To The Mum Who is Struggling

postnatal depression, maternal mental health

 

It wasn’t meant to be like this was it? Motherhood, that is.

I mean, your friends all joked about the sleepless nights and their child’s incredible talent for landing vomit missiles right in to their cleavage. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but why did they never tell you it was so hard?

 

Because sometimes it’s just too hard to admit

That you feel like a failure

That you aren’t coping,

That it’s too scary to ask for help

to widen the hole

in case you fall in

and never come back out

 

It’s too hard to admit 

That the sound of your baby crying overwhelms you

the thoughts in your own head

can’t be heard

over the bang, bang, bang

of their hammering wails

 

That the baby won’t sleep

you can’t sleep

and you’re so tired you could weep.

 

That you don’t know if you love your baby

that you resent them

then in the same breath

feel the agony of maternal guilt

scraping inside your bones

 

It’s too hard to admit

That you don’t know who you are anymore

That you can’t remember

the last time you felt happy

last week, last month, last year?

 

That you cry just as much as the baby does

hot, fat tears spill from your eyes

dripping

on to milk soft skin

leaving no sign that your sadness

had ever passed there

 

It’s too hard to admit

That you don’t want to see anyone

or engage

in silly little small talk

when you can barely breathe

for the weight upon your chest

 

That you avoid your friends

jealousy burning

their perfect lives

perfect babies

not crushed by despair

 

That you push your partner aside

thinking you don’t deserve

to be held

to be touched

to be loved

 

It’s too hard to admit

That you feel like you are the only one

silently drowning

flailing

in front of everyone’s eyes

but no one can see you

hear you

or will ever understand

 

That you want to walk away, leave the house and never come back

 

You are not alone

It’s OK not to be OK

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first baby, or your fifth, postnatal depression can affect anyone.

1 in 5 mums suffer from maternal mental health issues, and this figure could be more, because so many women are never diagnosed.

Your mental health matters, on so many levels. Getting help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. I know it will feel terrifying.  I know that you may make that appointment and cancel it. And cancel it again. But you need to let someone know how you feel.

Write it down. Let a trusted friend read it, then take them with you and let the doctor read it if you can’t speak. Hold their hand and know you are doing the right thing. The Perinatal Mental Health Partnership Facebook page is a huge wealth of information, including videos on how to approach health professionals about postnatal depression.

Maternal Mental Health Matters UK week was at the start of this month, and I became all too aware of just how mums were suffering on their own, in silence, because they didn’t know where to turn. Postnatal depression and maternal mental health issues in general,  should not be something we are scared to talk about. By opening the dialogue we pave the way for mums in the future knowing that help is there, and not feeling ashamed to access it.

If you recognise yourself in the words above, please get in touch with one of the following – they might not be able to make everything instantly better, but they can get you on to the road of feeling like you again

 

Your health visitor or GP

 

PANDAS helpline

 

NCT Helpline

 

PND and Me – Rosey runs #PNDHour on Twitter

 

Association of Postnatal Illness

 

Mothers for Mothers 

 

 

 

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15 Comments

  1. May 17, 2017 / 8:13 am

    Such an important topic and one that certainly needs more raising of awareness. I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant with our second baby and feel very scared about what life will be like with two. There have been so many hard questions pop through my head already and the baby isn’t here yet. Hopefully it will all be ok 🙂

  2. May 17, 2017 / 9:15 am

    What a lovely poem, I’ve seen so many great posts like this one around mental health matters week!

  3. May 17, 2017 / 12:08 pm

    This is such an important message and I really hope that it helps anyone who is feeling this way to take the first steps to seeking help. I put off dealing with anxiety but when I finally did seek help it was the best thing I could have done and I’m definitely in a much better place now for it.

  4. May 17, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    Being a mum can be so tough sometimes, and I think sometimes we can feel like a failure while everyone else seems fine but the truth is….well, that’s not the truth. So beautifully expressed here.

  5. May 17, 2017 / 2:17 pm

    Gorgeous, love this poem. Very nicely written and such an important message!

  6. May 17, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    What a beautiful poem and I’m glad you encourage people to address their depression by simply writing it down.

  7. May 18, 2017 / 8:00 am

    Lovely poem, PND is a nightmare to live with but help is out there and you can get through it 🙂

  8. May 18, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    Great post to raise awareness of the pressures and feeling mums experience. Please ask for help, it isn’t weakness to admit to a problem.

  9. May 19, 2017 / 6:01 am

    Great post, beautifully written. WE all feel overwhelmed regardless of whether we are a parent or not and it is so important to understand why we are feeling the way we are and acknowledge it.

  10. May 19, 2017 / 8:16 am

    I love this poem. I am sure it will ring through with many women suffering in silence. Thanks for sharing.

  11. May 20, 2017 / 12:31 am

    A lovely well written poem. I suffer from pnd and it took me so long to admit it

  12. May 20, 2017 / 1:00 am

    Thank you for raising awareness about this issue. It’s so important to talk about it.
    Beautiful poem.

  13. May 22, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    Fantastic post – I found the first 6 months with my little girl incredibly tough, lots to relate to here! X

  14. May 22, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    Lovely words, thanks for sharing. Its sad that so many women can’t be honest at such a wonderful yet difficult time x

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