"Doing things my way"

I am always honest about my experiences with motherhood and being an older mum (I’m in my late 30s) trying to fit in with the ‘IT’ mums you see spilling out of Costa in their trendy clothes and perfect ponytails and pert bums.

I have never really fitted in with this mummy world of amazing pushchairs and yoga classes. I just like to eat cake, drink coffee and watch a cartoons or colour with crayons with my little boy. I had a very traumatic birth and lost so much blood I thought I wasn’t going to be around for very long. I know, dramatic, but that’s how I felt.

From the time we took our little bundle of joy home I felt like a failure and a crappy mum. I couldn’t get him out of me and I think I slowly went a bit mad after all the trauma - I have had some mental health problems before. I didn’t wash my hair or shower. I slowly lost sight of who I was, and looking after this little human made me feel anxious, overwhelmed and that I wasn’t doing it right. The health visitors were not that nice; I felt they would always tell you that you were wrong and should be doing things their way rather than your own way. I used to cry and cry, and it wasn’t until my friend told me that I might need some help that I called my doctor. She prescribed anti-depressants as she thought I had more than baby blues and was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression. The side effects were so horrendous that I stopped taking them. 

Again I was at my wits end and felt like I was really sinking, so I spoke to my mum and sister. They gave me some “tough love” and made sure I got myself into a routine: get up, shower, dress and put that makeup on! “Try and look nice, not like a bag lady,” my sister kindly put it. It was true though. I slowly took their advice and my sister recommended buggy fitness on a Monday morning for an hour. It literally changed me. I tried to make friends, but they were all competitive and I didn’t really want to be in their gang, so I’d say “morning” and walk, exercise and be myself with my little boy by my side. 

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Now it’s like the fog head has cleared and we are a normal family. He’s 2 in August and he’s a wonderful little boy. When there are times when I feel like I am not doing things right, I make a mental check that I am a good mum and doing things my way. I am in a happy place now…

Claire Budd