Most sources say that somewhere between 10% and 20% of mothers experience PPD (Post Partum Depression) in some way. Mothers of multiples are more at risk. What I have found with those I have known who have experienced it, is that they needed a third party to point it out and that only in hind sight were they able to recognise that things weren’t right. I think when you’re in it, it’s pretty hard to tell. You can’t see straight to put the dishes away in the right place, so evaluating your own state of mental health is more than likely well out of reach.
PPD is a bit of a rock and a hard place type situation. Part of the problem is that you’re not communicating openly about your thoughts and feelings. Another part of the problem is that you’d rather pull your own toenails out than communicate openly about your thoughts and feelings. Social isolation is part of the problem, wanting to pull yourself away from social interaction is the other part of the problem. Poor diet, poor sleep, no exercise, feeling crap, can’t be bothered eating well, too tired to sleep, no energy to exercise. Round and round we go.
So here’s the God’s honest truth.
Mothering twins is the hardest damn thing I’ve done in my life.
I have had thoughts of running away and never being found.
When people say things like ‘it’s all SO worth it’, I’m not sure that I agree.
I cry for no reason, often while locked in toilets.
I think about what life would be like if we’d stopped at one. A lot.
I have an adrenaline, stress type reaction to the sound of babies crying, like that tightening in your chest when your body goes into fight or flight mode.
Sometimes when they are crying I look at them blankly, like I’m not sure what I’m meant to do.
Motherhood is not the best experience of my life. It didn’t complete me.
It’s easy enough for the ‘you must seek help’ chorus to say that we should all go and talk to someone. But some of the things I have thought I’m not even gutsy enough to say here. If you’re reading this and shedding a hidden tear, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you are reading this and you do know what I’m talking about, and you are not game to say what’s really behind those tears, then find me on twitter @nancy280710 or message me here. Tweet, email or FB this post to someone you know and let’s talk. I won’t judge you nor will I advise you. But I will say that you are not the only mother ever in the world to have thought these things and it doesn’t make you Department of Child Safety material.
And here’s the rest of the God’s honest truth.
I’m the best person to be a mother to my boys.
I don’t have to justify anything with a preamble of ‘…well of course I love my kids but…’
Sometimes I don’t know how things will turn out.
I am more than a mother.
Mothers who are called, who love it, who wouldn’t do anything else and who are completed by the job are diamonds. I’m not you, it’s OK that I’m not you, but the world without you would be a grey and hopeless place indeed. How awful to even imagine a world without natural mothers. You are the ones who show those of us who struggle in the role the real beauty of the role. Sadly the world sometimes sees you as ‘less’ but surely you are the most.