Why do people never warn you about the psychological changes of becoming a mum???
I thought the hardest bits would be the actual birth, the stretch marks, the breast feeding, the nights kept awake, the screaming distressed baby and many many more things that everyone always talks about, but noone told me I would change psychologically!!
None of the above issues have affected me at all, maybe because I have a great child who sleeps through the whole night and doesnt ever cry unless hungry or dirty, maybe its because I have a HUGE family on hand, or maybe its because I was prepared for those things?? But its been such a struggle, that until recently I hadnt even noticed how (almost) depressed id become within myself.
The thing is, nobody will admit it because being a mum is suposed to be the best feeling in the world, and it is in a way, but also you loose a sence of yourself and when you loose your identity, you loose your confidence.
Since having the baby, ive felt like nothing but a machine for the baby to use and survive by. I love being the person that he needs, but at the same time I cant help thinking- What about CLAIRE?? where did she go? Since when did I not want to go out and party anymore? when did I become the party pooper moaning because everyone else is drunk and having fun? when did I loose the ability to believe that I am amazing just the way I am? Its so much harder than people think to change your whole lifestyle.
I dont know weather its the physical changes my body has gone through, the emotional struggle ive had with being away from my family at this time, or the concern that now I am responsible for another person, but Ive realised that in the last 3 months ive lost the ability to love myself – as everyone should do.
Having to deal with that horrible feeling inside everyday that tells me that now im no good, im not sexy, or independent or brave or fun, im just a MUM, is the worst thing ever. Im sure this is all hormonal as at times its worse than others, but overall I cant help not feeling good enough, and my cesarian scar is there to remind me of all this each time I see it.
But now im starting to come out the other side of these depressing feelings, I realise how lucky I am to have the most amazing husband-to-be, who has had to listen to my constant moaning about my weight, my constant sulking about other people being better or more attractive than me, and all my tears for wanting to feel like myself again. Hes a one in a million guy and without his support id still be thinking that way.
Its so important not to loose yourself, as the ability to live up to your “no good” ideologies is the easiest thing to do to prove yourself right, but its the most damaging thing you can do to yourself and the people who love you.
Ive spent alot of time thinking and talking to people who know me the best and have re-evaluated my thoughts, and ive been able to aknowledge that:
- Im never going to be as good looking as the models or girls on TV (they are all airbrushed)
- Im never going to look like I did before Niko came along- (a baby changes your body and I should embrace the beauty of that)
- Im never going to get rid of my scar (but its only me and Juan who see it, and if it doesnt bother him, why should I let it get me down)
The best realisation of all is that I know im loved by the people who love me. and the do so because im NOT perfect, im NOT drop dead gorgeous, im NOT overly intelligent, im NOT everything my demons tell me I need to be to be loved. But im Claire, the average looking girl who is kind, supportive of people, loving, soft, goofy, crazy, over analytical, slightly insecure, panicy, but Claire all the same. And on top of that, im now a mum, loved by an amazing man, and unconditionally loved by my son. If thats not reason to hold my head up high and fight my demons I dont know what is.
I know im not the only frootloop to have gone through these feelings after pregnancy, but I feel I need to express them as I wish I had been prepared forthese feelings before, or at least expected them. So if my writing this can warn anyone else about these changes and over hormaonal feelings to ensure when they have them they dont feel isolated then ill be happy.
But mums and future mums, just because you dont feel youself anymore, and you dont want to be just classed as just “mum” – its ok. its ok to admit that, it doesnt make you a horrible person, it doesnt make you a bad parent.
I dont want anyone else to go through this alone as I have. And maybe if I was with my family and support I wouldnt have had them, who knows, but I did, and im not going to let them beat me anymore, they are going to give me determination to better myself for my family and for the “Inner Claire” every day.
Thank you to Juan,
ill love you forever, and hopefully youll not have to put up with this ridiculousness anymore! x