Maternal Mental Health

This week is all about Maternal Mental Health with people sharing their stories and places of support.

My story as a new mum is my own, and I thought I would share how I supported my mental health over the past few years.

We never planned on having children, and when I found out I was pregnant (and then got over the shock of this discovery;) I was very pragmatic in my approach to the impending arrival.

I was going to take 6 months off, the other half would take the last 3 months and baby would just fit into our lives.

(Oh how wrong could I be)

I never nested (my best friend did that for me!)

Once our boy finally arrived (on valentines no less) I fundamentally changed as a human being.

The first few weeks were a blur and if I had my time again, I would say ‘no’ a lot more often. 

I felt like I had to please everyone around me when I just wanted to sit on the sofa and have another cuddle (and biscuit).

I had never been in hospital as a patient: ended up with an emergency C-section.

During my labour, I lost myself. I didn’t question what was going on and I trusted every person around me.

I was treated with respect the entire time.


Because I was so consumed by what was happening I never spoke up

I never got to see my boy as a freshly arrived wrinkly naked baby

I never had skin to skin

It remains one of my biggest regrets

Then we took him home

I had never changed a nappy

I didn’t even have bottles in the house (the midwife went ape at me upon that discovery at our first home visit!)

I was completely and utterly consumed by motherhood for all 10 months of my maternity leave.

Yup, I took 10 months

When I went back to work I took on a new managerial role thinking I was ready for a change.

Small went into full-time nursery

We were stuck in a hard place between not eligible for any government support and not earning enough to cover all our costs.

We just kept going

10 months into being back at work.

I quit

A toxic combination of not having the scope to perform my role along with the crushing realisation of missing my child’s formative years was too much for me.

I struck lucky.

My employer offered me a part-time role, where I was only responsible for myself

And from there everything fell into place for our family

Once I dropped to part-time, I suddenly noticed that I hadn’t stopped and taken anytime for myself for nearly 2 years!

Through meeting some wonderful humans at a networking event, I was encouraged to jot down my thoughts

And from this?

I found time to be me.

I found a community of loveliness both online and in real life.

Not all are parents.

In fact. Most are not.

Doesn’t matter

Being a new mum in the digital world is a whole new experience.

Just being a good human in a digital world can be tough some days

I have been fortunate enough to not suffer from PND or any other mental health diagnoses, but I did stop looking after (and acknowledging) my own sense of self.

We cannot solely function for others. It is not good for our physical or mental wellbeing.

For me, blogging (albeit infrequently) has given me something which is all mine. It got me out of the family bubble and made me realise how important it is to be ‘me’ again.

I am back to dressing like it’s 1999 (and I have no shame in being a 38 year old in dungarees)

Both myself and the other half make time to do things for ourselves (and occasionally spend time together!)

And as we hit the 4-year mark of parenthood, I have realised how important it is to take a moment and acknowledge those times where it all feels like I’m getting lost.

If you ever need to seek advice please do contact Maternal Health Awareness Alliance where you can find information on groups within your area. 

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