There are a handful of posts here on Love, Maisie that have taken me either a long time to write, or a long time to hit publish on and this post is one of them. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll probably remember that last year I shared my story with post natal depression(which you can read here if you missed it).
Since that post went live, I’ve managed to lower the does of my medication and maintain a decent and fairly consistent level of happiness, hurrah. But rather than a general overview on my mental health, today I wanted to talk about one specific aspect of my battle with depression.. and that’s the guilt.
You’ve no doubt come across the term mum guilt before, in fact if you’re a mum yourself then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. We all feel guilt on different levels for various different things, but the worst mum guilt that I’ve experienced is directly connected to my post natal depression.
I am being 100% honest when I say that I struggle to remember the first 4-5 months of being a mum. I remember giving birth, very vividly, almost as if it were yesterday, but the first few months of Tyler’s life are now a blur. I started writing Tyler’s monthly updates when he was 3 months old and honestly if it wasn’t for those first couple of posts, I probably wouldn’t remember a thing. This is why I feel guilty.
You’d think that PTSD or depression would have suppressed the memories of Tyler’s birth, but for some reason that is the most enhanced memory that I have. The precious moments of Tyler’s first months on this earth are the ones that have been suppressed. Stolen from me. Now, all that is left are a handful of blog posts and (thankfully) a fair amount of photographs. This is my mum guilt.
I feel so guilty that I don’t have many fond memories of my babies first few months. Everyone always says that the newborn months are the best, but sadly for me, they were the complete opposite. My depression was at it’s worst when Tyler was around 7 or 8 weeks old and looking back on it all, I know it’s quite silly to feel guilty about it now because, a) I can’t go back and change anything and b) I have come so far.
But still, I am riddled with guilt. There are a handful of emotions that I really struggle with and this gut wrenching mum guilt is honestly awful. As each day passes I do feel that I am more able to cope with this feeling, but I do wonder if it will ever go away.
When I started writing this post, I wasn’t quite sure what my point or message would be and honestly, I’m still not, but I do just want to say that if you are a parent and are feeling guilty because of mental health issues that you have had to battle alongside raising your child, you are not alone. Parenthood is hard enough without mental illness. Mental illness is hard enough without parenthood. You get my point.
When I started my blog back in 2013, I wrote a lot of personal entries and I’m hoping that if this post is received well, I’ll be writing a lot more personal posts this year. Do you ever get struck by mum guilt? How do you cope with it? I’d love to know!
OUTFIT DETAILS Dress – Primark | Shoes – Vans | Denim Jacket – WearAll