Period Pain- What Period Pain?

I’m going to totally level with you girls. I am so squeamish, despite the fact I’ve given birth to three boys naturally. I love being pregnant as, no periods! I have been struggling this past year though because, tampons are actually hurting me. Maybe it’s my body’s way of being like ‘wtf is this? There is something foreign entering, we are not used to this!’ **inserts joke about sex life**

Then I saw a Facebook ad. A menstrual cup. It sounded utterly disgusting but, cheap. I ignored said ad and went to Amazon. Whilst on it, I purchased myself a purple menstrual cup. I hope to god I never have to go on Amazon chat and discuss this purchase, Maybe I should for a laugh?

It arrived right as my period had started. I opened the box and stood dumbfounded. What in the name of f? I had to somehow get that thing inside me? Not only that but, the instructions were in German. Nein!!! After a few frenzied messages to my mains, one of which went like this ‘so I just shove it up there and hope for the best? I’m going to end up in A & E later whilst they extract it!’. My girls let me do it.

So, it was fidgety, not going to lie. I also have never felt at one with myself so deeply. But once it was in there, it was comfortable and I peed lots and it didn’t budge at all. I’ve been finding lately, if I even have a tampon in and, cough, it’s gone (thanks kiddos). You can leave these in for 12 hours and, it won’t move at all. I removed mine after three hours, expecting to be confronted with the river Nile. It was only slightly filled. Removing them is slightly awkward. But, you just push like you are having a baby and, it’s only slightly full. Clean and reinsert. It really never fills fully. It is also so not messy once you get the hang of it.

I am on my second cycle now with numerous cups and, all I will say is, FUCK YOU TAMPAX and KOTEX, best decision I ever made! To those that view this as completely incomprehensible, I say try it firstly. This is actually a cleaner way of dealing with things. I am so OCD and I actually love this way.

These are the ones I am now using: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01HT5U92C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 They did take some time to arrive but, at least the instructions were in English! Plus, you get three of them.

Chasing Away the Mum Guilt

I have a confession to make. I have been doing CBT for awhile now. No, I haven’t started smoking some kind of new age cannabis oil to relieve my stress (not after a whole day spent in an Amsterdam coffee shop resulted in me mistakenly determining that I was being abducted by ISIS). Actually, I have been attending weekly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy sessions. Because, lets face it, anti depressants are only masking things. They will never fix the negative thoughts that lead to me actually feeling depressed in the first place.

My session yesterday really got me thinking and I knew right away that it would help some of you also. I was explaining how, when I shout at the kids after a very long day, I feel awful. That I go to bed mulling it over and over and regretting why I hadn’t just taken a deep breath and got on with it. How, the next day I will apologise profusely to whichever boy got the yelling at. She stopped me there and then and asked ‘what do you do when you receive a compliment Grace?’. I was slightly taken aback. ‘Huh?’ I responded. ‘Well’ she said, ‘you’ve just told me you run a mum blog. A blog were you show that motherhood isn’t perfect. That it’s difficult, yet here you are beating yourself up. What do you do when a fellow mum let’s say, gives you a compliment?’. I thought of my besties and how they are always bolstering me. Of all the lovely messages I get from you all thanking me. ‘I feel like I don’t deserve compliments and usually list all the reasons why the compliment is wrong’ I honestly replied. ‘How do you think that makes the person who has given you it feel?’ she enquired earnestly. I dissolved into floods of tears. ‘It probably makes them feel shit’ I said, through sobs. ‘I don’t want to make anyone feel that way’ I added. She nodded.

The session continued with her giving me some homework. She asked me to write down every negative thought I have. It’s 10am as I type this and I have written half an A4 page. She also asked me to write down every compliment I receive. From 7pm yesterday, I have a full A4 page. One friend told me I have inspired her as a mother, one told me I’m great at twerking (which I’m not but, god loves a trier!) and one told me I am so good at giving others confidence. Normally I would have argued that these compliments weren’t warranted nor, deserved. Instead, I replied to everyone ‘thank you for the compliment’. Because their compliment made me feel good and I want them to feel good for having given me it.

