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  • Clare Bowers

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

motherhood.” Kayleigh




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

previous pregnancies.


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.


Always here.


Clare


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