The Numbness of Motherhood
Motherhood isn't always picture perfect.
As I looked at his sleeping face I felt relief.
Relief he was finally asleep, I watched as he breathed and knew I should be feeling something other than this.
In that moment I was glad to just not have to think about his needs for a while.
Isn’t this what every mother wants? To lovingly gaze and watch her sleeping child?
To spend hours just breathing their child in, instead I was irritated and knew how much I had to do but I was stuck under a sleeping baby.
I knew deep down I loved him, but it felt like it was more out of a sense of duty rather than choice.
It was if looking at him right now, I was looking at the situation as an observer not actual feeling and reacting to being part of it.
I felt so detached from him, when was the unconditional love part going to kick in? My maternal instincts seemed to have disappeared.
A mother should not feel like this towards her child, should she?
I could hear my other child playing in the other room and felt resentment.
Resentment that because of having a second child there was now a barrier up between my first and me.
He was no longer the centre of attention and I missed it being just me and him.
I missed being the fun mum to him, the one who wasn’t constantly pushing him aside to sort out his brother or yelling to be quiet.
I thought I would be able to adjust being a mum of two and I knew it would be hard.
But not this hard.
Every day is a battle just to get through and do the most mundane of things.
It is a constant cycle of nappies, bottles and snacks.
A balancing act to keep all the plates spinning and something always comes crashing down and it is normally me.
I know how so many people crave to be parents and I feel so ungrateful that I am feeling like this when I have something they do not.
I love my children and I know I would sacrifice anything to keep them safe, to give them everything I didn’t have.
I will do everything in my power to get over this hurdle but five months in and the black hole I found myself in, still consumes me.
I must be better, a better mother, partner, friend.
I can say at this moment in time I am not happy, and the guilt that I feel about this is overwhelming.
I dreamed that being a mother would complete me, reveal the person I am supposed to be.
Instead it has transformed me into someone I don’t even recognize anymore.
I am waiting for it to click. To suddenly wake up and feel happy, and not overwhelmed at the thought of looking after two children all day.
To enjoy motherhood again, and to not feel like a failure to my children.
Post Natal Depression isn’t pretty, it is dark, bitter, resentful and angry.
It is a parasite that has sucked the life out of me, and taken away my hope, my joy.
One thing I have on my side is that I can talk, it cannot.
It can control me, and make me have dark thoughts, say horrible things but I can be honest.
Honest that someone will hear me and understand, to say what I am feeling is normal.
The more this happens, the smaller it gets.
The more I get my life back and be the mother I know I can be to stop the numbness of motherhood.
By Vicki Cockerill - Confessions Of An ICU Mum