What does it mean to you, as a mum? Your family probably refers to it as the baby-blues. Your partner probably tells you to ‘cheer up’ or talk to someone. Your doctor puts you straight on antidepressants. But none of those feel right, do they?
But what if you no longer have a baby. What if your school aged children are perfect, your husband is a handsome and helpful, caring man and you love your job. What is it then? It can’t be baby blues. You don’t want to pay to talk to someone just because you are stressed about your money situation. You can’t just ‘chin up’ when you want to cry because you can’t find the mop or forget to buy bin bags- which was the reason you went to Coles in the first place. And even though you KNOW you love your job, or love running, or love going to the gym, why do you just want to lay in bed watching Revenge and eating timtams? (or in my case, ample amounts of bacon!)
This is what I am going through at the moment. It is hard to find blogs that detail how ‘mummy guilt’ can affect you. It’s not baby blues and it’s not quite depression, until you leave it too late. The anxiety you feel over dividing your time equally between kids, husband, work, gym and most of all, yourself, isn’t a feeling you are experiencing alone. That knot in your stomach you feel as you leave for work as the kids start dinner, those tears that well up when you tell the kids that the babysitter will be going to their athletics carnival because you have to work and that sickening feeling when the electricity bill arrives the week after you spent your savings on school uniforms all accumulate into something I like to call PTSAD.
No, not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (as traumatic as childbirth is, I don’t think that’s quite as bad)
Post Toddler Stress and Anxiety Disorder.
And I have it.