Monday, June 15, 2015

You need a village

It’s new button Monday! Which isn't a real thing. I totally just made it up because I have new buttons. You can check them out over in mah sidebar ->

One of them is for Hello Mamas and I have some exciting news!! I have joined up with hello mamas for the next six months to share some of my words. This is the first of them and it’s about the importance of finding your village when becoming a mum, and social isolation. 
This is not a sponsored post.

You need a village

I suffered from PND after the birth of my third child. It isn’t a secret because it should never be a secret. Although sometimes it is hard to articulate into words, because anyone who has ever experienced PND  will know, that there are just no words to describe the emotions you are feeling.

Not yet anyway.

You aren’t sad, that’s not the right word, you are more than sad, but sad is the closest dictionary definition to the emotion you are having. Saying I am sad though, feels wrong. It isn’t enough.
 It was like having your arm fall off and telling everyone you scratched it because that is the only word you know to describe your injury.  

No one seems to understand that you simply can’t pick yourself up off the floor, because you said it was a scratch, even though you are actually bleeding and you only have one arm because the useless thing tumbled off your shoulder onto the floor giving you yet ANOTHER stinking thing to pick up.

Others look at you and say, “You said it was a scratch, now pull yourself together”.

No one would ever tell you to pull yourself together if you told them you severed your arm. They would gasp; they would probably dance around, hands flailing in a panic at the seriousness of the situation. They would understand immediately why you couldn’t get up off the floor and insist you got help.

We need to develop that same kind of language to describe the severity and gravity of the emotions someone with PND experiences. We develop that language when we speak about it which is why it should never be a secret.

After seeking help from my doctor and receiving the right treatment for my PND, I found a great amount of healing in sharing my experience.

I learned that coming out the other side of PND I was left with a great deal of guilt. Like when my daughter developed an obsession with dolls, she was freaking mad for plastic babies. She would coo and fuss over them. She would clumsily shove dummies in their mouths and push them around in little prams and I couldn’t help but feel that her obsession with these dolls came because she missed that from me somehow. I would swallow that down and simply watch her play, grateful that I had left that dark cloud behind.

 I would watch my daughter playing with her dolls with such love and pride. She was so good at playing by herself, she was so independent and entertained herself so well, but I found myself feeling guilty. Of course she was great at entertaining herself, she had to be. How lucky I was that she was so independent, but let’s face it, she had to be.

I found that I felt a great sense of loss. I looked through old photographs of my daughter as a baby, and was devastated to see her tiny face. I couldn’t remember her looking so tiny. I felt robbed and cheated. I felt tired, when would I be completely free of this damned thing?

It was when I spoke to other survivors of PND and found that I wasn’t alone. These emotions were a really normal part of surviving PND. I was reminded that I won a most remarkable war, and that there would be losses involved.  Rather than swallow those feelings down, I learned from other beautiful mama’s that had been there before me, to simply feel them, to allow myself to grieve for my loss. I can’t tell you the difference this made.

Having these other mama’s in my life was such a gift; it really does take a village to raise a child. I was really aware however, of the difficulties in surrounding yourself with your village, when sometimes being a mum can be one of the most socially isolating things you can ever do!

There are so many reasons parents may find it difficult to find their village, you may be the first or last of your circle of friends to become a parent, your old social network may have been heavily reliant on your working situation which may have changed since having children. Perhaps you have moved to a new area and don’t know anyone yet, or perhaps you just haven’t found other parents that gel with your life and parenting style.

So when I was recently approached by the gorgeous team over at Hello Mamas to join them and share a few of my words with other mamas who may be looking to find their village but haven’t quite been able to, I jumped at the opportunity.

Hello mamas is a new social networking place that matches mamas to others in their area. You can find mum’s with similar interests, parenting styles and working arrangements to you.

If this sounds like something you are looking for, you can check out the village of other mum’s looking for the same at Hello Mamas and join for free!

If you or someone you know is struggling after having a baby, please call PANDA on 1300 726 306 or contact your local GP. For more information and a list of signs of PND Visit Beyond Blue 

No comments: