I think when you become a parent, or even when you get pregnant you don’t really think about much other than how wonderful it must be to have a child. No one ever really focuses on the bits that aren’t full of fairy dust, sparkles and rainbows until they actually happen. Although I had a really bad pregnancy I never found myself thinking about how hard things might get at one point or another. I certainly never thought that parenting really is s*** sometimes!
Having suffered from PND, focusing on the bad days happened more often than I would really like to admit. Sometimes, most days were bad and I found it harder and harder to cope. Don’t get me wrong, there was also a hell of a lot of good days too but when something like depression takes over, it’s hard to even think about those good moments. Luckily, I was able to snap out of it relatively quickly and while I wouldn’t say it’s gone completely, I don’t feel the need for anti-depressants any more and I can work through most things either on my own or with John if I need to.
Even though my mental health is a lot better than it has been, it doesn’t mean that every day is a good one. Some days are crap beyond belief… and that’s okay. That’s not really something I thought I would be able to come to terms with.
Just recently I have been trying to cope with Erin starting nursery and how her first month went. I have felt so awful about having to drop her off and leave her there screaming for me and trying to cling to me because she doesn’t want to be apart from me. I’ve felt crap about crying when this happens and I’ve also felt crap about not crying sometimes because it makes me feel heartless.
Just two weeks ago I had a particularly bad week. It’s a busy time of year for John at work and he ended up being home late 5 nights in a row. On top of this, Erin had been teething with 3 back teeth and got sent home from nursery on the Wednesday because of diarrhea. Really, she had a little bit of an upset stomach due to teething and Calpol but obviously nursery need to take precautions which meant Erin was off the whole week. I had a lot of work to do which I couldn’t do while Erin was home. I hadn’t really had a break so far all week and I had been looking forward to a bit of ‘me’ time. Obviously, none of that happened.
It took a very good friend telling me that it was okay to feel crap about things to realise that I had to take it one day at a time and to just do what I could. Not only that but our chat made me think about other parents who have bad days. I’m definitely not the only one going through this and that’s a huge relief really. I’m certainly not alone in having some crappy days and I’m lucky that I do have people I can vent to about it and people who can help me think about how good the next day might be.
Some days parenting really is s*** and that can’t be helped. I think the most important thing is to realise that you’re really never alone and that it’s okay to not cope as well as Super Nanny or Mary Poppins would. I’m certainly not them and I never will be so why try to achieve something unattainable and unrealistic as a unicorn.