The loneliness of becoming a parent.

The loneliness of becoming a parent.

One thing i never expected to be as a mother was lonely.Considering when you have a child you are never really alone but nobody really explains what can happen when you have a baby. When you have a baby your days become nappies, cuddles and children toys. When you have a child although you are always with your child the thing you miss the most is adult conversation. Before having a child you may of gone out to the coffee shops near by on your days off to meet with your friends or thought nothing of going to meet your friends at pm for a movie or going to a bar for drinks. However when you have a child you can no longer just go out and when you do you are EXHAUSTED you no longer want to go out late at night and trips are shorter as you’re thinking about getting home to your child.

Another thing i never thought would affect me too much is when people cancel on you as a mother. It’s inevitable people are going to cancel because one reason or another but when you become stuck at home with no plans it can get a bit lonely. Also i never realised that having no plans day after day at some points can be incredibly lonely. I miss the adult conversation i love my child but at the end of the day he is a child. While i talk to him like a adult so that his language and speech has always been as good as it can be i can’t talk to him about adult subjects. Although don’t get me wrong talking about animals, singing all the songs from the lion king on repeat and saying all the words to trolls with Elijah every day of my life is a blast. However sometimes i crave talking to other adults. I become a bit fixated on my phone and crave a text of someone else when i have been stuck in. When i worked i didn’t think about the loneliness of being a mum because i still worked and saw my friends or relaxed on the days i had off. However since stopping worked i have realised a lot of both my human and adult conversation has really been taken away from me.

I get quite excited for my husband to come home sometimes so he can tell me about his day and so that we can have a adult conversation that normally comes back to our son anyway. I try to meet up with other mums as much as i can and take Elijah to play groups. This isn’t just for his development but for my own sanity too, this enables me to get out and hold a conversation with other people and feel normal again.I also try to be friendly to others in the hope that i could perhaps make friends too. I also try to meet up with friends every now and then without Elijah so that i can talk about something other than children and just be charlie. I want to talk about whats happening in other peoples lives and get to know them and keep my personality as not just a mum but also charlie who was there first.

Although i completely adore being a mother even if to some people my blog posts may sound like i’m moaning about being a mum (i’m not i am just being honest) . At the end of the day my son has made me into this brave strong woman and i love who Elijah is making me become. I know i will never be alone while i have him but i also miss the part of me who was social and had a social life before him. It is a shame that when you have a child keeping a social life has to be so hard and that friends who do not have children sometimes do not always understand the restrictions that come with being a mum. However i think that perhaps this period of loneliness may be short lived. I always see mums in the playground becoming friends and that is what i hope for as i get older that i will make more friends with other mums perhaps helping at Elijah’s school or something when hes older. I will always have my little family to keep me happy and sane and i thank my lucky stars for them each and everyday. Even if the discussion is mainly about hey duggee and mickey mouse at the moment.

The pressure to have more children.

The pressure to have more children.

Quite often the subject of having more children inevitably comes up with family, friends and even strangers. I’ve written previously on whether i want another child or not in a previous blog post but i think i guessed things would change as Elijah got older. I have always wanted a few children but since having Elijah my opinion has changed. At the moment i’m unsure if i want another child. If i was to fall pregnant again i wouldn’t be sad or anything but at the moment i am happy being a mother of one. I quite like being able to give him all my time and energy and i think he thrives from that too. I don’t want to feel obligated into having anymore children.

However as Elijah has gotten older more people have told me i should have another child just so my son doesn’t feel lonely. First of all this is not a reason to have a child. You don’t have a child to make a little friend, you make a child because you want to bring life to the world and expand your family. It is possible to be a only child and happy. I have experience of both being a only child and then a sibling. I grew up with my mum and i was her only child and until i was 9 and i didn’t have any siblings (that i see). I can honestly say that i did not ever feel lonely and i only really felt somewhat lonely when there where 2 tiny babies around the home and i was a bit lost in my role as a sister at this age.Obviously my brothers and I are close and i love my with all my heart but i don’t think my mum decided to have another child because i was lonely.

I kind of feel a bit anxious when people talk to me about having more children. I get alot of family members like my parents and grandparents telling me to have more children. I know they don’t mean to cause offence but i kind of feel like is that all i am now? a baby maker? I also kind of think do they not think Elijah is enough or something? Has he become boring to them or do they want another newer model to play with? I am sometimes left questioning why it is brought up so often aswell i at least hear it from a family member or two at least once a month. Is me saying i’m happy as we are at the moment not enough? Like i am not going to have another child just to please my family.Which to be honest sounds like something i would do to the extreme where i have this need to please everyone and not offend anyone. Family seem to forget sometimes that people do have control over there own lives as they get older.

