Bad Mum


6 September 2017

The Curious Mummy

  • Married to the most wonderful man 
  • Great Career
  • Pregnant 
  • Sold the flat/Bought a family house 

That was 2014, I remember feeling so happy and excited about life.

With the impending arrival of baby number one, I decided to read a few baby manuals. In my mind that was the whole motherhood thing covered off. I had even secured a place at a nursery, so that was the childcare sorted. Yes, this career girl come mother-to-be was on it. In my head, I was going to do the Maternity leave thing and then return to my old life. How wrong was I?!

Then my son was born.

Nothing could prepare me for how much I had fallen in love with him. He was the centre of my universe. We were together 24/7, we had made friends with some wonderful local Mamas, created a new routine and life was good. I loved everything about being in this little family. Okay so it wasn’t all perfect, motherhood is a strange journey with lots of ups and downs which I fully embraced. I was made for this.
The months past and the return to work date was in sight. Going back to work was something I accepted. Never did I think for one moment that it would be the biggest adjustment in this whole Motherhood thing. The month before I went back, I cancelled the nursery place, visited another nursery, cried at the conditions and hired a nanny. Knowing my son would be looked after at home gave me comfort but in all honestly it didn't give me much else.

I returned to work a completely different person. I was still the same ambitious girl I was the year before but this time my thoughts were all about the little person I had left at 7.30am that morning. I spent every day hiding the anxiety of being apart from my baby. No one knew how much it hurt to be away from him. I put on a brave face and instead told everyone that I missed work and it was where I longed to be. However this was far from the truth. I spent every day in the fire escape, crying. I have never felt so alone. How no one realised why my face was permanently red and puffy was beyond me. I felt unsupported and was thrown in at the deep end.

Then I decided enough was enough and I would throw myself into the job. I detached myself from any emotion. I knew if I talked about it, I was afraid I would break. The ‘coming in to work early’ and ‘working when I got home’ had started. I began to feel like I was not spending any time with my family. I felt so sad. I felt like I had lost control and wasn't a mother anymore

Weeks, turned into months and I knew I needed help. The crying was draining, the sadness was smothering, life had become a shadow of the year before. I was at breaking point. 

I was referred to an amazing specialist; We talked, I cried, we talked some more and I felt like I could make sense of everything. I had gained some perspective and I didn’t feel ashamed anymore. After my first session, he diagnosed me with mild Post Natal Depression. I was so shocked to hear that I had PND 16 months on. After my second session something clicked and I felt in control of my life again. Somehow I knew how to take my situation forward. I created a balance across my world, I stopped taking work home and started focusing on being a mother again. 9 months after I returned to work, I fell pregnant and at that point I left the company. Leaving gave me time to concentrate on my family and the confidence to be me again.

Four months after leaving my job, I started The Curious Mummy blog. The blog has been a great platform to talk about my experiences of motherhood and it turns out there are a billion of us going through the same thing.

The blog has opened my eyes to so many opportunities outside of my industry, so much so, I am in the process of setting up Roxby + Pearl, a  collection of ‘must have’ stylish trans-seasonal clothes designed to support women through motherhood and beyond. Now leaving the children for the odd meeting is easy. In fact, I feel like I am thriving again. There will come a time when I return to the day job. After all, it was a big part of who I was before I had my children but for now I am enjoying these precious moments.

Until now, I have struggled to share this story with anyone. The stigma around mental health, made me feel uncomfortable about admitting that I suffered with depression. I am lucky to have the support of the most loving family and the most amazing friends who made me realised that it is okay not to be okay and that is why two years on, I decided to share my story with you.

Written by Donna 

If you would like to donate to PANDAS Foundation ensure they can continue to help support families affected by both pre & postnatal mental illnesses please text PANDAS £3, £5 or £10 to 70660 or visit their website for further information and support.
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