Mum-Day Blues : The Loneliness Of Maternity Leave
Maternity leave can be a lonely for many woman. It is not usual for new mums to be feeling depressed on maternity leave. Here is a list of some of the things that can cause you to be depressed on maternity leave along with the steps you can take to help improve your situation.
Also please do continue reading to the bottom for a real life mums story of her mum-days blues she felt whilst on maternity leave.
1 – Loneliness
New mums often feel lonely whilst on maternity leave from work. You’re used to being at work surround by plenty of people to chat and listen to. Suddenly your at home all by yourself with a baby and everything is very silent. Having no-one to talk to all day is a real killer. Yes, you can (and should) talk to your baby, but its just not the same as having a proper chat with someone.
One step you could take to improve this is to attend some mother and baby groups. If you take a look on Facebook you should be able to find somethings near you. For example near me the local soft play does weekly mother and baby sessions where you can pop along and also grab yourself a cake a coffee.
Don’t underestimate how great it can be to your mental health to have some adult interactions, especially with other mums who are in the same situation as you.
2 – Boredom
Yes with a new baby to look after its totally possible to be bored. Many find the daily routine boring and this can lead to you feeling depressed maternity leave. When you are at home with your baby in can easily feel like you are stuck in groundhog day. It becomes an endless cycle of timed feeds, burping and nappy changes. Everyday feels the same and often you can lose track of what day it is.
One step you could take to help with this is once daily try to do just a little bit of something YOU enjoy doing. This could be reading a book for 30 minutes, playing a new playlist on Spotify or writing that quick blog you’ve been thinking about. Whatever it is you do, just try to break up the days so they are slightly different from one another.
Real Life Story From A Mum Suffering Loneliness On Maternity Leave
Weekends while you’re on maternity leave are different. There’s no Friday feeling. Being a Mummy doesn’t end at 5pm (okay, 4:30pm) on a Friday and start again at 8am on Monday. I’d take smelling of baby sick over being stuck on the M25 for 3 hours any day though.
Weekends are different. Weekends are even more precious as it’s time that we get to spend as a family, time that Scott gets to see Harry coo and chat rather than his grouchy time in the evening.
It’s time I can shower for as long as I like and even condition my hair. Weekends mean saying “oh you think, time for Daddy to change that bum”. Weekends mean company. Help. Someone to talk to. Someone to make me tea, someone to make tea for. For two whole days. No need to look up whether any baby groups are on.
There’s no need to decide whether it’s just too much hard work to leave the house for milk. No need to choose between hovering and eating lunch. For two whole days.
Before Harry, a crappy weekend wasn’t that much of big deal; there was Pinot Grigio to take the edge off, as much chocolate as I knew I could burn off at the ice rink the next day and people to rant to on Monday morning.
A crappy weekend was followed by a company filled Monday and a Monday evening to do whatever Scott and I needed to get over or make up for a crappy weekend.
A crappy weekend while on maternity leave is nothing short of devastating. You spend all week looking forward to your partner being there on Saturday morning to enjoy the morning story and to do the ‘roar’ in row row your boat.
You look forward to your step feeling a little lighter, the bags under your eyes looking a little brighter and to hearing the two most precious people in your life giggle and adore each other while you have a wee without the baby monitor on.
Crappy weekend is then followed by Monday morning; but unlike before there’s no conversation with your work bestie to share stories. There’s no coffee ready and waiting for you just the way you like it, no-one asks you how your weekend was, no one listens to your woes and tries to make you feel better with their own dramas.
No one agrees that you have the [insert family member/friend/other] from hell. There’s no-one. There’s just you and your baby. As gorgeous and wonderful and fascinating as Harry is, he doesn’t say much and he doesn’t make coffee yet.
Mum-day blues are lonely. They make a bad weekend even worse. You run the weekend on repeat over and over and you look into the week ahead and feel lonely. Maybe you could go to a baby group but today you want to talk to people who know who the characters in your life are, you need people to know why a particular incident is a big deal to you.
You need someone who knows to buy you an almond croissant just from the way you answer the phone on the way into the office. Mum-day blues are not the time for answering questions about Harry’s age, weight and that inane “is he good” question.
Mum-day blues are hard. I’ve not yet figured out an answer to them but I have a feeling I’ll have my fair share of them over the next 9 months. And then I’ll be back at work and Mum-day blues will mean missing my world. Until then, there’s a cold cup of tea and half eaten mince pie waiting for me.
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