Strangers also have a big role in talking to you in public when with your child and say oh when will you have another one? First of all i do not know you and i will never speak to you again so why do you need to know or care? It is a bit odd going up to a stranger and saying when will you have another one or oh they need a baby brother/sister! If you have to say something talk about how happy my child is or something!

Also i have noticed a lot of media /films/ tv series and the online world only really shares family as at least four people. It is really rare i will watch a film or series when there is someone be it a child or adult that a only child and doesn’t have some sort of brother or sister. I also find as well that people seem to react better when people have more than one child like it means you’re a more wholesome family or something like that.

I think as well as other people putting pressure onto us i think we put pressure on to ourselves. Like when i give Elijah clothes to charity sometimes i feel guilt like i should be keeping his clothes just in case we have another child. I also sometimes think about being pregnant again and having a newborn and then i feel somewhat pressure like that’s what i should do again just because i have a thought that pops into my head. I also feel like i set plans in my head when i was younger of the perfect family of four and because of that i think my mind sometimes still thinks that’s the dream. Even though dreams can change when your reality changes. I think my health has a part to play also since being diagnosed with endometriosis i have a slight concern i may not be able to have more children one day and that means I need to rush it.

Maybe one day i might change my mind and want another child but at the moment we are happy. That is okay. I never say to my friends or family oh you should have another child because i know it can trigger people sometimes.Also remember when you may be saying this to people they could possibly be going things and not telling people such as miscarriages, IVF, fertility issues or mental health issues.

It is okay to not want more children and even a child at all if someone has decided not to have kids. It is not our business what happens in anyone else’s life but our own. So lets not try to pass our opinions to others that can cause upset. Having a baby is a BIG responsibility that lasts the rest of your life. It is not something like getting something that is temporarily cute and little like a puppy.

You also should not have to defend if you do not wish to have anymore children and you are also entitled to change your mind. If i was to wake up tomorrow and want to change my mind and want a child that is okay and my choice. It will not be because someone told me too. Remember your life is your life and your choices are your own and you do not have to justify them.

Why it’s hard being ill when you’re a parent.

Why it’s hard being ill when you’re a parent.

When you become a parent you have certain responsibilities that come with the job role. From the day they are born you need to meet your own and their needs at the same time. That means feeding them, cleaning them and their environment aswell as keeping them happy aswell as taking care of yourself. But what about when you’re ill?

When you’re ill you are still a parent. Although unlike previously when you where childless you where able to just feel ill. You where able to stay in bed completely undisturbed and look after yourself untill you felt better. However when you have children that’s gone. You have to cook, clean, entertain a child and look after their every need while desperately wanting a nap or be able to just feel ill for a minuite. Also being a parent typically mean they catch your illness or you’ve caught there’s and not only do you feel rubbish but they do too. You then struggle with being ill and trying to keep them happy when they get really grizzly and do things like refuse food and water exetera. On top of this you have to cook and clean your house so you have a clean household to live in and keep your strength up. Typically unless you have a great support system from family you have to do the caring all by yourself. You can’t ship them off to someone else why you recoperate and even if you do they come back at the end of the day and still need all their needs met and all your energy.

It’s hard to want to still do things you would want to do when you’re normallly I’ll. for example if I was feeling a little under the weather I would still go to meet my friends for coffee or something but since having a kid I’m less likely too because not only will I feel a bit bad but I’m also grouchy because typically Elijah will pick up when I feel bad and be naughty and everything is ten times more exhausting. Kids really for some reason sense when you feel unwell and for some reason they get a little naughty and I have no idea why even if you act normal when feeling ill.

Also if you’re having a bit of a bad mental health day there’s no break from that either. You can’t just say please stop tantruming because mummy’s feeling a little upset today because they just wouldn’t understand. There is no personal space or dealing with your emotions in ways you used to be able to. Before having Elijah I used to have down days where I would relax in bed for the day watching greys anatomy with food and to be left alone. I would then normally feel okay the next day and like I’d calmed down. But with a child there is no escaping for the day or being able to feel your emotions out in the open as it upsets them too. You also have to put a brave face on every day and act like everything’s okay and it’s so hard. It’s hard to not be honest with your feelings or be able to take a break.

It’s okay as a parent to ask for help when you feel ill from family and your other half’s. It doesn’t make you a better mum for struggling in silence or a worse mum for accepting help. If someone is willing to help take the help because at the end of the day your health is so important. If you can’t get help I salute you too because a lot of the time I don’t get any help either and it can be so exhausting so I’m thankful when ever a offer is there.

Mum shaming is a real issue.

Mum shaming is a real issue.

One thing i see a lot of on social media is mum shaming. People who hide behind a keyboard and publicly put mothers down because of how they are raising their children.This isn’t limited to social media as people will do this in public, on the playground, playgroups and just about anywhere. People really feel that motherhood is a competition now. Being a mother is so hard these days because not only have we got to try and raise a tiny human but we also have to do it in a digital world where people judge every last thing you do.

