I wanted to share some of the comments I received following my article*, not just because it makes me feel good about writing the column, although it does, but because I think it’s telling that nearly everyone felt the same as me but, also like me, didn’t feel they could talk openly about it.
I just wonder how different things would be for new mums if we didn’t feel guilty about saying anything negative about parenting? Somehow we need to realise that having a hard time and speaking about it doesn’t mean we don’t love our children and are grateful that they are in our lives. Just knowing that I wasn’t alone in finding things difficult was a huge help and actually felt like a weight had been lifted.
Anyway, here are some of the things people said. Thank you to everyone who got in touch.
This article struck a chord with me as I remember feeling, and still do sometimes feel, completely overwhelmed by motherhood even now as the mother of a nearly 3 year old.
I just read this and completely feel the same! Very poignant!
Movingly honest account from a new mum.
It’s so refreshing to hear this said openly. The early days with my lb were the same and I daren’t tell anyone but my very closest friends how I felt. I hope your story opens up a dialogue that will ensure that those who need it get the right kind of help.
Loving your piece about parenthood. Could be my story. I relied on other mum friends and sister for honest chat.
It is so important that we do talk and be supportive. Admitting that being a mother sucks, is such a hard thing to do and not something you feel you should say. I suffered with depression when my twins were born and it was really bad but I kept quiet because everyone kept saying how lucky we were to have healthy twins and how well I was coping, this made it even harder to say that actually I am falling apart in a major way here.
I remember wondering why no-one warned me about how hard it can be! It’s much better to be open so new mums don’t feel alone.
I read this at work today and had a tear in my eye. Beautifully written.
I love being a mum but it can be bloody hard. I thought I was going mad the first couple of months after my son was born I was so tired and exhausted. All he wanted to do was feed, and if he wasn’t feeding he was crying. Best thing I’ve ever done though. He’s my world and I love him.
This is absolutely brilliant. I was just talking about this the other day with a friend who has a three year old. She hates that if you ever mention that parenting, particularly motherhood, is not always the best job in the world, a mafia of mothers will beat you to death for betraying the sisterhood and making them think about their own darker moments.
And it doesn’t stop. My 3 year old has pushed me way beyond my emotional limits far more than she did as a new born!
Well done for speaking out on what a lot of other mums (including me at times) were thinking but couldn’t say anything. I always thought motherhood would come naturally when my daughter arrived, but it certainly didn’t feel like it in the first six months of so.
It reminded me of those moments of helplessness I felt as a new dad … when you see how hard it is for a new mum and however hard you try, however much you want to take all the strain, you can only ever share it and give a little relief. Really honest article.
I wish I’d read something like this when my daughter was a newborn she was hard work and I thought I was the only person who felt like that.
Very open and honest. As much as we adore our babies, they are not easy to cope with, and it’s so easy to feel like a failure. You’ve had it harder than a lot of new mums too, with poor Freya’s allergy. We need more people telling the truth – that it’s all blotchy red eyes and T-shirts with baby sick on them – rather than this media-image of so-called yummy mummies with their trendy strollers and Cath Kidston prints.
It’s hard being a parent, all children are so different and there’s no magic answers! There’s so many times I wish I had a wand to make things better.
*As most of these were posted on my private Facebook page, I have taken out names to protect the commenter’s privacy.