When my mum or friends ask how things are going, I find myself putting on a face and saying everything is great and I’m coping fine – when really I’m not
I struggled to have children for about seven years, then last year I became pregnant naturally (after several failed IVF attempts) and we had our little boy in September.
My husband and I were ecstatic and for the first few weeks, even though it was tiring, things were going really well.
But when my husband returned to work at the start of November, I began to find it really hard to cope.
I’m not depressed, but I’m just exhausted and can’t seem to get organised.
I feel like everything is chaotic and I’m not enjoying being a mum when this should be the most joyful time of my life.
When my mum or friends ask how things are going, I find myself putting on a face and saying everything is great and I’m coping fine when I’m not.
But how can I admit to anyone that it’s not a bed of roses after I’d tried for a baby for so many years?
I don’t want anyone to think I’m ungrateful.
I love my baby so much, but sometimes it’s very hard and I’m scared to admit it to anyone.
What should I do?
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve anticipated having a baby, when it actually happens no one is prepared for how exhausting and relentless it is.
It changes everything – from how you feel about yourself to your relationships with other people.
Don’t feel guilty about these feelings because they are entirely normal and many mothers before you have experienced exactly the same thing.
What you mustn’t do is bottle them up and carry on pretending that everything is rosy when it isn’t.
No one – least of all your mum, who’s been through it herself – will expect things to be perfect.
Anyone who’s had a child will know how hard it is.
You have to let people in – talk to your husband about how you can manage things better together so you have a little time to yourself to regroup and recharge your batteries.
And I know that if you confide in your mum and your friends, you will not be short of volunteers to come over and help out with your son or baby-sit occasionally to give you a bit of time off.
Being a parent is the most wonderful and rewarding job in life, but it’s also really hard work and we all need help every now and again.
None of the people in your life will think any less of you if you ask for it.