As those of you who have been checking in on my blog for the last few months know I’m currently journeying through Postnatal Depression (PND as the cool kids call it), for the people visiting for the first time, hi, I’m Robin, I have Mad Mummies’ Disease. With PND you have good and bad days. Some days I’m so full of anxiety that I have to take zantac and gaviscon by the truck load on top of my regular proton pump inhibitor just to keep the acid at bay. No particular reason is needed for this excess stomach churning. Something as simple as someone rushing a social interaction with me can get me so anxious that I produce enough acid to dissolve the Monument of Light…. or my pancreas. Never mind that they could have been busy, or they have their own issues, or they’re socially awkward, or they could just be a massive bitch, or many other ores, no I jump straight to me sucking completely. Of course they rushed a conversation with me, of course they palmed me off onto someone else, who wouldn’t, I suck, spending time with me must be awful. So as you can imagine with that kind of negative self talk going on in my melon I have more bad moments than is “normal” and they last longer.
When parenting you are faced with these dilemmas on a moment to moment basis. Your child is crying, clearly it must be your fault, you’re a terrible mother, you’re a terrible person, you can’t do anything right, your children will be permanently damaged by being subjected to your hideous company. You’re stuck in traffic, it’s your fault, you should have forseen the accident or truck convoy or L Plater causing it and either left earlier or taken another route, now your kids are going to over heat and die in your moving air conditioning car, or get stung by a bee in your insect free car and have an allergic reaction and die, or you’ll miss their appointment, their lives will be ruined and the world will declare you a dead beat mum. Deep breath. So many ores. Getting anxious just thinking about it.
Now of course there are still great moments of joy. As I have said in a previous entry most mothers with PND love their kids, https://riedstrap.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/confessions-of-a-mad-mooer-thats-what-she-said/ yes there are some exceptions but that is more common with Postpartum Psychosis than Postnatal Depression. However, if caught late the anxiety can definitely drive a wedge between mother and child. So in light of this of course there are moments of happiness. Many moments. More than moments, prolonged times of delighting in your child/children but for the PND mum even these can result in more anxiety and guilt. Guilt is the mind killer.
I’ve had a great weekend with my kids. I had a beautiful brunch with my daughter yesterday. It has been months since we’ve had real mummy daughter time. Time she needs and I need. She was adorable. We went to our old cafe, ordered our old favourite- french toast and strawberry milkshakes, and we sat and chatted happily and then went for a walk finished off by running around a park and jumping about. I loved it. But now I feel sickened with guilt. My little girl needs special time with me so much. But I rarely give it to her. Sure we hang out whilst the boys nap but it’s not the same. I feel sick like her life is being ruined and that her confidence will be destroyed because I can’t get a break from my beautiful boys to spend special time with my little Angel Cake. So even the joy of quality time with my girl was tainted by guilt and anxiety.
Today the guilt bit again. I went to check on my beautiful boys to see if they were sleeping well. I check multiple times. It is a issue I have with my PND. For me PND largely manifests with obsessing over safety. Making sure my babies are alive. Listening to them breath. Checking over and over again that they’re really there. And of course with guilt. So back to the guilt. I was doing my crazy lady SIDS check on my boys and came across them like this. Sleeping whilst holding hands. They’re adorable boys. They love each other to bits and pieces and have such a special bond. I watched them basking in their warm glow for a while then grabbed my camera, took a pic and snuck off back to cuddle time with Angel Cake. But then the guilt started. My kids are so beautiful. They’re clever, they’re funny, they smile and laugh all day. They’re adorable. These are all good things. There’s just one draw back. They’re saddled with me. So the guilt started again, eroding the shiny hue off this truly special moment. These wonderful creatures are saddled with an angry, nasty, negative, pessimistic, witch of a mother. How can they stay happy and confident for long when they’re saddled with such a wretched beast as myself. The self loathing, that nasty voice in my head jumped out and destroyed everything yet again. And as I’ve said in a previous blog I do know what my core belief is, https://riedstrap.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/confessions-of-a-mad-mooer-ive-just-had-an-oprah-moment/ heck I even know where it came from, I know exactly who put that awful critic in my head and yet I still struggle to overcome it.
So what to do. Well for me, I’m having a cup of tea, feeling a little bit teary, but know I need to up the exercise tomorrow. A bit of distraction goes a long long way. I need a mummy time out so I can pick myself up, forget who I am and get my energy back. A few hours of escapism would be great. Let’s hope I get some soon. (Note: rushing to the grocery store is not me time Mr Husband!)
I’ve come a long way in the last three months but I still have a long way to go. I’ll keep you posted with more Confessions of a Mad Mooer
You’re welcome to join me at
https://facebook.com/groups/563402577109194 My group for ladies that are cray cray (any kind of lady crazy, not just PND, if you’re a little bit mad and you’re female you’ve found a home)
https://facebook.com/confessionsofamadmooer My page for anyone and everyone
even tweet with me @RobinRiedstra
So glad I found your blog. Sounds like we have walked along a lot of the same mental paths as mothers. We should talk lol
Motherhood, it’s a crazy world.
Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my stuff this morning!
You know, perfectionism does not lead to perfection. It is instead a crippling trap, imposing unattainable standards that can keep us from doing any good at all. Excellence does not require perfection. Our kids love us whoever we are.
Loved this post and the meme at the end! My husband started nagging me to exercise the moment I gave birth. Drove me insane and he did offer to watch the kids so I could go to the gym, but the only thing I wanted to do less was have sex! I wished he would stop asking me to work out and start insisting I take some time off to do something I truly wanted to do. At least now I don’t sit around waiting for him to insist. I just say what I want and find a way to make it work. Thanks for this post!
Just quietly the Hulk would also like time for napping, showering and writing. As much fun as typing blogs on your phone whilst on the toilet is the Hulk needs a slightly more productive environment for novel writing.
I could have wrote this!!! This is me. I struggled with ppd and it was tough. I still obsessively check baby all day especially while he’s sleeping to the point that I wake him. …..
Your blog resonated so much with my heart! That is exactly how I used to feel (and still do sometimes) – that my children are saddled with me and I have ‘damaged’ them beyond repair! I do, however, believe that beautiful verse in the Bible that states “love covers over a multitude of sins” (in my case I substitute sins for mistakes) and your love and my love for our children far outweighs any damage we think we may be doing to them.