It really is as simple as changing how you react in your own mind. Instead of thinking ‘I am a bad mum, I shouted so much today’, we should say ‘it was a long day and, we are human’. God knows we all got yelled at and we turned out ok. Well, my mum might disagree! Let’s all try and be more positive. Because, at the end of the day, if we survive each day with everyone still alive- that’s utterly fantastic! You are all doing great. You can reply ‘thank you for the compliment’:)

This week I’ve Mainly Been….. Surviving Getting the House Painted and Middle’s Third Birthday Party

A few weeks ago I decided that all of downstairs needed to be painted. Matt paint and three boys doth not a good combination make. They have annihilated all my walls, a point highlighted even more with the sun making an appearance lately! It’s all well and good having a plan of any kind with kids, it’s the execution that’s the problem.

The painter would be working from 9am to 5pm for three days straight so, we would have to make ourselves scarce. Off we went to stay with nanna with what felt like ten bags of clothes and miscellenous crap, including teddies. The dog would also have to stay so her bed, insulin and food also had to come with us. It  never ceases to amaze me how much stuff I can fit into that Skoda Fabia of mine, including us!

Boy’s arrive at nanna’s and go absolutely mental at the sheer novelty of getting to stay there. Jumping off every bed, the sofa and demanding sweets from the sweet drawer. Meanwhile I run around like a mad woman trying to organise their clothing, by kid, in the chest of drawers. Dog is only permitted in nanna’s garage so every hour or so I have to put her lead on her and bring her to pee outside. She is also fully blind now and, not knowing her surroundings there, walks into everything going.

The boy’s newest thing is farting in my face which is positively disgusting. No amount of naughty step or toy’s being taken away is solving this. Mainly because they are in cahoots together with it. The only saving grace being at nanna’s provided was, the fact they  now directed said farts in papa’s face. Savages but at least my face is spared for once. Nighttime was so stressful. Eldest and middle would be sharing a room and myself and baby another one. The moment I went to bed, all three were in with me. Fighting continually over whose side I was on and who got cuddles. Meh, the days they want cuddles will soon be long gone. Even eldest is starting to waiver on the cuddle front. I decide to enjoy it whilst only getting a few hours sleep.

Having survived two nights at nanna’s it was onto middle’s third birthday. What to get him? ‘I think he’d like a swing for the garden’ hubby suggested. ‘That’s not reckless enough for middle, I think he’d prefer a trampoline. Plus, they will all get use out of it over the summer’ I countered. I left this part to hubby whilst I bought Lego and all the other surprises. The evening before his party, we decided to construct said trampoline. Now, my neighbours who are elderly have just double fenced their fence for some privacy. What do we do? Erect a 10ft trampoline in the garden so the kids can practically bounce over their fence. 10ft hubby??? Our tiny bit of garden no longer exists but, best money ever spent as boy’s have been on it continually. I’m sure the neighbours will disagree entirely. Party was a success. We invited some of middle’s friends and also some of eldest’s as I figure he won’t get a party as his birthday in August and school off (perfect excuse to save money).

That brings me to this week and middle’s antics again. He has been potty trained for how long now? Ages. Yet every time I go to get him from the pre school room, he has had an accident. Not an accident per se, just not pulling his trousers all the way down. I’m exasperated! Is it the change of room in nursery or laziness? Who knows. ‘You must make sure your trousers are down’ I implored upon picking him up today and realising he was in his spare clothes. He looks at me and laughs hysterically. ‘Just a wee accident, I pwromiseee not do it again’ he says. I heard that last week son. Arggghhhh!!! That one certainly keeps me on my toes.

Baby is standing up on his own, pulling himself along things yet still not fully walking. I’m beginning to get worried now. I know he can do it yet every time I stand him up, he stands there for ages then flings himself to me laughing. Seems he has inherited the reckless gene (fml). The health visitor is referring him if he hasn’t walked by 18 months. Any one else had this issue? Both the others walked quickly. My MIL always said ‘they focus on walking or talking’. It’s so true as eldest took longer walking but was great at talking, middle opposite (walking before he was even one) and baby is good with his talking right now. Kids, always a worry!

