Post Natal Depression can eat a dick.
It’s a vulture, sneaking up on us when we least expect it. At a time where we “should” be happy, content and head over heels in love.
And maybe that’s our problem right there. As new mums we are smothered in “shoulds.” I should be breastfeeding. I should be deliriously happy. I should adore tending to every waking need of my new squarking poop-machine...
The amount of times people asked me, “Are you just loving being a Mum!?” Their expectant, happy faces waiting for me to gush about my new role as Mum but as well-meaning as they were, it killed me because the honest answer was no.
In hindsight I was simply overwhelmed. I had a new baby, we were working to set up My Brother John, I lost my cousin to cancer, had a serious back injury and I was experiencing some challenging family situations. My tank was well and truly empty. I was also experiencing a sort of loss for my previous identity. For me, I have always been a career girl. A workaholic for sure. Now I just wasn’t able to do what I used to - work all day and come home only to work at night. Ain’t no way, no how! I really struggled with that and resisted losing a part of my identity. I know now that I simply needed to allow myself time to adjust and find my new identity, as motherhood had pushed me to evolve.
Looking back, that really was the crux of my PND experience. But when I was in the midst of the fog it felt all consuming and I didn’t know which direction was “out”. I know I’m not alone in that.
If you’re feeling depleted and challenged after baby, know that you’re not alone either! Try to be gentle with yourself as you navigate your new life as mummy (or mama of 2/3/4/more!). Seek help from your doctor and don’t be afraid to take the meds! It doesn’t make you any less of a woman. In fact, it shows strength that you recognized a problem and sought a solution. That is something to be applauded!
Let’s remember to be kind and support new mums around us and stop the judgment of both others and ourselves. Let’s say “fuck you” to “should” and “eat a dick” to PND.