The Loneliness Of Motherhood
"Do you feel isolated and overwhelmed?"
Becoming a mum is life changing. There are expectations of how the birth will be and what it will be like with the baby, particularly in the first year. The reality can be vastly different. The birth experience can be poles apart from what was imagined and time with a new born, although very special, is challenging. Lack of sleep adds to this challenge, with studies showing that sleep deprivation makes us feel depressed, this makes coping more difficult.
Becoming isolated, physically, emotionally and mentally in this new role is not uncommon. Just getting out of the door can be tough and with family often not living nearby, this can make it harder. Feelings and thoughts can become all-consuming when being in sole charge of your baby day to day, and doubts can creep in... 'am I doing it right', 'am I good enough?'
Voicing how we feel can be hard, but to enable the right support to be received we need to speak up. So many mothers only talk about the joy of having a baby and that can make us feel like we are the only one struggling and the isolated feeling is exacerbated. Lean on your partner, or your family and close friends, those that you know will hear what you are going through. When you are offered help accept it, this is not a failing but a realisation of what you need.
If you feel you need professional help your GP is your first port of call and from there I encourage you to find the right person to provide what you need.
Written for Darling Magazine Wimbledon, June - August 2019 edition