To The Overwhelmed Mummy…
Dear Overwhelmed Mummy…
You’re not alone in this boat, nor are you abnormal.
Being surrounded by perfectly cultivated photographs on social media and in the press portraying mummies who seem to have their shit on lockdown doesn’t help, does it? When you’re feeling completely and utterly fooked mentally, physically and spiritually, it’s even more demoralising to feel like the ‘odd one out’ or not part of the ‘yummy mummy club’. It’s isolating, lonely and painful.
I was in this boat from pregnancy. Mine was complicated, and marred by unhelpful comments like ‘well I didn’t have that when I was pregnant’ (lucky you) in a supplicating tone implying my serious conditions were just me being over dramatic, so when I was stuck on the maternity ward being monitored constantly due to preeclampsia from 28 weeks, other pregnant mummies were enjoying mummy meet ups, pregnancy classes, NCT sessions and generally socialising and forming cliques that I couldn’t be part of because I was just too unwell. It was so lonely, on top of the overwhelming fear that I’d lose my baby.
And then came the emergency caesarean and post natal depression. Yikes. It’s needless to say that I was incredibly overwhelmed, and feeling completely useless as a mother because here I was, unable to even give birth naturally or without medical chaos, and all I could see on my newsfeed was glowing images of besotted new mummies moments after their natural birth… It was even harder when breastfeeding went tits up (pardon the pun) because my feed was full of adverts for breastfeeding items, showing beautiful groomed mummies happily nursing when I was a greasy, sweaty slug glued to the sofa with a shrieking baby who seemingly HATED my boobs. I felt like a failure.
It took me a while to realise that these ‘perfect’ images only tell half the story. When I realised, it was like a light switched on in my head.
These Mother Gaia images of sparkly perfection often hide the fact that mama has probably been torn asunder, or had a bleed, or is probably thinking ‘holy shit, put that camera away!’. It’s all a ruse, guys!
All the glossy photos put on social media hide the fact that all these ‘yummy mummies’ we see seemingly bossing the fuck out of parenthood actually fight the EXACT same battles we all do – it’s so easy to choose what image and story we share with the world. Whilst I’m a no gory details spared kind of lass, some mummies like to only share positive snippets, which isn’t an inherently bad thing but it certainly doesn’t help vulnerable new mummies who are feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed by the screaming child attached to them 24/7 with baked beans in her hair and her house upside down to feel like she’s actually a completely normal and capable mother.
Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are an AMAZING mother. Your kids love you to the moon and back even if you’re losing your shit. It’s actually very normal to feel overwhelmed at times, you’re only human and our emotions can get the better of us (particularly when we’re riding the hormonal rollercoaster that is the post partum period). If you find yourself particularly affected by social media, unfollow, unfollow, unfollow, at least until you feel calmer and in a better place. Just remember that these photographs don’t show the bigger picture.
Mama, you got this.
Love from Katie! Xx