Finding It Hard As A Mum In Lockdown: Mental Health Awareness Week
Posted on May 22 2020
We are very proud to have guest blogger Amelia Cunningham share her personal experience of motherhood during lockdown...
It seems that the weeks are going faster than ever, but the days are slow. I’m writing this on a Friday and it just dawned upon me that another working week has past and here we are, approaching another weekend in lockdown. And with time feeling strange, everything else also feels strange.
Without giving the c word too much of a spotlight (I know we’re all probably just about fed up of hearing about it) but it does goes without saying that every single person’s life has been affected over the last few months. While that can be comforting to know, while social media can make us feel less alone, and while a zoom call with friends and family can bring us joy, sometimes we all just need to read that somebody else is finding it hard too. That’s why I wanted to do this post, just as an opportunity to share a little of our reality.
I am still a stay at home mum, still working from home. I am still the same mum who loves reading, playing puzzles, dancing around the kitchen and building blocks with her crazy toddler. And while some days I can feel like super-mum, some days I also feel like the worst mum. Because we are supposed to be strong, brave and because we are depended on, doesn’t mean we can’t feel anything towards what’s happening in the big wide world around us.
While life at home has to go on as we all adapt to our new normality, we are still human. Still human with feelings and different ways of reacting and dealing with this uncertain time, whatever that looks like to you. It might be guilt or frustration, while for others it could be confusion or sadness, we all are entitled, not just as parents but as human beings, to feel any type of way we want.
I struggled in the beginning to be ok with the fact I felt like I had no space in my mind, like all my thoughts and all my worries were racing around in my head. Unable to unwind, relax and escape my fears. I struggled to be ok with the fact that I was anxious all the time and I struggled to be ok with the fact just because this was affecting me didn’t mean I was failing as a mother.
Some days I am full of activity ideas and my home is tidy and organised, other days we don’t get dressed and watch more TV and play more games on the tablet than ever. I am starting to realise that we simply all just have to do what we have to do to get through this time in our lives. While the pressure is onto ace the whole homeschooling thing, or share the best baby and toddler crafts and activities online, I can’t even begin to stress how important it is to remember that we don’t ever see the whole reality of somebody’s life online, so to compare or feel guilty because of what we see, has to stop. That has been the biggest realisation for me and having healthy breaks away from social media has helped me a great deal.
Life as a mum no longer means going to soft play, mooching around the shops, meeting up with friends, going to cafes and the parks. These parts of our life were taken away and, while sometimes we may feel that our problems aren’t real problems in the grand of scheme of things, they are still our problems. No matter how small or big they might feel, allowing ourselves to just feel all the feels can sometimes be the start of feeling a bit better.
While this time in my life has been one of the hardest ever, restricting, like a battle, and full of guilt that I even feel like this when we are all safe at home, I am going continue to seek comfort in the fact that motherhood has always been tough, these past few months are just part of it, and we do have it in us somewhere, to be tougher.