 

Surviving the Easter Break!

A few weeks ago, I picked up eldest from school full of excitement. Because, the Easter break was upon us and he would be off for two whole weeks! I was excited for one reason  and one reason only and that’s  the fact that myself and him would get to spend some time alone together. We never get to anymore. This was going to be wonderful. Well……

Day one I asked him what he would like to do. ‘Ummm’ he pondered, ‘let’s go shopping’ he finally decided. Weird, I thought but, if that’s what he wants to do, we shall do it. Off we went to the local shops. He started off easy with Home Bargains, picking a relatively cheap toy and a book. This isn’t too bad, I mused to myself. Then he spotted the pound shop. How bad could that be? Well, after five minutes he had filled a whole basket with utter crap (he probably inherited this reckless £ shop spreeing from me in his defence). I managed to talk him into procuring a few useless items in the end and ushered him straight out before he spied anything else. We’d no sooner left and walked past a barbers. ‘Mum, can I get my hair cut in there?’ he asked. I looked at the current state of his hair and quickly established that a hair cut wasn’t a bad idea. Another ten pounds gone. Day one had cost me a grand total of twenty pounds!

Day two he had to accompany me to the doctors. This proved entirely awkward. I tried so hard not to get emotional as he was present but, I just didn’t manage it. It was also highly embarrassing having to speak about my mental health with him seated right beside me but, need’s must. I spoke to him on the way to the car park and explained the importance of being a male and talking to someone if you feel sad. When we got back to the car he began to moan. ‘Mum, these trainers don’t even fit me anymore. I mean, feel how my toes are right at the top!’. I leant over to test his theory. He was correct. Arrrrggggh! Off we went to purchase new trainers. But, I couldn’t buy him some without getting a pair for middle. He has been wearing eldest’s hand me down trainers for two years now (eldest was so easy on all them, they were like new). It was time middle got a brand new pair. To be fair eldest picked a pair that weren’t overly expensive but, they only had one pair in middle’s size and they cost more than I had expected. I was going to be bankrupt by the end of the week at this rate. Upon picking middle up, box in hand, he took one look at his gleaming new trainers and declared ‘this is stupid treat, where my lollipop?’. The gratitude is strong with that one- not!

The next few days were glorious. We spent lots of time outside. This was great as they were easily entertained with all the toys out in the garden. Even baby was loving life on his Paw Patrol ride on, basking in the sunlight. That was until middle decided that he was having too much fun to reenter the house so would just keep peeing on the grass. What is it with this child? He knew to do it in a corner that I can’t see from the kitchen also. Lot’s of naughty step and time outs seemed to solve this problem. Until, the following day, when he ran into the house demanding that I ‘wipe his bottom’. ‘Why’ I implored. ‘You haven’t gone to your potty?’. At that point eldest came in, shaking due to laughing hysterically. ‘Owen did a poo outside’ he claimed, in between convulsing. ‘HE DID WHAT?’ I yelled. I don’t think I’ve ever ran so fast. There, in the hidden corner, was a very large poo. Who does that? I mean. who? Poo removed (with a doggy poo bag, the shame!) and, bottom wiped he was placed on the naughty step whilst I grabbed every single Easter egg he had received. He was told they would be going in the ‘big bin’. You know sh#t is going down if something is going in the ‘big bin’. This resulted in him crying the whole night. Well, don’t be an utter savage then son!

Baby is on the move walking wise. His confidence has grown so much that, his new favourite thing is standing up on the bed, hands in the air, waiting a moment, then flinging himself forward. Why did I ever think he would be my easiest one? He has obviously inherited middle’s ‘just do it anyway and see what happens’ approach to life. I’m on tenterhooks every time he even moves now. How am I ever going to keep three of them alive? Little boys have an obsession with scaling things, climbing and jumping from heights. Help!! Who up there hates me? I want to deal with unicorns, plaits and nail polish not Lego, farts and football.

On the plus side, I have survived these two weeks with my sanity nearly intact. Roll on the summer, I mean, oh god, the summer! Better take up yoga before that arrives!

Treat day

Looks so cute but quite happily does a poo in the garden!

