When was the last time someone asked you ‘are you OK’ or ‘do you have support as a mother?’
It’s OK to find support.
Mental health awareness is super important to us here at The Healthy Mummy. We’ve spoken to many of our mums who have shared that they either didn’t have, or didn’t feel like they had a support system they could turn to for help.
With up to 21% of new mothers in the UK experiencing post natal depression (PND), being able to find and access help is critical.
One thing we have discovered when talking to our mums is that they put themselves last. ALL THE TIME. This is causing the mums to be more stressed by life. Many mums see their kids, partner and family’s needs as being more important and more of a priority than their own.
Sound familiar? Chances are you’ve felt overwhelmed since your baby was born but have failed to identify what’s wrong. You’re also tired, stressed, perhaps you work or have other matters to deal with.
The fact is being a mother some days feels like surviving instead of living. And that’s OK! It’s OK to struggle with parenthood, to feel exhausted, frustrated and want to scream at your kids. The mothers you compare yourself to do it too, it may just be behind closed doors!
Find the support you need
When you feel out of sorts there is help and support for you whether it’s from your partner, a support group, your family and friends or other means.
Your partner: If you have a partner make sure you lean on them for support. Ask them for help, whether it’s cooking dinner or doing the bath and bed routine with the kids. And if they’re tired after work? Communicate so you both get the support you need.
Let them know you’re not coping with the responsibilities of looking after the kids and the home and need their help. If it’s for one night or it becomes a habitual act, it’s always OK to ask your partner for help.
Shared experience: It could be a playgroup, an exercise group or a mothers group; we, as humans, are more likely to bond over hardship.
So talk to other mothers and you’ll find your experience is what the majority go through. This sense of solidarity won’t get your children to behave the way you need them to, but it will help ease those feelings of guilt and anger, which may help you cope day to day.
Call on family & friends: The saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ applies just as much in this day and age. Motherhood doesn’t have to be an isolating and lonely journey.
It’s OK to call your family members or friends and ask them to babysit the sleeping child so you can do the groceries or get some work done.
Confidential help – The Association for Post Natal Illness offers confidential phone counselling for women who need a chat. Check out their website for more info.
If you feel like you have no interest in anything, you’re sad and teary all the time or you start having thoughts about harming the baby or yourself, it is time to get professional help. See your doctor or speak to your midwife or health visitor.
There are plenty of helpful resources available at the PANDAS foundation website along with a confidential phone line, online chat groups and in person support groups.
If you feel depressed or are suffering from depression and or anxiety, we advise you to seek help from your GP or call PANDAS.
Join our community of supportive mums!
If you are wanting to get that bit of extra support in your journey to better health come and join our community of like-minded mums!