Recently on my Instagram stories I talked about how I’m doing, struggles and stresses and what I’m doing to tackle it. But I wanted to document it here as well, to act as a reminder to myself. For some months during lockdown I started to develop breathing problems where I just felt I couldn’t catch my breath. I visited the GP about it, who said it was anxiety related most probably postnatal depression and wanted me to meet with a specialist to discuss it further. This was hard to hear and I felt talking to someone wouldn’t help me get out of that frame of mind, I needed to change things myself – and that’s just what I’ve done.
Lockdown was hard for everyone, in fact it was less impactful for me than others as our daily life didn’t change much apart from not being social with others outside of our bubble. So I want to empathise that I know I’m not the only one and I’m sure there’s a lot worse stories out there.
Seth was born in January and shortly after we went into full lockdown. Even without lockdown Seth was a ‘hard’ baby to me. He suffered with long crying spouts, colicky behaviour (the constant, nerve fraying crying still has me on edge) and he became very dependant on me (and only me). I was left hating this new change of having three children and felt myself becoming a horrible mum. I felt ashamed and knew this wasn’t me, after all i was living my best life, the life I have always wanted and dreamt of. Let me say I love all my sons, Seth included, with every fibre of my being and since making the changes, I love being a mum nowadays. But in the beginning motherhood with three did not come easily.
Gavin wass at work for most of the day and by the time he came in all boys were in bed so he was unaware of exactly what the situation was. The biggest healer was that old cliche… time. In time, Seth started to smile, he interacted, he fed and entertained himself. In short, he gave something back. And that’s the funny thing about motherhood, it’s constantly evolving. I kept reminding myself I wasn’t a bad mum for feeling the way I did and I also told myself on a regular basis that this phase would end soon.
To combat my feelings and try to help my anxiety levels, I put an action plan in place. Starting with me and my life and then looking at the children. I’m a lover of a list, so out came the notepad and pen. I first planned Christmas and upcoming birthdays to an inch of their lives – something to aim for, something to look forward too. I then wrote down a cleaning tick list, what needed to be done in each room. I then planned some me time, nails, eyebrows and training/ Pilates (exercise wise) something just for me, my downtime. I then wrote out a ‘schedule’ of each day (it’s very loose timings) and what needed/ wanted to be achieved that day – I still do my to do lists each day on top of that! Finally I put a structure in place for the boys play to give them freedom without causing chaos and to lighten my load.
All these things have helped my mood and outlook. I’m much more positive and don’t feel consumed by guilt. I now can’t imagine life without my beautiful boys. Their my world and it makes me sad that I didn’t enjoy Seth more, when he was younger. I’m certainly not saying I’m cured but I’m heading in the right direction and it may rear it’s ugly head again but I know I have coping mechanisms in place that I can control. My breathing is improving and I’m able to talk to Gavin and share my day with him more.