For some unknown reason, he is majorly obsessed with this watering can.

What I Learnt This Week……

On Monday I may have possibly had a breakdown of some sort. I just thought I was having a wobbly moment at the time but, I realise now, it was possibly more than that.

I’m not even sure how it got to that point. I had been severely sleep deprived with middle and then awoke to a barf fest from baby. But, normally I’ve got it. Deal with it, get ready. Look outwardly like I haven’t been dealing with utter chaos. That’s more for my own sanity.  Instead, the tears just would not stop. I literally couldn’t stop them! My body threw up a year’s worth of tears it had stored up for so long. What did I think? Well, I was embarrassed mainly. Get over it and get on. But, this time I found I couldn’t. I had to call my mum who was utterly panicked. This is her strong daughter who always has it together. Her strong daughter that is a great mum but has broken. My mum placed me in the shower and all I could think was ‘ my mum has seen me naked for the first time since I give birth to eldest and she randomly showed up in the delivery suite’. This resulted in me crying more.

That was a bad day right? The next day, for the very first time, I actually started having panic attacks. I didn’t even know these existed. I literally felt, at that stage, that my brain was deserting me. But, how could I let that happen? My mum, sister and dad worked together to look after my kids that day. I felt utterly useless. Whilst having a sob and, thinking about how many things I’d neglected the previous day, I decided f@ck the cleaning, f@ck the washing, self care is the way forward. Why was I even contemplating those things? Well, because it doesn’t ever stop! But, I took myself to bed and slept for hours. I woke up in a panic messaging every family member that had the boys. Where they ok? Had they behaved? When can they come back? Because, I missed them. I worried they would know that their routine had been disrupted.

When my sister returned with eldest in tow, she told me he had said to her ‘mummy is really sad right now’. My amazing sister told him ‘everyone gets sad sometimes, it’s okay’. And, it is! I had to royally lose it to even think to ask for help. The main thing is, the help was there when I actually asked. Eldest hugged me so much when he came back and told me he loved me. He knew something was up.

The last few days I’ve worked hard to be my normal self. Middle has made me laugh profusely with the zero f@cks he gives with any kind of decorum ‘mummy, can you wipe my bottom, biggest poo ever- yes!’. He also makes noises that I didn’t even make in labour whilst doing so! Eldest, being as sensitive as he is, has done nothing but bestow kisses upon me and cuddle me (yes) and, baby is still trialling my kitchen cabinets apart and getting ready to walk. Even he has given me lots of impromptu kisses. I’ve realised that they all sense this. Obviously it hasn’t stopped the battering hours between 6-8pm. But, I guess kids have empathy in the moment purely. I’ve got this though, let’s get back to normal! Falling apart for me, has made things fall together. Please ask for help if you are drowning, don’t be ashamed. Sometimes people need it spelt out. These days we are relying on grandparents to cover childcare during working days and therefore feel like we can’t ask for a break come the weekend. Who want’s to start a childcare party night were we all converge, drink wine and leave them with the men?

 

Book Review- Reader, I Married Me! By Sophie Tanner

As all of you know, it’s been a stressful few weeks. A seriously ill dog that’s peeing everywhere, the usual chaos with the three boy’s and even a job interview to prepare for with all that going on! That’s why I was so happy to have been sent a book to read, to take my mind off the stresses. It’s tagline, ‘be the hero of your own story’, intrigued me and resonated with how I’ve been feeing about life in general lately.

Reader, I Married Me, centres around Chole, her colleagues, friends and family. She’s thirty five and finds herself suddenly single. As if this wasn’t s#it enough, her work life isn’t faring much better. Becoming increasingly fed up and, after a few too many gin’s, she declares that she will marry herself. I mean, why not? No nagging men, no one to have to wrestle the remote control off and, a great excuse for a party! Her journey to achieve this will have you laughing and cringing in equal measure. As will the many colourful characters Chole is surrounded by. You’ve got the obligatory gay best friend, the mum who is slightly bonkers and the back stabbing work colleague. What could possibly go wrong? There are also lots of mum characters, drowning under the pressure of motherhood. We can all relate to that right?