I really hate seeing people mum shame. Especially online or loudly in public so they can be heard. E.g at a restaurant when someone loudly moans about someone’s toddler crying and how the mums dealing with it. I mean sometimes you can’t help but to judge someone elses parenting style as it is different to your own but you absolutely do not say it to them as that may cause upset. I feel really horrid for celebrities sometimes. Because peoples jealousy turns them into keyboard warriors that feel they can hide behind a screen while being horrid to someone else. Take the kardashians for example whatever they do upsets someone. They could feed their child a carrot and someone would be upset and call them uptight for buying a organic carrot or evil because its not chocolate. It must be so hard having your parenting ripped apart by others every day constantly and being able to see what people say as well must take you to pretty dark places seeing this over and over. I once was trolled and it felt awful. I was told i was a terrible mother because i once spoke about how we shouldn’t judge how people feed their babies. I have no idea where they got that from but just the words where enough to make me cry and make me want to delete my blog which has been therapeutic for me. I honestly can’t see why people have to directly mum shame knowing that this will cause upset.

I’ve also seen quite a few people i follow on Instagram be given a lot of grief on Instagram for simply posting things like toys, days out exetera. It’s like people can’t do anything to please these people. A lot of it is competition i think. I don’t know why people need to get so mean to try and win some make believe contest in their heads. It doesn’t make you a better parent to mum shame someone. It doesn’t set a good example for your children or for yourself. I want to teach my child to be kind and not to bring others down. I would never want to make someone feel sad or doubt their mothering style or anything like that. You already as a mother have to contend with the thoughts i’m not good enough, am i doing enough? can i be better?Without someone telling you that you aren’t good enough like it is at all constructive. Obviously if your worried about something you could always politely message them in a kind way and speak about your concerns but nasty comments especially publicly are not acceptable ever.

Be kind always. Just because someone parents differently than you please do not upset someone by telling them your thoughts. You are entitled to your own thoughts but please just keep them as that just thoughts. You never know what someone is going through so try to spread happiness not sadness.

Managing my health anxiety

Managing my health anxiety

Since having my son i have really been triggered by health anxiety. Before having him i didn’t have any health anxiety at all. Until i had a traumatic birth i didn’t have any concerns over my health or anyone around me really. They say traumatic events can cause certain fears and it certainly has caused this.

What is health anxiety? Basically its a catastrophic thinking but relating to health. It’s like if you have a temperature you worry your gonna get sepsis and then you’re going to die. When quite frankly you just have a temperature from the cold you’re suffering or something like that. You really worry and get anxious whenever your ill and think of all the possibilities that can happen. Google becomes your best friend and you think the worst out of every situation

When my son was born and he was ill it caused me to be petrified whenever he was ill. I worried every time he got a cold, a rash, threw up or even had a funny bowel movement. As he got older and got ill more i would panic and think the worst. I knew i was being anxious and desperately wanted to not worry so much but i couldn’t stop it. On the odd occasion that Elijah was seriously ill which resulted in admissions to hospital would always get panicky thinking the absolute worse and wrap him in cotton wool for days after. It would cause my ocd to be excessive i’d constantly be anxious and on edge and terribly sensitive to anything and everyone.

Since starting my counselling i have been able to learn a lot about myself and that the traumatic birth caused this. When i was having my c-section i was terrified i was going to die. Since i came round i have been a little petrified i will die. This has caused me to be anxious over and over when ill and it doesn’t help having a chronic illness. Also because Elijah was so ill when born and they have never found a real reason why he was ill it really caused me to be anxious about his health because i was so worried he would die or end up in hospital again. Over time i have been able to rationalise in my head when illnesses aren’t significant and just minor. Talking about why i have felt so anxious about my health has caused a lot of unresolved feelings to come out and for me to be about to explore why i have felt the way i have. I still worry when Elijah hurts himself or is quite unwell but i don’t worry as much anymore. I have been able to rationalise and think things through clearer as well as my anxiety has come down a bit with the help of counselling. I’ve been practising mindfulness and avoiding negative things in my life and that has been able to help me keep a clear and level head.

Overall i am so proud of how far i have come and if you’re feeling the same level of anxiety as i was please speak to someone it can be just the push you need to feel a bit more normal again.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

After having my son there are quite a few aspects of my care that i would of changed for the better. i felt neglected and although i had a few nice staff my care was pretty appalling. After talking with my counsellor and my mother the other day about aspects of my care i would of changed i thought i’d talk about some things i would of changed so people can feel somewhat comforted in the knowledge they should and can ask for more from their care staff. After all you expect the moments after your babies birth to be the most beautiful moments of your life but for some people it can and is the complete opposite.

