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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.

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8 responses »

  1. I agree with musedemuzz or Muzzwald Q or whatever name he is going by nowdays. I love you – most times from afar and through stories I hear about you and then those times when we do meet. I am a father and still have some of those feelings with adult daughters and I am sure they have the same feelings about me sometimes. I find the deep feeling to love people the most rewarding and also the most frustrating thing that I have to cope with in life. Can’t i just smash them this once – I am sure it will make me feel better.

    I am often reminded “love is PATIENT and KIND” so when my patience reaches its breaking point how do i show kindness in the situation I am in. I saw that often to myself and sometimes it makes a difference in me.

    I live for the day when we have another face-to-face meeting.

    Keep writing – it is challenging and refreshing me

  2. Hi there, my wee boy twin came back from preschool one day and reported: ‘It’s OK to be sad.” His teacher had told him and she’s so right. It is OK to be sad and we say that a lot. We said it on Saturday when I was weepy with frustration and exhaustion and being overwhelmed out at the shops with the two of them.

    But not so good to be sad every day… and to spend too many days just struggling to survive the day. I did that too much and don’t want to do it again. Am better now at getting help, of all sorts, when I feel a real slide downwards coming.

    Perinatal anxiety and depression can be so various but at it’s worst it’s seriously life threatening. It’s also very treatable in the big majority of cases. Thanks god.

    I keep expecting to feel competent as a parent, it’s been almost 15 years now… but doesn’t seem to be happening yet. That eldest throws curve balls at me all the time and the younger ones just wear me out. Ah well…. as I once wrote: ‘Some days I try to be a good enough mother, other days I don’t aim that high.’

  3. “struggling to survive the day” that’s it really, and that’s why I finally went and said what I should have said to the GP a while ago. Life is supposed to be more than that.
    Love your encouraging words Seana, one reason I felt no shame in feeding my twins baked beans straight from the tin for dinner tonight! Thank God again for day care centres that do food!!

  4. wow, Tracey, so glad Amanda posted your link on her facebook page. I so know what you are going through!

    I remember when my two were tiny and I was sleep deprived, overwhelmed and unable, I imagined leaving them on the front lawn and hoping the the winter cold would gently kill them… (shows how illogical I was, this is only Queensland…lol)
    I am sure I had PPD and sky rocket anxiety, and needed help, but to seek it out was just one more thing on the to-do list.
    I didn’t leave the house with the twins for over a year…life just stopped. Even now, with them nearly 4 years old, I fight the residual anxiety of rounding everyone up, packing gear, and getting them all out of the house. I was stoked the other day when we had only one other bag of stuff for a whole day out! It does eventually get easier.

    Everything I thought I knew about parenting my older two was completely erased with twins. My two older kids still talk wistfully about the pre-twin days. I struggle between feelings of guilt and frustration, that their lives have been so turned upside down, and `oh, well, tough, this is life now, get over it.’

    Just when I want to burn the house down with the kids in it (again), some glimmer of life emerges, someone tells a silly joke, or one of the twins is oh so hilariously three years old, I (mostly) pick myself up again, apologise (again) to all my children, and hope tomorrow will be better.

    Thanks so much for your honesty, and sharing your reality. It is reality and it is bloody hard. Having come through the early years with most of my sanity intact, I can say, just keep talking, keep asking for help, keep sneaking out for cocktails, and it’s highly likely you will make it through. 😉 (no promises when it comes to twins…lol)

    xxxooo Jude

      • Ha ha, I don’t know if a awkward couple of weeks counts as `a girlfriend’ …not one of the best ideas of our friendship… gah. Anyway…who else has twins?

        Love your blog, a wonderful idea. 🙂

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