A mother of three shares how she has managed her family pressures and how our Perinatal Support service gave her the helping hand she needed.
It’s not always easy becoming a mum and it isn’t just becoming a mum for the first time that can seem very daunting. For me it was my third time. In the run up to giving birth everything was lovely, we were all very excited and ready to meet the new arrival. Everything went smoothly at the birth and my baby boy was healthy.
After a couple of days I started to feel the baby blues. I had the same overwhelming emotions with my other two children after they were born so I just thought it would soon pass. But weeks seemed to pass and it wasn’t budging. With each day that went by the emotions would just get worse and the anxiety I would feel would put a stop to everything. I would just stay in, I didn’t want to go anywhere and I felt like a failure – the worst mum ever.
When the health visitor came to see us again I told her everything, just hoping that she might have some magic cure that would make it all stop. She suggested a referral to the Family Action, Perinatal Support Service.
As the date came closer for a Perinatal Worker to visit, I couldn’t believe I was going to let a stranger into my house with me in the mess I was in. But I needn’t have worried – Julie was so lovely and reassuring.
After a long chat she suggested attending a small group where there would be other mums with similar struggles from around the area I live in. I wasn’t keen at first and there were so many things that seemed to be in the way of me attending. I didn’t feel like going out for a start and the thought of leaving my little one in the crèche just made me feel even more like a bad mum. But I was reassured once again that everything would be fine and Julie even said she would meet me outside the building so that I didn’t have to go in alone. So I agreed to give it a go.
“I was made to feel human again”
At first it was very difficult. My confidence was at an all time low, and I was so worried about meeting others and them just thinking I was a freak. After the first week I didn’t think I had the strength to go back. But I did, and with each week that passed I started to enjoy going more and more. My confidence started to grow, little by little, with the encouragement and support that was given.
It didn’t seem to matter that I was struggling with my mental health – I was made to feel human again. A human that just needed help and there was no shame in that. I also received home visits from Julie, which really helped me to feel like I had someone who understood what my struggles were and how to work through them.
She befriended me when I had no one and kept me focused on what was important when my depression was overwhelming – my boys.
I don’t really want to think if things had been different, but I know I wouldn’t be where I am now without Family Action. I still sometimes struggle from day to day, but now I am armed with coping strategies and have also made two friends from the Support Group. My boys have also made friends with the other parents’ children from the group.
The whole experience has inspired me to become a volunteer, so that I can give something back and also get out and meet other adults – hopefully helping them in combating their isolation. For me this service has not only been the hand that brought me out of the darkness, but also the hand that wiped my tears, held me up when I was weak and encouraged me to just be me.
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