Did you know that maternal anxiety is nearly as prevalent as maternal depression?
Here I am at the age of 20, two months after giving birth to my daughter. Behind the smile, I was lonely, sad, anxious, frustrated and feeling low. BUT I never realised until now that these were all signs of maternal depression and anxiety.
I was determined as a young single mum to cope at all costs and never show weakness, as society’s stigma was already evident for me! This was at a big cost, as I masked my feelings and suffered in silence. There were nights I would regret ever having my daughter, times I considered myself unfit and would cry at the thought of not being able to take care of her sufficiently. If only, I had the reminder that it’s ok not to be ok, my experience of motherhood would have been so very different!
This time round, I am in a totally different place in my life…thriving in raising my almost 9 year old daughter, married to my best friend and living up life in the UAE. Yet, why did I still feel anxious about being a mum the second time round? I realise that ALOT of my anxiety was developed from my innate desire to succeed in all things. I wanted to be a BOSS at being a mum of two and wife and initially felt more like a college student on an Internship!
This week is Maternal Mental Health Week and I can’t express how important it is to speak out! I have been able to manage and cope with my anxiety better this time round by acknowledging my anxiety, recognising that it is normal and speaking about my feelings (something I REALLY struggled with in my younger years). There are so many amazing campaigns and organisations out there so no-one should feel isolated in their feelings. Please feel free to message me on any of my social media accounts, if you just want a listening ear!
Please do check out The Blue Dot Project and the amazing work that they are doing in addressing maternal mental health!