natal Madness Is Perfectly Normal

1
When I look back on my experiences as a new mother- I don’t remember the extreme tiredness, or the shock I felt as I tried to adapt to my new role in life. I don’t look back with awe at how amazingly I coped with bringing a new human into the word and keeping it alive. I don’t look back with fondness at the “beautiful” moments I shared with my newborn son. I have one over-riding thought about those first 6 months – I think I lost the plot for the while. I don’t think it was postnatal depression, I just lost my mind a bit (in the
SelfishMother.com
2
non-medical way that a person can be a bit nuts..but not officially ..does that make sense?).  So why does nobody talk about this?  For me, a combination of sleepless nights, being in a completely novel situation, coping with hormone highs and lows, losing control over the amount of sleep/food/down time I was getting and not being enamoured with my new role in life, or indeed the small human who came with the job, led to numerous irrational feelings.
These included:
-Extreme jealousy of my husband whose life seemed to carry on as normal.  When he
SelfishMother.com
3
left for work I would cringe with envy as I imagined him sauntering towards the tube, enjoying his 40 minutes in someone’s armpit, then sipping his hot cup of tea and participating in adult chat that did not centre around poo, sick or milk.
-Anger at his lack of comprehension of how tough it was to have to look after HIS non-sleeping baby that shat and puked from dawn till dusk and all the hours in between. He was an absolute legend when he was at home but no matter how much sympathy he claimed to have, he still did not seem to appreciate the
SelfishMother.com
4
relentlessness of it all. How could he?
-A wild sense of determination to try and do everything I was doing before plus pump 8 times a day and look after a baby that slept 6 hours out of every 24 and threw up most feeds. I would look at those mothers that did not leave their bed or house for the first week or ten days after the birth with complete distaste and incomprehension. The mothers who didn’t make plans because they were just happy to hang out with their beautiful babies all day were just plain weird to me! What were those lazy women up to?
SelfishMother.com
5
Sitting around in bed or on the sofa all day singing lullabies? I would have plans for every day of the week, I would be out of the house by 8am, having done two loads of washing.  Surely I was the normal one? Not those lazy ones lounging around at home with their babies? 
Believing that you really can DO IT ALL is not helpful.  I was talking to a friend who is trying to juggle a baby and her new business and she told me that she felt angry! Her all-girls school education convinced her that she could do it all…but she can’t!! It’s just not
SelfishMother.com
6
possible to be the best mother, wife, colleague, business owner, best friend, sister and get enough sleep. Something has got to give!
Perhaps if I had gone to the doctor, I may have ended up with some happy pills, but I didn’t go, and sub-clinical issues fly under the radar of professional help! That doesn’t mean they should go ignored. I still haven’t learnt to slow down, delegate or ask for help and I still live in a semi-permanent anxious state but I don’t feel as mad as before! I guard my “alone time” fiercely and I am lucky that my
SelfishMother.com
7
husband understands that I need this! I’m also a huge advocate talking A LOT and laughing with other mothers, whether they are old friends or some randoms in the nappy aisle in Sainsburys, it helps!
Becoming a mother and being a mother can be tough. But with the right support, the right role models and right level of honesty amongst old and new mothers we should be able to help each other through.
Things to try –

Structure your day – but stay flexible enough to cope with unexpected things. Prepare for life to become slower and you may not

SelfishMother.com
8
achieve as much as before!
Try and carve out 5 minutes of genuine quiet time everyday. Try sitting and doing nothing – No phone, No TV, No housework or admin…just sitting there and giving yourself a break!
Don’t be ashamed to accept help. If friends and family don’t offer- don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Most people are happy to do something to help others but they often need to be prompted. Get someone to push the buggy round the block whilst you have a nap, blow dry your hair or have a run- whatever makes you feel better!
Try and
SelfishMother.com
9
keep up a hobby-  swimming, book club (wine club?), pub quiz, train spotting or whatever floats your boat- this will help you to feel connected to the world you used to know!

