Hi friends. I had mentioned in a previous blog post that I suffered from postpartum depression when I first had my daughter. It’s something that I think is really important to share with people (specifically new mums or mums-to-be!). With my postpartum in particular, I did have a series of events that definitely played a role in contributing greatly to my depression (selling the gym, being very ill with no cure in sight for months, and being scared shitless that I would spread my highly contagious illness to my newborn and/or family members), however, I do think that we as mom’s need to be more open and honest about life after having a baby, especially with one another (and even MORE SO on social media - like give me a f*****g break)!
Before having my daughter, I can’t tell you how many times I asked new mom’s how things were going with their new baby. The answers that I always received were nothing but positive feedback, and MAYBE a little bit of “Well...I’m tired” mixed in here and there. I would always see family and newborn pictures on social media that gave me the perception that having a newborn was the most blissful, peaceful and amazing thing that could ever happen to anyone. Also on social media, I’d constantly see new mom’s dolled up with hair and make up done, dressed well, baby is all done up too, and they’re just ‘checking-in’ on social media to show the world how amazing life is (again, we have to ask ourselves...is this for real?).
You guys...honest to goodness... while pregnant I must’ve had such a skewed perception of what life with a newborn baby would be like. After having Ella, I was living the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I heard women say, and what I was seeing on social media. I was beyond exhausted...ALWAYS (granted my kid was a terrible, terrible, terrible sleeper and I was very ill for the first 4-5 months of her life). I felt like I could barely find the time to take a decent shit and shower let alone do my hair and make up. I was having trouble making time to do simple household chores, make dinner, or do just about anything but breastfeed. Getting dressed wasn’t something I looked forward to because my body didn’t even feel like my own (for how overweight and swollen I was). I remember seeing a post of a woman living in Windsor who had a professional candid picture of her dressed VERY well, and in the caption it read “Mom Uniform”. She was seriously wearing an outfit that I would wear on my best (dressy-casual) night out! My mom uniform was (and STILL IS) a stained baggy t-shirt and oversized P.J pants.
P.S. There isn’t anything wrong with dressing well or doing your hair and make up, but I’m not going to sit here and believe that she truly wears what she was wearing in that picture on instagram when she’s at home with her kiddos.
I was struggling so much to the point that I was questioning everything; maybe I’m not a good mom, maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mom, why am I finding this so difficult when nobody else that I know or see on social media seems to be? I felt very inadequate and that I couldn’t get into a routine or rhythm to save my life, which were very new feelings for me. Co-owning and operating a business is a serious weight on your shoulders. It’s very stressful and forces you to juggle hundreds of things all at once and all the time. I mean, I was very capable of handling heavy loads of stress and work, so why was being a new mom to a little baby that ate and slept all day SO difficult for me to handle? Let me tell you why, because I thought things were going to be very similar to the life I was living pre-baby, but now with a bundle of joy that would simply be present during my daily rituals. I thought I would still be able to workout, do chores, hangout with friends, have tons of spare time on my hands now that I wasn’t working, etc. No. No. No. No. No. That wasn’t the case for me, at all. I’m sure it isn’t the case for MOST new mom’s either.
So why, at the age of 31 (and pregnant) have I never heard of anything but bliss from new mom’s? Was it because they didn’t want to “scare” me by telling me the truth? Maybe it was because they genuinely had (or were having) an amazing experience and truly didn’t feel anything negative towards being a new mom at all? Can we all just do ourselves and other women in our lives a favour and ditch the political correctness associated with being a new mom. It’s okay to have a ‘complaint’ about motherhood. It’s okay to express how you truly feel about being a new mom, or the struggles you’re facing. Infact, it’s beneficial that you do share these thoughts and feelings, for both yourself and other women. When women that I know are expecting for the first time, I always let them know what they can possibly expect to feel, think, or experience, especially in the first couple months after the baby is born. The last thing I want to happen is for them to have the thoughts and feelings of inadequacy that I had and think that what they’re feeling isn’t normal, expected, or okay. I hope that by telling them about my experience and my specific thoughts and feelings after having my daughter, that if they too fall prey to the same thoughts and feelings that I once had, that they don’t feel alone and different compared to all the other new mom’s who are “killin’ it” at life and motherhood on instagram (insert heavy eye roll here).
So mom’s...if someone asks how you’re doing, especially if they’re about to embark on their journey to motherhood for the first time, I suggest asking them if they want a nice response, or a real response. You’d be surprised by how many people are seeking your honesty, opinions, and experience. I know I certainly was!
P.S. Please don’t think that I hated or hate being a mom. I fucking love it (obviously not 100% of the time, but a large majority of the time...it really is the best thing ever!).
My recovery (if you’re interested);
Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband and mother (who took 2 friggin’ months off work to help me...jeez!!) and a stellar doctor (Dr. Jessica Summerfield...THE BEST OF THE BEST!!!) who all helped me overcome my depression. I was prescribed anti-depression/anxiety pills that I took consistently for 3 months (and was very, very reluctant to take at first). I decided that after the 3 months that I was well enough mentally, emotionally, and finally physically (overcame my illness) to stop taking the medication. At the start of my prescription treatment, I also completely deleted all of my social media accounts because I was sick and tired of all the bullshit lies people are continuously feeding themselves and the world. I just got back on social media in late August of this year when I began my new business venture. I vowed that I would be as authentic as possible on social media and not play into these silly social media games of perfection. Which is exactly why I blog about the real life events/experiences that I do, such as this.
LOVE, PEACE & HEALTH,