Getting Trapped Under the Cover of Motherhood
“I wasn’t aware in the first few years of becoming a mum, that
everything I was feeling wasn’t healthy. I just thought this was
Pregnancy is a time where you can respect your body for
giving you such a precious gift, a new life. It can also become
a very lonely journey. The days can seem like weeks and the
weeks like years, while the kindness of a stranger asking you
how long you have left can dramatically turn into a repeated
annoyance, even though people’s intentions are to uplift and
excite you. Hormones are high, and emotions are even higher.
One minute you’re loving everything about your pregnancy
and then suddenly without any warning, you can start to feel
the overwhelming tears and confusion creeping in. Within the
blink of an eye you’re in a dark place, unsure on how you
ended up there, and having no voice to guide you.
This sense of fear can take over your whole experience, and
leave you feeling low and cautious of every move you make.
It’s far from a pretty sight and can become uncomfortable to
witness, even in the closest of relationships. It can have a
negative effect on your wellbeing, making you feel uneasy
and on edge.
This can happen in the most content of pregnancies and early
days of motherhood. My third baby was planned and
excitingly expected, but I still had plenty of days where I
wanted to hide from the world under my duvet and shut my
family out. I was sick from the sixth week, like I was with my
I used to feel selfish admitting this, but I missed all of the
things I hadn’t appreciated before I became a mother, when I
was pregnant with my first child. I reminisced a lot about the
times I had before I became a mother, doing the things I
enjoyed as a woman, like meeting friends for food and deep,
meaningful conversations. At one stage in my first pregnancy,
I thought I had lost this ‘Me Time’ forever. I couldn't get out
the house as much due to the sickness. I hardly had a social
life because I didn't have the energy to make the effort.
I was serving in the Royal Navy at the time I became pregnant
with my first child and waiting to be discharged. I had the
world at my feet. I could do as I pleased when I pleased. I was
so young and naive. Naive enough to believe that motherhood
wouldn’t change my world that much; it would just increase
my happiness, right? I was right about my happiness
increasing; it went through the roof! But it was also
overwhelming, especially when the sickness started taking
away that ‘do what I like when I like’ attitude.
My little boy, who is now twelve years old, turned my world
upside down. I adored him as soon as I held him in my arms
and I knew that this little man was going to impact me a lot
more than I had originally thought. You know that feeling, the
one that takes your breath away, that suddenly puts your
whole life into perspective and brings reason to your every
moment. This is when your identity can grow and
complement motherhood, instead of slipping under the covers
of nappies, hourly feeds and baby talk. But it can be difficult
to get to this point. I was overwhelmed with emotions and I
remember writing out my shopping list thinking how
different it looked compared to before I became a mum.
Removing this cover of fear can be difficult, but it’s not
impossible. You’re still in there, no matter how hard it is to see
past the emotions. The first thing to recognise is that asking
for help isn’t a sign of failure or bad parenting; it’s the
opposite. You are strong for realising that you need help to get
all of those bottled up feelings out at such a vulnerable time.
Continued in the next blog.
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