Saturday 6 June 2020

Family | Becoming a Better Mum

Two years ago I was in such a bad place mentally that I just had no time for the boys at all, which sounds awful doesn't it? But I've always vowed to be completely honest in my little space on the internet and it's time to tell that story. You see the thing is, when your mental health is at an all time low the last thing you want to do is play games or head out to soft play. Two years on I'm in a much better place and even last year I felt like a totally different person so here's my story on becoming a better mum. 

I've always suffered with my mental health even as a teen but it was never something that was discussed openly and it was something I got on with on my own. There would be nights I would cry myself to sleep for no other reason and I never understood it. It was only when I reached my late teens/ early twenties that mental health became a thing that was a bit more talked about but there was still a stigma attached to it, bear in mind this was ten years ago. At the time I never seeked any help, I just went through it alone but it was manageable. After having George my anxiety worsened and my mood swings were the worst they had ever been and it was only then I went to the doctor and was prescribed sertraline. 

Things were shaky at best, I'd have good days and bad days but the truth is I used to take the boys' dad for granted and he would do almost everything for them when he was home. I know how unhealthy that is and how unfair it was on both him and my babies, but that's what it was like. My patience was always thin, I was still moody and still snappy and would spend my evenings hiding out in the bedroom. There were many things attributing to my mental health at the time and the main one was my strenuous relationship with their dad. It was a really dark time for me and I'm not proud of it. 

Christmas time 2019 I made the decision to change my life around. I knew I couldn't carry on living like that forever and I've mentioned many times how happy I am for doing so. Obviously being a single mum means I have to do everything for the boys now but I no longer begrudge them. I know the fact I'm happier in myself has a lot to do with that but the time on my own helps. Time I never used to get. I was a working mum who would have to come home, clean, cook and help with the kids bed time. I would work Tuesday-Thursday and then all weekend I would be home with the boys. There was no balance there at all and something I struggled with for longer than I should have. Now, I go to work and have three evenings a week to myself and that time when the boys are in school on top of that. It does wonders for the soul.

It is so important to be able to recharge. Self care isn't just about baths and face masks you know? It's having the chance to catch up on your favourite TV show or something as simple as not having to answer to anyone. I am so much more appreciative of my time with George and Henry now and I love playing with them, taking them on days out and all the other lovely mum stuff you're supposed to enjoy. I've got so much more patience for them - that's not to say there's days when they don't test that - but it's what they deserve because they really are little belters. 

I've learnt a lot this pat year and I'm still learning and growing as a person and as a mum but I'm proud of how far I've come. Afterall, we're all just winging it aren't we? 

Rachael xo

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