I found the book so easy to read and very uplifting. It gave me hope that sometimes you can be at your lowest ebb but, things ultimately happen for a reason. You just don’t realise at the time you are going through it. I especially loved the setting of the book- Brighton. The beaches, the surfers and the gay scene! So, if you are looking for some inspiration, with a dollop of humour, get yourself a copy now! I have a little Q & A with Sophie coming up too so, get reading 🙂

Reader, I Married Me! by Sophie Tanner is available in Kindle format now (priced at £1.99) and you can pre order it in paperback also: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reader-Married-Me-Sophie-Tanner-ebook/dp/B07B7S8Q1P/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Reader+I+Married+Me&qid=1553451565&s=gateway&sr=8-1 Let me know what you guy’s think!

 

 

The Job Interview

Today I went for a job interview. My first formal interview since 2009. EEK! Although I may have successfully passed this interview, I managed to drink a whole jug of water (a jug that was supposed to serve the whole room) whilst buying time. I also spent the whole time talking about ‘having’ relationships with colleagues as opposed  to ‘building’ relationships with colleagues. This is taking ‘teamwork’ slightly too far I think.

Trying to even complete the application form with three kid’s took a long time. But, I got it sent off and forgot all about it. A month went by and still no word. Until the postman delivered me a letter that invited me to attend an interview the following week. Cue immediate panic. Take a deep breath and decide to worry about it later. Get to the week in question and am so physically exhausted as youngest has decided to revert back to babydom and drink his weight in milk on numerous occasions throughout the night. It’s ok, I’ve got this. Ship them all out for one day and spend it working on prep questions. Try to revise said questions whilst constantly emptying potty’s, changing explosions due to teething and getting eldest all the snacks he demands.

Interview is at 10:45am. Get up at 5am purely to prepare and go over my answers. Middle and eldest stroll downstairs at 5:30 demanding breakfast. Leave what I am doing to go get them breakfast. Think to myself where is hubby? Spend the next few hours dipping and diving into learning my answers all whilst looking after two kids. Go get a shower in an attempt to look presentable all whilst youngest crawls all over me. He lifts all my make up as he does so, attempting to throw it down the stairs from the landing. Think to myself if there is a God, please give me strength.

Get to interview location fifteen minutes early. Consider sitting in my car whilst slowly getting more and more nervous. Decide against this and go on in. Am left waiting for a considerable time as they are running behind. Contemplate running out the door as I am shaking so much with nerves and feel like I am underprepared for a Virgo. Finally I am called and the person apologises for being late. Stupidly decide to go all David Brent and reply ‘I was early as I am great at time keeping’ whilst doing some kind of weird pointing thing. Immediately realise that this basically implies their time keeping is awful. Die a little inside.

Get to interview room and quickly establish there will be four of them interviewing me, one of whom is wearing a dog collar and seems to be some kind of minister. I’m told I have fifteen minutes to answer three questions. They ask them and, I answer with a quivering voice. Halfway through, one of the interviewees winks at me and does the thumbs up. He must have been feeling sorry for me or something. Wink back at him only to realise the minister is now looking at me like I am some kind of sex pest who goes to interviews purely to solicit older men.

Leave interview and am so nervous that I walk past a full car park where my car is. Get into car finally and proceed to try and drive in my high heels. Big mistake as had driven there with flats on. Near crash car. Get home to boys and have never felt happier to not have to speak in grammatically correct sentences. Tell them I’m doing it for them. Think of how hard it’s taken me to prep and wonder do businesses ever take into consideration how hard it is to do all this with young children. Hope for the best…..

 

The Vet Appointment

Yesterday afternoon I had to take the three boys plus Molly to the vet’s. Although we are at the vet’s weekly these days, I have only ever had one or two of them with me. Never all three. It’s safe to say that I was already dreading it.

Everyone loaded into the car, despite middle doing a runner, off we set. I used the car journey to lay down some ground rules. Eldest would be in charge of the dog and her lead in the car park whilst I would carry baby and hold middle’s hand. Once inside the vet’s everyone would sit nicely on their seats until we were called. This was important as, I couldn’t set the baby on the floor due to the numerous amounts of dog pee probably coated onto it and, I would also have to hold Molly. They were warned that if there was any deviation from the rules there would be no Friday treat.

