The Bottom Of The Rabbit Hole

I’m not sure how people remember me from High School, the truth is I hardly talk to anyone from then now. I hope they remember me as happy, smiling, laughing and maybe even funny. All the things a teenage girl should be, wants to be and all the things I tried so desperately hard to be. All the things I was most of the time.

I remember many things about my High School years. Friends I thought I’d have forever. My first crush. My first boyfriend. My first love. My first exam. My first pass. My first failure. The first time I contemplated suicide.

That memory is raw and etched into my brain. I remember my Mum begging me to talk to her. I remember sitting on the swing in our backyard and not moving. Just back and forth swinging and deciding how I’d do it. I remember truly believing that I could slip out of this world and no one would ever notice. Not my Mum, not my Dad, not one of my 3 sisters or 3 brothers (the 4th yet to be born). The memory of this time is what I like to call ‘The Bottom of the Rabbit Hole’. There is no one to blame for the path that led me there.

Even now I can’t explain what led me down such a dark path. I have no idea how or why I went from who I was to a shadow of who I am. I don’t know how I lost my appetite and started throwing my school lunches in the bin on the way home so Mum wouldn’t notice. I don’t know how my obsession with my body became so dangerous or how I even became so self aware. I don’t know how I started pretending or why I started pretending to be happy and why I couldn’t tell anyone I wasn’t.

I don’t know if it was the girl that teased me for being lanky, too skinny and berated me to eat more pies that led me to start hating my body and pick it apart in the mirror, something I still do now. I don’t know if it was the shock of my fellow class mates when I made an extension class that led me to think I couldn’t possibly be smart. I don’t know if it was the boy I had a crush on laughing at me that led me to think a boy would never like me. I like to think that these things didn’t impact my life so dramatically because they are normal ‘teenage’ things but the fact that they are still a part of this memory so many years down the track makes me wonder otherwise.

One day I was me. I was ok, nothing could touch me. I could handle the jibs and jabs of teenage life. I took it on the chin, I laughed it off. The next day I could not, the next day I was not ok. I didn’t want to feel or be this way. I didn’t want to be so angry or sad but I didn’t know how to stop it. That is how I found myself sitting on that swing in the backyard thinking up ways to stop it forever.

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. I suffer from Depression. It is an illness and it does not define me. It is not uncommon and it will effect 1 in 5 New Zealanders this year. It could be you, your parent, your child, or it could be that girl in your class with a constant smile.

Step Forward NZ is an initiative to raise awareness and to help remove the stigma attached to mental illness. Step Forward is the way forward and if you click one link today to check out, I hope it’s this one.

Mel x

Where to find help:

Lifeline NZ – 0800 543 354

Depression Org NZ – 0800 111 757

Suicide Crisis –  0508 828 865

25 Confessions Of An Everyday Mum

Motherhood is a crazy ride and some days I'm hanging on by my finger tips
Motherhood is a crazy ride and some days I’m hanging on by my finger tips

I need to get some things off my chest. Partake in a little confessional and cleanse my mama soul. I’m hoping I’m not the only one that does some of these but if I am, I’m ok with that because they are helping me survive.

My Mum Confessions:

1. Some nights I tell my children it’s bedtime at 6.30pm instead of 7.30pm. I manage to trick them into thinking its 7.30 because they can’t tell the time yet and no daylight savings is on my side, for now.

2. About once a week my children’s dinner consists of 2min noodles, spaghetti or eggs on toast or toasted sandwiches. I just can not pull off 7 nights of decent cooking.

3. I push snooze on my alarm clock at least 3 times before getting up and rushing around like a mad woman to make school drop off in time.

4. Miss partakes in the schools weekly sausage sizzle just so I don’t have to make her a sandwich on a Thursday.

5. If we’ve run out of bread, I’ll send her to school with a can of tuna.

6. I hide chocolate and lollies on the top shelf of the pantry and I don’t share.

7. I’ve eaten cooking chocolate more than once.

8. Also, the cooking wine….

9. I go to the supermarket for bread and milk but take over half an hour and spend at least $50.

10. I do not and have never tried to make paleo treats. Or just paleo anything really.

11. I’ve recently just bought a new bra, only because I realised I NEVER wash the other one.

12. I don’t cut out sandwiches into bear faces and I do not draw smileys on the girls bananas for their lunches.

13. I sometimes have to do the sniff test to decide between clean and dirty socks.

14. I have said my babes are sick to get out of a social invite. More than once.

15. I pull the fingers and mouth ‘F you’ behind my kids backs some days. It truly helps me feel better.

16. When I’m exhausted DVDs are my best friend. We make pop corn, we grab a blanket and we all lie down. It’s compulsory.