Being part of a community like Selfish Mother or A Mother Place is invaluable.  Come join us and have a chat and get some great advice on how to get through this tough time!  It’s so good to talk!
Becca Maberly is the founder of A Mother Place who offer FREE Online Antenatal Classes to everyone! amotherplace.com/

SelfishMother.com

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- 14 Nov 18

When I look back on my experiences as a new mother- I don’t remember the extreme tiredness, or the shock I felt as I tried to adapt to my new role in life. I don’t look back with awe at how amazingly I coped with bringing a new human into the word and keeping it alive. I don’t look back with fondness at the “beautiful” moments I shared with my newborn son. I have one over-riding thought about those first 6 months – I think I lost the plot for the while. I don’t think it was postnatal depression, I just lost my mind a bit (in the non-medical way that a person can be a bit nuts..but not officially ..does that make sense?).  So why does nobody talk about this?  For me, a combination of sleepless nights, being in a completely novel situation, coping with hormone highs and lows, losing control over the amount of sleep/food/down time I was getting and not being enamoured with my new role in life, or indeed the small human who came with the job, led to numerous irrational feelings.

These included:

-Extreme jealousy of my husband whose life seemed to carry on as normal.  When he left for work I would cringe with envy as I imagined him sauntering towards the tube, enjoying his 40 minutes in someone’s armpit, then sipping his hot cup of tea and participating in adult chat that did not centre around poo, sick or milk.

-Anger at his lack of comprehension of how tough it was to have to look after HIS non-sleeping baby that shat and puked from dawn till dusk and all the hours in between. He was an absolute legend when he was at home but no matter how much sympathy he claimed to have, he still did not seem to appreciate the relentlessness of it all. How could he?

-A wild sense of determination to try and do everything I was doing before plus pump 8 times a day and look after a baby that slept 6 hours out of every 24 and threw up most feeds. I would look at those mothers that did not leave their bed or house for the first week or ten days after the birth with complete distaste and incomprehension. The mothers who didn’t make plans because they were just happy to hang out with their beautiful babies all day were just plain weird to me! What were those lazy women up to? Sitting around in bed or on the sofa all day singing lullabies? I would have plans for every day of the week, I would be out of the house by 8am, having done two loads of washing.  Surely I was the normal one? Not those lazy ones lounging around at home with their babies? 

Believing that you really can DO IT ALL is not helpful.  I was talking to a friend who is trying to juggle a baby and her new business and she told me that she felt angry! Her all-girls school education convinced her that she could do it all…but she can’t!! It’s just not possible to be the best mother, wife, colleague, business owner, best friend, sister and get enough sleep. Something has got to give!

Perhaps if I had gone to the doctor, I may have ended up with some happy pills, but I didn’t go, and sub-clinical issues fly under the radar of professional help! That doesn’t mean they should go ignored. I still haven’t learnt to slow down, delegate or ask for help and I still live in a semi-permanent anxious state but I don’t feel as mad as before! I guard my “alone time” fiercely and I am lucky that my husband understands that I need this! I’m also a huge advocate talking A LOT and laughing with other mothers, whether they are old friends or some randoms in the nappy aisle in Sainsburys, it helps!

Becoming a mother and being a mother can be tough. But with the right support, the right role models and right level of honesty amongst old and new mothers we should be able to help each other through.

Things to try –

  • Structure your day – but stay flexible enough to cope with unexpected things. Prepare for life to become slower and you may not achieve as much as before!
  • Try and carve out 5 minutes of genuine quiet time everyday. Try sitting and doing nothing – No phone, No TV, No housework or admin…just sitting there and giving yourself a break!
  • Don’t be ashamed to accept help. If friends and family don’t offer- don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Most people are happy to do something to help others but they often need to be prompted. Get someone to push the buggy round the block whilst you have a nap, blow dry your hair or have a run- whatever makes you feel better!
  • Try and keep up a hobby-  swimming, book club (wine club?), pub quiz, train spotting or whatever floats your boat- this will help you to feel connected to the world you used to know!

Being part of a community like Selfish Mother or A Mother Place is invaluable.  Come join us and have a chat and get some great advice on how to get through this tough time!  It’s so good to talk!

Becca Maberly is the founder of A Mother Place who offer FREE Online Antenatal Classes to everyone! amotherplace.com/

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