Pull up into car park, get dog out of the car and hand her to eldest (on a short leash), then instruct him to stay situated where he is. Go to get middle out of the car. He refuses to exit his car seat. Deep breaths. Close his car door and tell him we will just go without him then. Forget that middle gives zero f#cks about this kind of thing as he just stares at me with an air of being totally unbothered. Go to other side and get baby. Realise eldest has hit the button that extends the dog’s lead and she is now at the other side of the road. Yell politely at eldest (people are about). Baby on hip, drag middle out of the car kicking and screaming. Phew! Enter vets all whilst reiterating the ground rules. Think to myself that all will be ok, it can’t get any worse.

Eldest relinquishes responsibility for dog upon entering the premises. Said responsibility is seemingly too much for him. Dog, relishing her new found freedom, runs around the waiting room mental, lead trailing behind her. Baby in tow, I frantically chase after her. Upon capturing her, I turn around and, eldest and middle are having a complete field day jumping on the weighing scales. So hard are they jumping, the LED screen is going into utter meltdown and appears to now be broken. Take another deep breath before ‘mum yelling’ in a public area. Instruct boy’s to sit nicely. They do so for a mere two minutes before eldest beseeches middle to come stand with him at the bottom of a dog food display. Middle gladly accepts eldest’s invitation all whilst I voice my displeasure. Two seconds later, the whole dog food display has collapsed and is now littered across the floor. Contemplate whether it’s acceptable to royally lose your sh#t in a vets. Quickly ascertain it’s probably not. Receptionist tells me not to worry as I try and tidy it all up. Have never felt so grateful for someone in my life! Alas, we are finally called. Usher middle and eldest into the consultation room. Dog then proceeds to do the biggest pee I have ever witnessed and, lately, I have witnessed her doing this a lot. Ask for something to clean it up with. Vet assures me it’s ok and she will do it. Proceed to try and have a conversation about the dogs diabolical health whilst middle and eldest lamp shades out of each other. Decide (stupidly) to ask what our bill stand’s at. Am informed that, so far, it stands at £985. Commence having an utter breakdown, floods of tears included.

Slowly get back to the car and load boys and dog once again, Spot an off license out the corner of my eye. Praise be! Mascara is all down my face but, screw it- this mama deserves some wine after that. It is hereby decided that these boys cannot go anywhere and behave in an acceptable manner. We are house bound from here on in.

 

 

The one were, once again, my kid’s make an arse out of me at the cinema!

I have been so ill this week after starting new tablets. Really tired and not quite with it. But, half term stops for no one! With the end in sight, my sister suggested going to the cinema to see the new Lego movie. Baby hasn’t been too well so he would stay at home whilst I took the other two, and, my friend’s gorgeous little boy. We would be heading to the cinema of which eldest let me down a bucketful at not so long ago: https://youandmeplusthree.uk/2018/07/26/this-week-i-have-mainly-been-potty-training-middle-and-being-let-down-by-eldest-again/ I draw your attention to this utterly embarrassing post!! It would be ok surely? The same guy wouldn’t be working.

On the way to pick up my friend’s little one, out of nowhere, middle projectile vomits all over himself and, his car seat. Call wonderful friend who knows the score and leaves me out a change of clothes for him and a flannel. Middle redressed and, all kid’s loaded, off we go. Get to cinema, no more barfing and boy from before not working- winning!!! Twenty minutes into movie however and middle has thrown up again. Run like Mo Farrah all the way to the bathroom with him, catching barf in my hands as I go. This is not the finest moment in my whole life, like ever! A fellow cinemagoer takes pity on me and helps me clean him up. I explain what row we are sitting in and she says she will get someone to clean his seat up. Wiped clean, as much that we can, we head back. Someone is on his knees cleaning up middle’s inner spewings from the floor. Who is it? Yes, the same boy who had to listen to eldest’s quips of ‘doctor shoved finger up mummy’s bum’. Someone save me from this hell! Bad things always happen at this cinema, I’m convinced. Alas, it wasn’t over yet. Middle had two more vomiting escapades to administer. In the end, I had to leave the others with my sister and bring him home. “Where my popcorn?” he asked when strapped into the car to go home. Um, caked over both of us son!! I left him home then had to go back to get the others.