So first of all the first thing i would change is the staffs introduction to you. In previous jobs in healthcare i have always been told to introduce my self and then explain my role to put the person i am treating at ease. This was not done for me and it was quite confusing when different heads constantly popped in and out. There was also no goodbye from the staff so i knew they had gone home. In shift rotations i expect to of been introduced to who was looking after me but i was not. This made me feel quite unsafe and scared at times as people would touch me without explaining who they where. The few staff who introduced themselves i remember and the others i do not and this is why.

If you are coming into my room knock. Do not just barge in and start touching me without speaking to me. Do not just presume i will be okay with strangers waking me from my sleep by putting a blood pressure cuff on me. For many woman this could cause great upset and also if you’re a victim of domestic violence or something similar it can really unsettle someone. In healthcare you are supposed to always explain you are about to touch someone and really its just polite to ask if you can do certain things.

Explain what is happening each step of the way. When coming around from GA after my operation i didn’t know what was happening and scared. Then i was taken to my ward and not explained to where i was going and still i was scared. I wasn’t explained to what checks where needed and how often and to my baby and i wasn’t explained to how to breastfeed exetera and just left to it after dumping me in my room.

If mum and baby are separated due to their baby being unwell please explain to them what is happening and make the effort to find out. I wasn’t told what was wrong with my baby and they couldn’t even tell me how he was. I sent James with the baby and was left alone with no answers and nobody to talk to sobbing. Every time i asked for a update they didn’t even know why he was downstairs in the first place. It is so important that staff familiarise them self’s with every last patient and their babies case so they can put them at ease.

Check mums regularly if in nicu. I missed meals, medications, observations because i was with my baby on the ward. I was forgotten about and i got quite ill from being forgotten about. The pain intensified as they forgot about medications top ups as i was forgotten about as i wasn’t in my room. They where always made aware i was downstairs and asked to call me for meals and medication and so on yet they did not bother.

To check on the mums mental health. Check they are okay and feel okay emotionally as well as physically. When a mum is going through hell with a complete change in life a little how are you feeling ? do you want to have a chat about your birth and how life has changed now would of made me feel so much better. A mums mental health can take a complete beating and how they are treated can worsen that experience even more. With one in ten mothers getting post natal depression it is really surprising there is no information available to mothers and fathers/significant others are not explained to what the signs are either. You just have this baby and your expected to know everything and sent into the big wide world.

Have a information point. To have someone or something to give out information. Such as leaflets or advice on practical things like breast feeding, bottle feeding, safe sleeping, basic first aid , basic care of your baby,numbers for support and the list goes on. Any number of mum knows the anxiety of taking a baby home knowing nothing and with internet causing panic of the risk of sids and so on these information sheets can be a godsend and put someone at ease having a little just in case to have readily available.

Overall there is much more that could of been improved in my care but i wont mention it all. I also completely understand the nhs is underfunded and understaffed but that is no excuse when duty of care is repeatedly failed and polices not met.But if you feel something isn’t write with your care please pull them up on it while you’re there. Don’t be afraid to talk about how your’e feeling and remember how you’re feeling is justified and completely normal. Giving birth is a crazy thing and getting used to being a parent straight away with no previous experience is a crazy thing. So be kind to yourself and remember your midwife and g.p are only a call away.

Goodbye to anti-depressants

Goodbye to anti-depressants

Since November i had to take anti-depressants after hitting a really rough patch. I found that they helped me a great deal until i could do something about my thinking process which came in the form of counselling. I started counselling in December and have been going weekly since January. It really has been the break through i needed. I needed the safe space to talk, to let all my emotions out and to truly feel somewhere where the pain was controlled. I’ve been able to talk in counselling and talk to myself in a way and work out things in my head. I can process thoughts better and not take everything said to me to mean offence. I’ve been able to think about why others work and act a certain way and understand why others may treat me badly. I’ve learnt to not get so upset by many things and walk away from situations that may upset me. I have learnt to say no and that i am in control of what i do, what i say and my life. I

have learnt that i matter as much as everyone else and that not everyone will like you sometimes. But that is okay. I’ve learn’t its okay to talk about my mental health and it is not attention seeking but being honest to both myself and to the world in the hope that others can find that courage too. I’ve learned i am a good wife and mother and that i may not always think that but i am loved. I have learn’t how lucky i am to have such a lovely friendship circle and that they also love me too.

I have been of my anti depressants for a whole month. I spoke to my doctor first and she agreed that i sound and look better than ever. She said i seem a lot more relaxed and happy. The truth is i think that i am… Happy. I just don’t think I’ve been this happy in so long that i have forgotten what that emotion is. Of course if things change i will happily ask for another set of pills but for now i’m me again. I see the beauty in the world again and smile that little bit more, i step out of my comfort zone and am rewarded with joy.

Thanks for reading x