17. I love bath time because the girls will play in there for almost half an hour but some nights we skip it and they go to bed without one.

18. I only wash their hair once a week. Shock, horror but it actually only needs to be washed that much. And, nits apparently like clean hair. We’ve never had nits, touch wood.

19. I’m a terrible housewife. I hate the washing. I wash it, I hang it out, it stays on the line overnight, I bring it in, it lives in the basket for four days, I fold it and it stays on the table until it’s back in the dirty washing pile again. I am terrible at washing. I vacuum around the washing baskets, it’s really bad.

20. I don’t make the beds every morning. I mostly straighten them up before the kids jump back in them.

21. My husband cleans the bathroom. The only time I ever gave the bath a decent clean was when I was pregnant and hoping being down on my knees would speed up labour.

22. I vacuumed and mowed the lawns a fair bit when my babes were young. It drowned out the crying when I reached the point where I had no idea what else to do to stop it. I’d put them safely wrapped in the bassinette and vacuum the crap out of the house.

23. Some days, I put myself in time out. It’s easier than trying to seperate the kids. They soon realise I’m hiding (normally with my secret treats) and sort themselves out.

24. I will be the mum that kisses my babes goodbye until I die. I still hug and kiss my own parents goodbye. I will tell them I love them a thousand times a day and I don’t feel bad that I do it.

25. I am terrified of sending my children out into this world. First days at school, first solo play dates, first camp sleep overs, all of it sends me into a state of anxiety. I pray every day in a world full of cruelty and hardship that I have taught my girls to be tough enough to be the kindness. To just be nice.

Do you have any Mum confessions to make? Surely, I am not alone. Don’t be ashamed, I’m not. My children are alive and thriving thanks mostly to me, and ya gotta do what ya gotta do to get through.

Mel x

How To Distress Your Jeans

I love the distressed/shredded jean look. I do not love the ones so shredded there isn’t much jeans left and I do not like the mostly hefty price tags for a pair of ripped jeans.

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I distressed the above pair of jeans about 6 months ago and have been getting asked where I bought them from ever since. Since you obviously cant purchase my DIY faves in any shop I thought a tutorial on how to do your own would be the way to go. So grab a pair of your jeans out of your wardrobe now and keep reading.

What you'll need
What you’ll need

Other than a pair of Jeans you will need some scissors, some tailors chalk (or anything to mark out your rips) and a pair of tweezers.

I am using a pair of white jeans I bought on a whim for $20. Truth is I’m not really a white jeans person but know with a bit of distressing they will become more wearable in my wardrobe.

Step One
Step One

Step One: With your jeans on use the tailors chalk to mark out your distressing/shred guidelines. You can go shred crazy or you can keep it light with a couple of patches. With this pair I have chosen a few places to distress/shred and decided to slash both knees.

Distress/shreds marked out
Distress/shreds marked out

Step Two: Take your scissors and cut across your mark lines. Leave about 1.5cm between cuts. As seen below.

Step Two
Step Two

Step Three: Using your tweezers you now need to go through and carefully pull the vertical thread out of each cut. If your jeans have stretch it is easiest to keep the fabric tight as you remove the threads. The vertical thread will not be stretchy and should pull out easily.

Do this on all areas you have cut. It gets a bit messy with all the pieces of thread.

I decided to just cut the knees rather than distress. One simple scissor cut is enough.

Step Three
Step Three

Step four: Pop your jeans through the wash to remove the tailors chalk and give them a worn look as the wash will naturally fray the cuts you’ve made.

AND that’s it! Easy as Pie!

Final Product
Final Product

And here’s how they look on and when you only have your almost 5 year old around to take the photo!

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I’d love to see how yours turn out! So if you’re on Instagram feel free to tag me @misstrilly

Have fun shredding!

Mel x

It’s Ok To Not Be Ok

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I have depression. There I said it. It is not who I am, it is not what I am but it is something I live with and deal with every day. Some days are great, some days I wake up and I am ok, truly. Other days, however, not so much. Other days I wake up and feel like I can’t escape the grey cloud surrounding me. I can’t shake it; I can’t find my way through it. Those are the days I have learned it’s ok to not be ok; it’s not ok to stay that way.

