“….I feel lost, lifeless, on auto-pilot. I have two beautiful children and I should feel blessed, but instead I could cry. In fact, now I am. I feel like I’m just a machine. I get up at dawn, prepare breakfast, change nappies, fold clothes, pick up toys, clean the house, cook dinner, service my husband (if he’s lucky), get up to the kids during the night (yes, both of them) and wake up and do it all over again. I feel useless and incompetent. I’m forever arguing with my three year old and can never seem to get my six month old to sleep.
What happened to the girl I used to be who had fun, laughed all the time and loved her life? Now I feel bored, emotional and lonely.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids and I do love being a mum, but outside of all the goo-goo, gaa-gaa warm-and-fuzzy mummyness, something is missing. A part of me feels stifled and suffocated, probably drowned by the tunes of ‘play your guitar with Murray’ or ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking, B1? I think I am B2?’
Well, you wanna know what I’m thinking? I wanna get out of here. Run off to some exotic island with a book and a glass of wine….or 10! I need to find out who I am. What do I want?
I feel like I have no life. It’s all about my children. I just can’t handle it anymore. I feel like everyone’s slave. I’m irrational, anxious and depressed. I’m happy one minute, and then the next I’m flying off the handle and falling apart in tears. I feel guilty for stuffing up my kids’ lives and I hate myself for acting this way.
No one understands me. No one cares about how I feel. It’s like I’m the only mum in the world who feels this way. Everyone else seems happy. Why can’t I just get it together and be a happy mum too? What’s wrong with me?
Excerpt from The Happy Mum Handbook
Hi my name is Jackie Hall and I am the author of The Happy Mum Handbook and the creator of multiple products that help mums overcome motherhood stress, postnatal depression and anxiety.
What you’ve just read above, is not only a section from my book, but a real life description of my life just four years ago.
I was caught in the trap of loving motherhood, hating motherhood and in between all that, flying into anger, feeling guilty over my behaviour and hating myself over and over again.
It was awful to feel this way and the guilt over what I was probably teaching my children was all too consuming.
After experiencing this cycle for six months, I decided that enough was enough. After a particular incident involving yet another angry outrage, I suddenly realised:
“No one else can change the way you feel about your life, only you can!”
So I decided that was exactly what I was going to do – CHANGE. The only problem was, how?
After searching and searching for self help information that specifically related to motherhood, I came up with nothing. I mean, sure, there was logical advice that suggested I ‘walk away when angry’, or ‘take time out’, but none of that was enough. It surprised me that no one was really teaching mothers how to change their mindset about the challenges we face. Mainly there were just resources that taught me how to control my child’s behaviour, but the reality was that if I relied on my child’s behaviour in order to be happy, it would always be purely by chance that I would ever be happy.
I wanted to have more control over my emotions. I wanted to know how to stop the anger to begin with. I wanted to feel calm whenever things didn’t turn out the way that I wanted them to. I wanted to be okay about the developmental challenges that I encountered with my kids on a daily basis. Most of all I wanted to stop hating on myself incessantly to the point of breakdown.
So I began reading, studying and researching loads of self-help material and I began applying it to my own challenges that I encountered as a mother. I began finding ways to change the way that I thought and felt right in the middle of a stressful moment.
And because there was no information like this, I decided to write it myself. I knew that I wasn’t the only mum who must be feeling the way that I was, and I was suddenly inspired to make sure that I found the answers that I was looking for so that I could share it with as many other mums as possible.
So fast forward four years and that is exactly what I have done. Not only did I cure my own depression/anxiety with this information, but I now have multiple resources that teach mothers exactly what they need to do in order to enjoy motherhood, let go of their old life and embrace their new reality, but most importantly, learn how to love themselves so that they can pass this valuable wisdom onto their children.
Furthermore, I have trained with the Anti-depression association of Australia as a life coach and group facilitator. This organisation has helped over 4,000 clients with stress, depression and anxiety and I have personally watched many people change in front of my very eyes with the information that we teach.
I am regularly rewarded with comments from all over the world, such as:
“I’ve been to 3 psychologists and I’ve never felt this level of clarity before. Thank you so much Jackie!” (Tara, Ballarat, Vic); and
“I felt great relief as I gained a very deep understanding of my own thoughts and feelings about life and being a mum. It was so freeing to read a book that was so objective and free from any harsh criticisms. I absolutely loved, loved, loved your book and I am so glad I bought it. Thank you so much for sharing your journey! “ (P. Ryan, Dublin, Ireland)
My postnatal depression has become a godsend for me because of the invaluable information that I have learnt from it and because of the clients that I am privileged to meet and share this information with every day.
Now thanks to Mouths of Mums I want to share some of this information with you all and hopefully inspire you to make some mental changes to your life too, so that you can start heading towards that happy life you are looking for and pass down a healthy mindset to your children, so they too can handle all life’s ups and downs and learn to love themselves.
In light of today’s blog, I’d like to leave you with my first words of ‘advice’ for you to take through your day.
“Don’t assume that you are a failure because of the challenges you face. I am testimony to the fact that sometimes life presents you with the exact experience you need that will propel you to an even better understanding of life than you’ve ever had before. Life is full of lessons and many of them occur within our biggest hardships”.
Jackie Hall is not only a parenting coach, specialising in motherhood stress, depression and anxiety, she is also a mother of two young boys. Having suffered from postnatal depression herself and resourcing ways to stop her own feelings, she created www.selfhelpformums.com and www.postpartumdepressionrecovery.com and has written multiple resources to help mums, such as The Happy Mum Handbook, The Postpartum depression Recovery Program and the all new Webinar series, starting with the FREE Webinar: How to end motherhood stress.