So this is a very personal post that has taken some time for me to have the courage to write. I’m not writing it because I want sympathy, I am writing it so other mothers (and also maybe dads) realise that its OK to feel the way I do and that we should help and encourage our fellow parents, rather than put them down.
I fell pregnant with my eldest daughter when I was just 19. I had been with the sperm donor ( I will explain that at a later date) for just over a year, we were both employed full-time and had the complete support of both our families. Throughout my pregnancy I read books, looked at articles on the internet and spoke to friends who had babies. I thought I had everything worked out and that I would be this type of super-mum who could do and handle everything. How very wrong was I!!
I gave birth to my beautiful 5lb 15oz bundle daughter and although when I first held her I knew I loved her I didn’t have this overwhelming feeling that I had heard so many other new mums talk about. It wasnt until she was about 6 months old that I had that feeling and that’s when I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression. I hadn’t really heard of it and thought I was a horrible person for not having that special bond with my daughter and the doctor that I saw was really shocked that it hadn’t been picked up sooner.
I got the help that I needed or so I thought, it wasn’t until I met my now husband and his family that I realised and felt like I was completely out of my depth being a mum and that I truly had no idea what I was doing. My daughter was 10 months old by now and I was still feeding her jars of food as I was petrified of weaning her and never really thought that it would have been more beneficial for her to be eating home-made meals.
This is where my MIL comes into it all. She took my daughter one day and sat her in the high-chair at their house and placed a home-made meal in front of my daughter. Her exact words to me were ” If you don’t like it then go in the living room” and that’s where I went. I sat in the living room where this amazing woman started weaning my daughter for me, because I had no idea what I was doing. And if I am honest I still don’t now, I often turn to her for help and advice, whether it’s for night-time routines, temper tantrums, behaviour issues or just ideas on what I can do with the children to stop them from making me want to pull my hair out!!Everytime I think I have this parenting malaakry down, another thing pops up thats all new, that I have to try and get through.
I am far from a Natural Born Mother and I don’t think I will ever have the maternal instinct but I try my best to do best by my children and just keep learning on this journey. I have always said I wish there as some sort of instruction manual that you get given when you become pregnant!!
I hope this post has helped even one parent to feel like they aren’t alone if they feel like I did and still do on many occasions.