I don’t write this for sympathy, I don’t want your pity but I do want awareness. Awareness for a chronic illness that affects so many that is yet unspoken about. I want people to stop suffering in silence, I want to stop feeling so alone, and I want the stigma of mental illness removed.

My depression did not begin with Motherhood. Although I did experience post-partum depression, it was not my first trip down the dark rabbit hole. I have suffered since I was a teenager. I have been to the bottom of the rabbit hole and clawed my way back. I have had the darkest of thoughts and then I have found a glimmer of light again. My children are my light, my husband is my light.

My two little lights of mine
My two little lights of mine

I know my husband feels the responsibility of being my light and it is a burden he lives with and a choice he made when he became my husband. My children however are too young to yet understand the significance they have in this battle of mental illness I have. I tread carefully; I never want them to feel the weight on their shoulders of their mother’s fragile mind. I also pray every day that they do not experience the thoughts I have had and that they avoid the same grey cloud I carry around with me.

I only began being so open with these struggles when I lost a friend to this illness a few years back. Knowing she was experiencing these dark days only in hindsight after the unthinkable occurred and feeling like had there been more open support available she may still be here. This may very well have not been the case but I feel that if I can make just one person feel less alone in the darkness then I am getting somewhere, because being alone in the darkness is a terrifying place to be.

I can think back on the moments, the triggers that sent me spiralling. Some were plain unavoidable such as the death of my brother and the inevitable run in’s with post-partum depression. Other triggers were slow and snuck up on me. They were a series of small things or incidents that added up to a slip backwards, after feeling like I was finally moving forward. Earlier this year I felt my grip slipping again and so I went and spoke to someone. Openly and honestly, someone I trusted without fear of judgement and someone I knew were going to offer me a plan and guidance on how to combat the beast. While it was extremely helpful and I felt I was finally going to have this under control, I am feeling myself slipping again.

So this week, it’s back to the doctor. It’s back to talking about it with a professional because as much as my husband tries, he does not understand. I don’t know if you can truly understand depression unless you have been there and so I hope just one person who is feeling the same as me right now, will read this and not feel alone in their darkness. Let’s make change together, let’s get better together.

Mel x

Why Is It So Hard To Make Mum Friends?

Thank goodness for sisters, and I'm lucky to be blessed with three.
Thank goodness for sisters, and I’m lucky to be blessed with three.

I think I am a shy mum. I say ‘shy mum’ like it’s a real thing because I don’t ever recall being this shy in social situations before I was a mum. Sure I’m not ever going to be up there on a stage in a play or anything but I don’t ever remember being so unsure of myself it made me somewhat introverted.

I don’t have a lot of friends but I know a lot of people. I know people well enough to say a passing ‘hello, how are you?’ in the street but it doesn’t often go beyond that, especially with other mums. I’m that mum that sits in the corner at kindy pick up or chats to that one other mum I know and that’s all. I’m sure I come across as snobby, stand offish and maybe even rude. I promise I’m not. I just don’t know how to go about talking to you. The groups of mums at kindy and school remind me of highschool cliques, where I’m on the outside and not too sure how to break in.

I strike up a conversation or someone starts speaking to me, we chat a while, we agree we should have a play date, for the kids of course! We meet up, the kids play, we drink coffee and that’s it. We may say hello again at kindy or school pickup/drop off, one of us will say ‘we should have another play date’ but we won’t. Why is it so hard for me to forge a relationship with a fellow mother? Why does adding Motherhood to the mix change it all?

I’ve had some great Mum friendships. I’ve thrown baby showers for friends, I’ve baby sat their children and entrusted them with mine and then it all stops. I keep putting myself out there like I know I should but almost all my mum friendships seem to fizzle out. I’m not saying I don’t realise how busy other mums are but as soon as I stop inviting people for coffee etc it’s all over. Are all mum’s just like me and struggling with this sudden onset of shyness?

Being a mum can be a lonely job sometimes especially those early days at home with a new born. I thought once my girls were at kindy and school I was sure to find some mum friends I’d click with. I tried a coffee group when Miss was a baby only to leave in tears because I was so much younger than the other mums and felt completely out of my depth. I am not going to lie, in those days Facebook was my saviour. Facebook is still my saviour. Mums seem easier to talk to on those Facebook groups, hide behind a screen and we are all friends’ right? Is it because of the screen that we are now intimidated by the face to face contact of real life friendship?

