real life

I didn’t want people to know I was struggling as a mum

Our favourite blog from last week's iBlog Friday has been chosen! Lisa Berson from the Mummy Manifesto is the winner with her article about postnatal depression. Congrats Lisa! The CDs are in the mail.

Lisa is a midwife and has surveyed struggling mothers before. Then she faces her own hardships when she becomes a mum.

A routine quiz throughout your pregnancy is supposed to identify the risk factors for women who may have the potential to develop postnatal depression.

A routine quiz in my pregnancy, I ticked all the right boxes to stay under the radar. I knew which ones were red flags to the midwives because I am a midwife, amongst other things.

I appeared happy and upbeat. I laughed off my concerns. I rattled off a number of people that would support me even though we lived a few hundred kilometres from our baby’s grandparents. I blamed my tiredness on the baby and his colic. I blamed my tears on lack of sleep and hormones.

Sound familiar? The excuses? Pushing people away so they don’t know that I am struggling to be a good mum.

Three babies in 5 years. My husband quit his stable job the day we had our first born son. He started his own small business and worked very long hours in the early days. Our son only started sleeping through the night at about 10 or 11 months old. His fussing and crying were non-stop those first few months.

I could have easily slipped into postnatal depression. I did have the occasional low day as we all do as parents. I know my mum was worried about me at times. I am still not sure why I got through the early days of parenthood while other women suffered and never came up for air.

I am not saying this to gloat. The complete opposite. I want my readers to know that people from all walks of life have pressures. I was and still am a stay at home mum, with the occasional casual nursing shift. I had no pressure to go back to work apart from the need to keep up my nursing registration.  It is easy to “go under the radar” and delve deeper into the black dog of depression without other people close to you knowing your true feelings.

That is why you MUST speak up.

That your children and husband need a happy and healthy mum.

If that one person you reach out to doesn’t listen to you, spell it out to them. Or find someone who will listen to you. You may give clues or messages out to those you love but sometimes we don’t want to see the truth. Sometimes we tip-toe around the issues.

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Please take note that the “Supermum” myth is a load of bullshit. It doesn’t exist. It’s just a media load of crap to sell magazines and newspapers. Being a mum has a lot of expectations and stero-types associated with that concept. Don’t buy into it.

Appearances are deceiving. You never know what goes on behind closed doors. Don’t feel you need to compare yourself to others. Most mothers are like ducks. They glide around the surface, looking fabulous yet underneath are paddling like mad to keep afloat.

In a selfish notion, I would never forgive myself, if a friend of mine was going through a tough time and felt they couldn’t reach out to me. Even just to listen.

Please don’t let yourself or your children suffer from not speaking out. If you need help, please let someone know.

Some suggestions:

* Your G.P. (Doctor)

* Midwife

* Child Health Nurse

* PANDA

* Counsellors/Mental Health professionals

* Family

* Friends

*Playgroup or Mother’s Group supports

*Beyond Blue http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/pregnancy-and-early-parenthood

If you're a blogger and you want to appear in our next iBlog Friday roundup please send the link to your blog to us at [email protected]

We will be posting all the blogs we receive in a round up every Friday morning so make sure we get your blog by Thursday at 12 noon.

The winner will receive a copy of the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's film The Great Gatsby, out now.

The Great Gatsby: Music From Baz Luhrmann’s Film

Produced by Jay-Z, the soundtrack includes songs by Beyonce, Florence + The Machine, Gotye, Lana Del Rey and Bryan Ferry.

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