You Matter Too

Lately I’ve been coming across a few posts on social media like this one that just wind me up!

I mean wtf?! On one hand us women are meant to be encouraging each other to feel empowered and self confident and then we go and post stuff like this?

This in particular really got me riled. I mean what bull. I get my hair done every 8 weeks and I own a Samsung Note 9 so that means I must be neglecting my child, right? Wrong. I only started getting my hair cut and coloured with regularity last year but the difference it made to my confidence levels and mental state is incredible. Should I feel guilty for taking those few hours every couple of months to do something for myself? Of course I shouldn’t! And neither should any Mum who takes time out to do something for herself. Because you matter too.

Statements like the one above seem to suggest that everything a Mum does should be for her child or she’s failing somehow. But actually, in my opinion, I don’t think this is healthy or sustainable. I think it’s so important for Mums to make sure their needs are met too. I appreciate this isn’t always easy if you’re a single Mum, a special needs Mum or you simply struggle to juggle life or find the time, but even if all you can manage is that bubble bath you never get to have, it makes a big difference.

Now I’m going to throw a few stats at you.

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for women during pregnancy and one year after birth.
  • 7 in 10 women will hide or underplay the severity of their perinatal mental illness.
  • More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year of having their baby.

(statistics taken from Maternal Mental Health Alliance)

Clearly, looking at those, there’s a big problem. And I believe it also reaches way beyond that first year. Mental Health is a major issue worldwide full stop. I talk to women all the time who appear to struggle but are just battling on because they feel that to take the time out for them would make them a “bad mum”. This kind of thinking really needs to stop. Because how can you be the amazing Mum you are if your mental health is failing? You can’t. At some point it will come to a head. For me it did last year. I felt that I was struggling for a lot of Noah’s first year but it wasn’t till 2018 that I realised that I couldn’t carry on this way. I felt I’d lost my identity and I needed to get back a bit of me. So I started doing a few things for myself, like getting my hair done, and I’m not saying it’s a cure all for mental health illness, because of course it isn’t, but it made a difference. When I was taking anti-depressants and feeling anxious, it gave me a focus. Something to look forward to. I still have bad days now but when I do I try to do something small for me. And it always helps. Till you read posts like the one above. Posts that are anti self care, anti mental health recovery and frankly anti-you! Because of course, you’re Mum. You have no other purpose than to look after your children. Posts like that basically promote the idea that you no longer matter.

So I guess all I really want to say is never let ANYONE make you feel guilty for taking some time out for you. Because you DO matter. Yes it’s important that your children are well cared for but in order to do that you have to be ok too. If there’s one thing I want you to take from reading this it’s You Matter Too.

Excited!

Can’t believe it’s only just over a month to go until our first clinic appointment for our frozen embryo transfer. I’m definitely getting so excited now. I’m nervous too, mainly when the odd thoughts creep in along the lines of “what if it doesn’t work?” etc but I’m trying to think as positively as I can. I did this with our IVF cycle for Noah and I truly believe that my positive attitude had a bearing on the outcome. I just keep picturing that this time next year we could have a tiny newborn addition to our household! A crazy but amazing thought.

With all this in mind I’m slowly trying to get more prepared mentally and physically. I’m not on a diet (even though I’m overweight) as, honestly, diets don’t really work for me. I stick to them for a while but then end up binging and self loathing so I’m determined not to go down that route. Instead I’m aiming to eat more fruit and vegetables, drink more water and generally eat a bit healthier. As well as taking my prenatal vitamins. I’ve also been preparing in other ways by making a list of things we will need for the new baby and trying to think through how we will organise the flat to accommodate them. We are still currently in a 2 bed flat with no immediate plans to move but we are pretty confident we can make things work. We really didn’t want to delay treatment further as we feel beyond ready to give Noah a sibling so we figured we will find a way to make it all work. It’ll be worth it.

Aside from all this planning I’m also just enjoying any time with Noah I get. He is learning new things so rapidly it blows me away. His speech is coming along so well now. It makes me laugh so much when he randomly says to me “Mummy be careful!” or “You’re welcome!” when I’m cleaning him up after dinner!

He’s also moved away a little from his obsession with Frozen and he’s now ALL about Zog. He watches the recording of it that we saved from Christmas Day, then demands we read him the book a gazillion times. I even purchased the follow up book Zog and the Flying Doctors just so we could add a little variety!

He has also well and truly mastered stacking his bricks and can now do a tower of around 7 bricks with his small fiddly bricks. And he had great fun colouring with felt tips for the first time! We’ve also been taking him for trips to a local football field and he loves to practise his dribbling skills!

Above all I’m just loving seeing his little personality develop further. He’s really showing such a caring side now. He pretends his bunny is a baby pushing him around in the shopping trolley toy which he pretends is a buggy. It’s so adorable to watch. Of course he has his moments with tantrums as is to be expected but he truly is a delightful little boy (though we may be a tinsy bit biased!).

Reading back and am amused by how this post started by being about our excitement for our FET and turned into updates on Noah but I’ve been so lax on posting lately that it seemed fitting to combine the two! Aiming to post more and more in the future esp as treatment approaches so watch this space!

If you’re on Instagram then check us out at @justimperfectlyme where I regularly update on our goings on!