I say at the beginning I am a shy mum but I can assure you that once you get to know me I am not. I guess you just need to get to know me. I promise I can be a great friend; I can even be quite funny and entertaining when I want to be. I won’t compare our children, I won’t tell you mine have always slept straight through, if you parent differently to me I won’t judge you and may even pick up some tips, I will help you out when you would rather give your kids away than deal with them and I will learn your favourite wine and keep it handy.

I’m really not sure why I find this mum friendship thing so hard, I have had many conversations with the couple of mum friends I do have and we all seem to come to the conclusion that perhaps we are all just shy mums?

Mel x

Feelings, Grief and Siblings

Precious Memories Jake and Miss, our only picture.
Precious Memories
Jake and Miss, our only picture.

The 20th of this month marks 8 years since my youngest brother passed away. How he died is not important to this post but it was sudden, unexpected and accidental. He was 3 and a half years old and I was 20, Miss only 3 weeks.

Even though 8 years has passed the pain is still the same. The loss fresh and the grief raw. People tell you the pain never goes away and they are right. It becomes a part of you. It’s a dull ache in your heart that you wake up every morning with, you learn to live with it. It is a constant weight on your shoulders and an eerie silence at every family event since. It is the words unspoken and the empty space at the Christmas table.

I was 16 when Jake was born. I am the oldest sibling of the 8 of us and have felt the responsibility and protectiveness that comes with that territory my whole life. The grief a sibling suffers is normally overlooked, even by ourselves. We worry about our parents, we want to hold it together and be strong for them. I remember waiting for one of my sisters to crack, hoping she’d finally cry and allow herself to start grieving. You google grief and you find many articles dedicated to the loss of a parent, the loss of a child, the loss of a spouse but few cover the grief involved when you lose a sibling. I once read the following quote “When a parent dies, you lose the past. When a child dies, you lose the future. When a sibling dies, you lose the past and the future.”

There is so many more feelings that are involved when you lose a sibling. Few that people admit to and many that I know people feel. There is the guilt. There is guilt that you couldn’t stop it, that you didn’t do more to stop it, that you can’t take the pain away. There is so much regret. You think over every second of that fateful day trying to figure out how things ended up as they did. The anger is horrible. I was so mad at myself for so long, so mad at others, determined that things could have been prevented. As an older sibling there are moments where I wonder why Jake and not me? There is the realisation that no matter what you do there is now a hole in your family that will always be there. There is that empty seat at the table.

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My brother’s death inevitably changed our whole family. Every aspect of it affected. We have finally reached a point where we can speak about him freely, the pain is still there but the reminiscing now provides a level of comfort. We remember him with fondness and recall the way his cheeky smile brought so much light into our lives. I won’t lie there are still days I break down in the shower. There are still days I am overwhelmed by grief and feel completely ripped off by his loss. He made a big impact in such a small amount of years. My girls know he is their Uncle and their own special guardian angel. He is a part of their lives in conversation, he is the brightest star they see in the sky at night. It is tricky to explain death to a child but we found a way. It is important to me that they understand he is a part of our family and that he is no longer here.

The past 8 years has taught me that you can not rush the healing. There is not a day that I do not think of Jake. His picture on my walls and the memories in my heart, the legacy he has left in my life. People assume you should be ‘over it’ by now but you aren’t, and you can’t be. Grief is a life long process, it is the dull ache I wake up with every morning.

Mel x

The Third Child Decision

My Girls and I
My Girls and I

Trilly, my youngest, starts school in September and I keep being reminded that I’ll ‘be free’ again. I feel like I should be excited at this prospect. People keep saying I won’t know myself and how great it will be. Yet I’m feeling dread and anxiety.

I’ve gone backwards and forwards on a third baby for years. Hubby has always been a firm no and so this has made the decision easy for me. However, he has recently done a turn around and agreed to one. Now, I’m not sure.

I’m not sure if I’m doing it to fill a void I feel coming or because I really want that third. I’m not sure if I’m prepared to go back to sleepless nights and nappies. I love our current family dynamic and I know it’ll all change and I worry I won’t be happy. I worry and feel I’m being selfish by not rejoicing at the chance to welcome a third child.

Miss and Tilly with their cousins, Aja and Skyla
Miss and Tilly with their cousins, Aja and Skyla

I held my new Niece recently and my ovaries didn’t ache and my uterus didn’t explode. My heart didn’t long for a baby but I cry when I see my nephews. So I’m going to admit right now. I want a son. I love my two daughters, I’d never replace them, I’d never change them but I long for a son.

