It’s hard to imagine Libby Trickett screaming at anyone. The former Olympian with the best smile in Australia.
But she did.
And perhaps most surprising of all, it was at her eight-month-old daughter.
Libby shares how she made it through new motherhood on the latest episode of I Don’t Know How She Does It:
It was her lowest point. She was a new mum and she hadn’t slept for longer than 45 minutes since her baby, Poppy arrived.
“I ended up yelling at her, literally at the top of my lungs for about 15 minutes straight. And that was when I really realised I needed to get help.
“So, that took shape in two ways. [Firstly], I had to go and see my GP to get a mental health plan in place, see a psychologist and [secondly] put things into place that allowed me to get space for myself to nourish myself as an individual”.
Libby didn’t come undone quickly. After the arrival of her daughter, slowly, she arrived at tipping point.
“I developed a temper and this anger that I never knew existed in me.
“I’m not naturally an angry person. Yes, I’m passionate, yes I’m fiery and competitive and all of those sorts of things but I’ve never been angry … I was so resentful of the fact that she wasn’t letting me sleep and I had no space from her because we were co-sleeping all night and then she was tired because she was waking every 45 minutes, too … it felt like we weren’t connecting the way I really wanted to.
“And I was yelling at her all the time.”
Even now, months later, Libby still checks in regularly with her psychologist. But that’s not all, the most important part of her wellbeing is exercise.
Movement is her meditation.
“It’s primary. It’s huge … I like to move and getting exercise in whatever shape or form that takes, sometimes it is just going for a morning walk but preferably for me, it’s going to lift some weights, its going for a run, it’s swimming. That for me is hugely meditative – that’s nourishing something for myself.
“That could be considered as quite selfish but you can’t pour from an empty cup.”
No, you can’t. Her experience is so familiar and her words are so wise. And she strongly believes that exercise should never be forgotten.
“I make sure it’s part of my routine, I schedule it in, it’s on my calendar.
“I treat it as a really important meeting or appointment that I’m having to do because I know I’ll be able to function and be way more productive … if I’m able to exercise.
She also had a professional come and help her and her partner, Luke, with some advice on how to settle Poppy to sleep. In the past few months, Libby has come out the other side.
“When you’re in it, you can’t see anything different … you can’t see a way out of it, you think that moment is going to be forever. She’s never going to sleep again and you are never going to sleep ever again and you’ll always be angry and life is going to be hard”.
And sometimes it is.
Libby Trickett was in the depths of sleep deprivation. She was fragile, over it, angry.
She wants women all over the country to know, if you are too, you’re normal. If you need to ask for help, that’s okay.
Libby did. And she’s finally smiling again.
Listen to the full episode of I Don’t Know How She Does it with Libby here:
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