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27 Sep 2016

Dispelling my parenting demons

Happy late September loves! One of things I would love to write about on my blog is the ins and outs, and ups and downs of motherhood alongside babyhood, even though I feel guilty and scared talking
about it! I never, ever imagined I would have my first baby young. It's the most surreal thing, so incredible, mind blowing and confusing that I can't get my head around it, no matter how hard I try. Here are some awkward thoughts and feelings I'm struggling with and would love to overcome.

. Overcoming the guilt about feeling unwell. I don't often sit down and write a post about mental illness: it overwhelms me, it is in everything I do and write. More often now, being on Sertraline, I feel normal but during a bad patch feeling ill paralyses me and I can't bear to think or type, it feels unbearable. I also can't stop the big black shape from encompassing my mood, energy and what feels like my soul. I can't think about anything else. Going outside, I feel there is so little of me there I feel as if the world is going swallow me up at any moment. I panic and the worry just keeps on coming.

I want to stop running and trying to escape my ill feelings, instead, embracing my struggles and taking it at my own pace. Completing a difficult task such as a trip to the library should earn me a huge pat on the back and knowledge that I am a step closer to conquering my dreams, instead of measuring how far away I am. I will not wait for a day when I can finally look back at my journey and be proud, instead, I am learning to be proud of myself right now. I have grown up in ways I couldn't have dreamed and done things that are extraordinary for me. I have come further than I could ever have imagined and learnt a lot! I am also constantly learning and growing.
. Feeling guilty because there's no reason why I should feel down. As wonderful as birth and pregnancy is, it can be difficult in so many ways, a roller coaster that, on occasion, can have terrifying outcomes. I didn't understand why I was feeling bad if everything had gone well. I tried to punish myself and suppress what I felt were inappropriate feelings because I loved my little boy and I didn't understand why I should feel like that. It made me feel as if I was letting us down.

I still feel like this often, especially when my mood is bad and it makes it harder to tackle. My goal is to take away my emotional reaction to the negative feelings and just let them be, to come and go when they please. I won't judge, label or suppress them but welcome as with any other feeling. I know that I will still have bad patches, even when on Sertraline, but there is no reason why they should define me. I have many thoughts, happy and sad, continuously passing like clouds - so why should I pay more attention to the negative? *This is just my way of making it easier to deal with, it can help but is far from an end all solution! CBT can turn your thoughts on their head but it can be simplistic and is not the only help out there. If you feel like this, it is nowhere near your fault and you deserve so much more. Never be ashamed to speak out about it and ask for the help you so deserve!
. Finding my identity as a young mother. Trying to embrace myself as a new mum threw up questions I couldn't answer. What has just happened? Who am I now? What do I want to do? What am I doing to benefit the world? Trying to get my head around what had happened to me made me feel numb inside out and I constantly questioned and criticised myself. All I wanted was to avoid being brandished by the cruel, unrelenting social stereotype of the 'teenage mother' and the shame that came from being a young mother in the presence of disapproving elderly ladies. I felt pressured to be constantly planning, working on my career and benefiting society.

I wish I could give myself a huge hug and tell myself that it's still me, that it's okay to take some time to really enjoy the cosy winter snuggles, to savour the blanket tepee moments, the trying on first shoes and squeezing little fingers in to mittens, and be present in the company of my new little best friend, without my mind being elsewhere. Something that reassured me so much is the notion that it is not a successful career we really crave at the end of the day but, as humans, it is love, family and human connection that we value the most. What do I want to do? Dreams and goals aren't things that you force yourself to want; they are undeniable things that appear at the right time, when I challenge myself to take new opportunities.

I'm still that girl who is fascinated by the changes a new season brings, by new galleries and museums I've never explored, adventures in new winter cities and sparkly nail varnish. Long train journeys hold a certain excitement and make me feel like I'm heading off on a new adventure. I still harbour a childlike fascination for the world around me and I still wear mini skirts. I value my independence but at the same time the world is instantly made better with my little family beside me, my little love who is sharing these adventures along with me.
Even though my worry keeps finding new outlets and maybe my brain will never rest, I'm determined to be content and confident in who I am, and what I have achieved! I feel proud to be getting better at CBT myself, working through my thoughts and reducing anxiety on the surface. I would love to know - do you have any demons you would love to dispell? 

15 comments:

  1. I just want to congratulate you on putting such a brave, honest post out there, Elizabeth. *virtual hug*!

    Hannah (of Tolley Bakes)

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    1. Awww thank you so much Hannah, that means so much! :D ♡

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  2. This was such a lovely post to read Elizabeth, you're doing so well and have so much to be proud of! You're teaching your little boy what strength, courage and love look like and you shouldn't underestimate that ♥

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

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    1. Wow thank you so much Jess! Such a sweet comment and I'm so happy you enjoyed it, thank you!! ♡

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  3. Lovely post and so honest! I think that with the birth of a first child every woman goes through the questions you are asking but feel guilty about thinking those thoughts. I know I had no idea what I was doing with the first (24yo) or even the second child (29 yo). Please know that the questioning and the roller coaster of emotions is normal and means you are human.

    Sending you *hugs*

    Annika | http://theseasonahead.com

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    1. Wow thanks so much Annika! It's really helpful to read about others' experiences and know I'm not alone :D thanks so much for your lovely comment and hugs! ♡

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  4. Well if the feelings of sadness and depression are chemical in nature which it sounds as though they are there is no reason to feel guilty. Your hormones take a long time to adjust and for some it takes longer then others and it is normal too to feel overwhelmed it will pass eventually.

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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    1. Thanks so much Alicia, it's so helpful to have that reminder! Thank you for understanding and for your lovely words! ♡

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  5. Motherhood and babyhood always seem like a story that would not happen to me, but they definitely would! And I loved reading this! I think you're a great mother and a woman!!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts here xx
    ps. just followed ya back on GFC <3

    Kaylee❤️ㅣJK's Dawn

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    1. Hehe I think sometimes you get the opportunity when you least expect it! Thank you so much and I'm so glad you enjoyed my post :D ♡

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  6. I think you're a great Mum and your ability to be open about your feelings will help your little one throughout his life. This was a touching post to read, thanks for being brave enough to share it <3

    http://fourcatsplusus.co.uk - Amy x

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  7. This is sooo moving. I am enjoying exploring all your lovely posts and getting to know a little about you through them. Best wishes Xx

    Keep calm and Start Writing ~
    www.23millymay25.blogspot.co.uk

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