It makes you feel like a first class w**ker when people are struggling to just have a child and you are torn up inside at the risk of another with the same genitalia. I realise you can’t choose. You get what you’re given. People are always reminding me of this and I’m not naïve enough to not understand it but I want a son and I’m unsure I’m willing to change our family dynamic for a third daughter.

Before you judge me. Before you make assumptions about me as a mother. Of course I’d love a third child no matter what and I know once I held them the love would be instant. I am not going to lie however and say I wouldn’t be disappointed. In fact I’d almost be temporarily heartbroken. I know this and I am aware of this so I must be honest about it. I would accept a third daughter and feel blessed for any child at all but I will also deal with a feeling of loss. Loss for a son that will never be mine.

I write this because I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m sure mothers before me have felt this way. I’m sure they have felt horrid about it and even hated the fact they thought and felt these things. Motherhood is life changing. It is a life long commitment. We are allowed to have hard thoughts and reservations about it. It is nice to know we are not alone.

My two little loves
My two little loves

Mel x

Please Mind Your Own Mummy Business

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A Girls Day Out brings the excitement

‘Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.’

It’s the last day of school holidays and we have a bit of a tradition in our house where the girls and I have a girls day out together. So today we went to the Mall for lunch, a bit of shopping and a movie. It’s all very exciting for my two little divas.

Our day was great fun. The movie was thoroughly enjoyed. Lunch of sushi and Yoghurt Story for dessert received a big thumbs up. There was only a couple things wrong with our perfect day and they were because of other people. Fellow mamas that to be honest, I always expect more of.

When we got organised this morning, the girls dressed themselves. They do a good job of it and as long as it’s weather appropriate I generally just go with the flow on their choices. While I was applying a little make up in the bathroom Trilly had decided to apply her own red lippie. I chose my battles wisely and to be honest the fight to take the lippie off would not have been worth it and so we left with her gorgeous ruby lips on show.

We were waiting in line for our movie tickets when I overheard the lady with two gorgeous children behind me say to her friend ‘hardly an age appropriate outfit’. I only assume it was directed at us because we were the only other people waiting in the queue and she was right behind us. I brushed it off. Maybe she wasn’t speaking about one of my girls anyway and the girls didn’t hear so no real harm done.

Eating our sushi in the food court was a different story. A charming lady deemed it appropriate to let me know that lipstick on MY 4 year old was disgusting and inappropriate. I normally have words, many even but I was speechless. I was speechless for many reasons, the first being it’s none of her business. Again, I am assuming this woman is a fellow Mother (because she had children with her) and as a mother she should know better. Trilly heard her words and what riles me the most is that she had no right to make my 4 year old feel the way her words did. Trilly insisted I take her to wash off the lippie because ‘she is disgusting’ with it on. Trilly cried, her shoulders slumped, her confidence visibly knocked.

The offensive red lips
The offensive red lips

While I am a firm believer that we are entitled to our own opinions, there is our opinions and there is cruelty. I’d like to know what this women was hoping to achieve. Would she have been upset had the roles been reversed and she then had to console her young daughter? Did she consider the windfall of her actions and did her words provide any enrichment in the lives of either party? As a mother does she think 4 is too young to have to try explain the harshness of the world and some of its people? Did she even consider my 4 year old daughter sitting there or was she just so hell bent on letting me know her opinion of my mothering skills?

To the woman in the food court I’d like to say to you, please think before you open your mouth. The words that come from it have the ability to build someone up or tear them down, especially a child. Perhaps worry more about your own life instead of inflicting your opinion on those that have not asked for it. I will mother my way and you can mother your way. I will not judge you and I’d hope you would not judge me because at the end of the day we are on the same side. Just doing our best to raise the best little humans we can.

Mel x

A Letter to My 8yr Old Daughter On Her Birthday

littlemss

To my Darling Miss,

Tomorrow you turn 8 years old and I truly can’t believe how fast those 8 years have gone. I think back to our first days together and remember that you slept a lot and I watched a lot. I would stare at you for hours trying to figure out what I was supposed to do and how we were going to have to learn together. You had this soft fuzz of dark hair, wrinkled tiny hands and the smallest feet I had ever seen. I held your tiny body terrified I’d break you. From the moment you came into this world and looked into your father’s eyes you became the apple of them. Our hearts never knew a love like this could exist until you showed us.

Back then I could never have imagined the young girl my tiny baby would grow into. You have surprised me at every step and we continue to learn and grow together. You are so like me and yet so much unlike me at the same time. Our differences continue to teach me and help me grow as your Mother. I know some times we disagree and you get upset with me, I hate to disappoint you but I am still learning too.