It is now 7 pm and,  as I write, he can’t keep even water down. He has fallen asleep on the sofa only to roll off it at one stage. Today is not his day! We are obviously all going to get it also. Thanks, sis! The weekend from hell beckons and I am almost certain I am now totally banned from that cinema. Can someone send help or wine please? Thanks!

Why It’s Time To Talk And End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health!

Today is ‘time to talk day’ ladies. A day in which we should all be talking about mental health openly and honestly. After all, one in four of us will suffer from some kind of mental health problem and yet, there is still a shame attached to having these sorts of problems. Some of you may know and, others may not but, I have been quite honest about my own struggles with regards to mental health: https://youandmeplusthree.uk/2018/05/03/why-its-ok-not-to-be-ok/ I wrote this about my struggles with postnatal depression not so long ago. At first, I just put it down to the kid’s sending me absolutely batty but, it turns out it was much more than that.

After eldest, I suffered from postnatal depression. I didn’t realise this at the time however and just thought I was being overly emotional what with the lack of sleep and constant crying (him and me). I tried to let it slide for months, ignoring how I felt and making excuses for why I felt that way. I was tired, I was so busy, making bottles and changing nappies was so monotonous and, finally, I was just feeling this way now but it would eventually pass. Alas, it didn’t and I found myself on antidepressants for over six months. I told very few people. I was embarrassed and almost frightened that they would consider me a failure as a new mum.

With middle, I was wobbly afterwards. Not as bad as before but, also not great. His birth had been quite traumatising for me and he suffered badly from reflux and colic. There were days he would cry for four hours straight. My mum came to stay to help me one week as hubby was away in America with work. She left after two nights it was so bad! I found it very hard to bond with him, I’m not going to sugar coat it. I felt awful that I couldn’t make it better for him and viewed myself as a useless mother. The guilt I felt surrounding the lack of bond, made me extremely down and anxious. But, I got through it and came out the other end once he was on solids. Now he is a walking terror but, one that makes me laugh daily with his huge, gregarious personality. I still feel guilty to this day for feeling how I did when he was a baby. There’s the mum guilt again!

This time, with baby, was entirely different. I actually developed full-blown depression whilst pregnant with him. There were many reasons for this looking back. Mainly wondering how I would cope with three and the stress of looking after two other children whilst carrying what felt like a rhino in my tummy. When I gave birth, things got much worse. I didn’t even want to get out of bed most days. Which, is not an option at all when you have kids. Meeting friends filled me with dread and I retreated into myself. Motivation was not to be found and I didn’t even recognise myself any more. The feelings I had felt throughout his pregnancy came back to haunt me. How could I have thought those things? He was perfect and I was so in love! This quickly manifested itself in me becoming obsessed with every little thing that could be wrong. His weight, his eyes, oh my god- cradle cap! Basically, my anxiety was through the roof. I was placed on anti-depressants once again. These then had to be doubled as there was no change. Now I find myself having to wean myself off the ones I am on currently so they can be changed to another type. I’ve also attended counselling sessions and enrolled on a course that promises to boost my self-esteem and confidence. I am fighting against it with every part of me yet it still defeats me most days.

It’s time that we talk about our mental health to others and, especially, those who don’t understand it. How will they ever learn if we hide away from sharing how it affects us? No one wants to wake up each day feeling sad and hopeless. I’m also a firm believer that today’s society is causing more and more people to feel this way. We are expected, as women especially, to be all things to everyone. Wife, mother, cleaner, cook and worker. There are not enough hours in the day and it’s no wonder we are all feeling so overwhelmed. If you feel this way please talk to someone and don’t suffer alone. Even if you don’t suffer from mental health problems, make a point of speaking to someone who does. Ask them if they are ok over a cup of tea. Sometimes all we need is to feel supported and understood.