When a woman becomes a mum, she is often confused and lost. She asks a lot of questions. She seeks support and reassurance.

I was no exception. After giving birth to my twins, I needed reassurance like never before. I struggled to adjust to the new life and had no idea what to do. I didn’t enjoy being a mum and felt like a complete failure. (Eventually, I ended up suffering with postnatal depression.)

Most people I spoke to or asked for an advice said ‘Don’t worry, it will get better.’

Now, I know this came from a good place and it is surely amazing to hear that things would get better.

However, if you are struggling with baby blues or depression, the statement ‘it will get better’ doesn’t always feel comforting. Especially when you are sleep deprived, hormonal, and covered in wee and sick, on top of that.

Especially to first-time mums.

Personally, when my twin boys arrived, not only did I feel like I was being thrown into deep end, but I also felt like I was being constantly pushed to the bottom despite my efforts to swim upwards.

I felt all sorts of emotions, but the one that dominated the most was desperate. I didn’t feel like a mum. I couldn’t cope with all the changes that came with the baby. I wanted my life back. (You can read more about how I felt at this time and about my experience with postnatal depression here.)

I couldn’t believe that this was motherhood – something I had dreamed about for years. Something that was supposed to be the best time of my life.

I’ll never forget the moment when I was sitting on the bed wondering how the hell I would cope. I was convinced that the arrival of my children meant that my life was over. I didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. All I saw was a dead end.

So the statement ‘it will get better’ – despite coming from the best possible place – didn’t sit well with me.

I thought: ‘What does better mean?’

I think that in most cases ‘better refers to the care of the baby. That looking after the baby would get somewhat easier over time.

But the truth is that when a mother struggles emotionally, only rarely (if ever) she needs to hear that looking after a newborn will become easier or that she will get used to it.

Personally, what I really needed to hear – and what I believe most mums who struggle need to hear – was that I would feel better. Actually, not better – that I would feel happy again! That I won’t feel desperate every time I wake up for the rest of my life. That I will enjoy motherhood. That I will stop longing to turn back time. That I will love my new life. That I am a good mother. That I am doing a good job.

That’s what I needed to hear.

Of course, I know that people mean well when they say things like this. They say what they believe will help the other person. And I am incredibly grateful to everyone who was there for me and gave me hope when I needed it.

I am just saying that despite nothing but amazing intentions, the ‘it will get better’ statement might not always hit home.

Personally, do you know what would have really hit home while I was struggling?

THIS:

‘You are not alone, mama. This is just a stage that will pass. Before you know it, you will enjoy motherhood like you always wanted and won’t be able to imagine your life without your kids ever again.’

With love,

Ivana xx

PS. What did YOU need to hear when you became a mum? Leave your comment below, I would love to hear your experiences! 🙂 

PS2. If you are really struggling to get through the first weeks and months of motherhood, then I warmly invite you to grab a copy of my book Motherhood – The Unspoken. The book offers real insights into the life of a new mum, reveals the untold truths about motherhood people don’t talk about, helps lower the risks of postnatal depression and offers a plenty of support and reassurance to new mums. Now available in kindle and paperback. Grab your copy HERE!

 

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