Over the years I have thought a lot about those first few days, weeks and months with our gorgeous boy. Not because I didn’t enjoy being a mummy – it was for reasons that I really hadn’t anticipated. For us the worst happened. For those of you new here, let me tell you a little about our story – our boy was born prematurely, he arrived into the world in a bit of a whirlwind at 33 weeks. Completely unexpected. Mr H was enjoying his last trip away with friends at Glastonbury, I was home alone with our furry baby – and what happened next was lets just say quite frightening. I’ve never felt as helpless as I did in those 24 hours.
I still have many questions unanswered, ones that I will never know the answers to. Lil G’s doctors were truly amazing, the nurses were some of the most caring and wonderfully thoughtful people but with most situations of this nature these things happen and often come without explanation. I struggle with my feelings towards those first few days and weeks of motherhood on a daily basis. Could I have done something differently, was it my fault, was it me? Was it me? When they said parenting is an emotional rollercoaster they weren’t joking.
Mr H and I are quite positive people, naturally we look for the good and choose not to dwell on the negatives however we both felt troubled by our situation, we both noticed how our mood levels changed. I closed myself off from friends, from my husband, retreated to my safe place and focussed on our boy. There were days when we didn’t talk, days when we lost ourselves – the most precious thing in our life, the little person I had carried for 7 months was struggling. His first few hours were a fight, an unnecessary fight which lasted 15 months. Over time I learnt to talk, I learnt that its good to talk.
If you are reading this post and possibly struggling with your own mental health, low mood or depression then my advice would be to focus on aspirations not fears, make small changes to your life which you can maintain, or even introduce exercise into your daily routine. This is what saved me, the key for me was trying to find a way back to feeling like myself. Initially I turned to exercise and over the years I have spoke about my troubles – and in the last three years I have really focussed on maintaining a positive relationship with exercise and changing my diet. Quite simple things really but the initial steps to re introduce exercise into my life really did help.
Being a full-time working mum means that I don’t always have time to think about myself so I thought I would share with you how I manage to fit exercise into my daily life and how that benefits my mental health. Like most parents my life is pretty busy, fitting in exercise is something I often find myself battling with however over the last three years I have learnt how to fine tune my down time. Stealing 20 minutes here and there or even utilising the walk to school or nipping to the shops. I find the best time for me to exercise is first thing, I set my alarm so that I wake before the rest of the house, I exercise and then I’m done for the day. It doesn’t always need to be a full hour at the gym just the type of exercise you want to concentrate on and when you can. Little and often wins for me every time.
You might wonder why I have told you all of this as it wouldn’t normally be a topic I share on my blog, and I would like to say that I am no specialist just someone who has found a way that works. The lovely people over at Push Doctor asked to me to share my experience in support of their Push For Happiness campaign by sharing my tips for introducing exercise into your daily routine in an attempt to lift the mood.
Push Doctor are an online doctor consultation service headquartered in Manchester, UK. The service currently has over 7,000 GMC registered UK General Practitioners available and connects patients to these for secure online video consultations. In nutshell, Push Director allow people to speak 1-1 with a fully qualified and regulated UK doctor, through any device, in as little as 6 minutes. it’s fast, confidential and allows you to gain the help, support and advice you need in a way that suits you. (it’s a bit like Skype or FaceTime with a doctor).
I hope this post has helped even a little to give you some comfort that you can get help and support. As I mentioned above I am no specialist, just a mummy who wanted to share her story in the event that it could help another. I’ve made a little video for the #PushForHappiness campaign which you can see here.
*This is a collaborative post, written in support of the Push for Happiness Campaign with Push Doctor.