You wear your heart on your sleeve and it is one of the biggest and kindest hearts I have ever known. You see the best in everything and believe the good in all. The world is going to knock you around, the day you realise there is unkindness and cruelty within it will break my heart. I want to keep you in that bubble of yours forever but when the inevitable happens, I will be there. I will pick you up and I will help heal your heart.

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There will also be times when I will not be enough. When no matter how much I want to fix things, I won’t be able to. You will be ok. You will survive. You are stronger than you think. Though your heart is tender you have an iron will and a soul of determination. I remember when you started school at only 5 years old and you were cruelly bullied. I remember the days you cried and I wiped away your tears but I also remember the day you told me that it was ok because the bully just needed a friend. If you could kill with kindness then my darling girl you did.

Your magical imagination keeps the magic within me alive. When I ask you what you are going to be when you grow up, you firmly answer ‘A mermaid’. I love this about you and I especially love that you share this magic with your younger sister. I don’t think she could have requested a better big sister. You nurture her, you play tricks on her, you laugh with her and you tease her. She hurt her knee on the driveway last week and you picked her up and carried her all the way back to the house. I pray that the two of you are always this close. She is your only sister and you hers. Look after one another.

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Your joy is infectious and your kind heart hard to ignore. You have friends aplenty and if you see someone being left out it is you who includes them. You are popular and you don’t realise it which makes you all the more endearing. When I pick you up from school you are always giggling with someone and this makes my heart smile. I’m pretty sure the most appealing part of school for you at the moment is the chance to see your friends. You tell me endless stories about the two Charlees and how much you adore them. If I was 8 again I know I’d be longing to be your friend.

To me you are perfect. Even on the days we are mad at each other, and I know there will be plenty more of these over the coming years but I never want you to forget that. To me you are perfect. I promise to grow with you as I always have. You are my first born, the lessons we are learning we are learning together. You are my teacher as much as I am yours. I promise you that no matter what the years throw at us I will always love you. My love for you will never falter. My love for you is everlasting.

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Happy Birthday my Darling Miss.

Love Mum x

A Letter To My Fellow PND Mamas

My early motherhood days passed in a blur of grey. A rollercoaster of good days and darkness.

I inevitably suffered from PND after the birth of both my daughters. I should have been prepared for it. I should have at least been aware of the signs that I was heading to a place of darkness but I didn’t and I wasn’t. It sideswiped me.

The feeling of complete and utter failure. The self hate for the negative thoughts. The confusion that you haven’t magically bonded with your child and become a some what Madonna figure of perfect Motherhood. The dread that overwhelms you when your child begins to cry and on the worst days the way even a murmur sets you on edge. The weight of the world on your shoulders as you feel you have let everyone down, especially your new born child.

I know someone very close to me who is currently suffering. I am aware of the signs now and I want to be able to help. I want to grab her and hug her and let her know there is a light at the end of that dark tunnel she is living in. It’s a glorious light that seems so hard to get to right now but it is there all the same. Unfortunately I cant get the words out, I feel the heaviness of her heart and it gets the better of me. I’m as much a teary mess as she is, so I do it the only way I know I can and I write her a letter.

To my amazing friend,

I know you are in a bad place right now. I know you are suffering. I know sometimes things suddenly get so tough and you don’t understand why. I know that this is said to be one of the most beautiful times in your life and you feel like something is all wrong about that idea.  I also know you are strong and you are beautiful and you have the ability to have the good days. You have the strength to conquer the dark days and it doesn’t just come from the right medication, it comes from the self acceptance and belief the you are worth it.

I love you, as so many of us do. You are allowed to love yourself. It will be hard but I will be here and I will help you learn to love yourself. You are a kind, beautiful and caring soul, worthy of the love we all have for you. You have done and will do amazing things. And I will be there to support you through it. There is no better mother for your children than you. You are a good mother, you can be an amazing mother. Don’t doubt your own abilities.

I know you will read this and cry and wonder where to start. I know that you have told me that you hate the person you are. I know that you want to help yourself but you don’t know where to start. I really believe it starts with learning to accept yourself and to accept that you are valuable and truly important. You have an illness, but it is an illness you can recover from. You are not your illness.

You must forgive yourself. Let go of the hurts, the hurts to yourself and others.

 Your baby forgives you. Your family forgives you. They love you. They will always love you. You deserve to be loved.

I love you x