I don't enjoy being a parent - I feel like I don't have a life anymore

I had PP back in August (2015) so it's only really been four months since I was unwell. I suppose I shouldn't expect too much but I just feel so sad that my life is the way it is right now.

I have a beautiful little girl who is four and a half months, but I don't enjoy looking after her. I don't enjoy being a mum. It feels like I have sacrificed so much. I don't know what's left of the person I was before. And I don't even know if this is because of the PP or whether I'd have felt like this anyway.

I find it so hard to care about myself. I rarely wash my face or put on makeup. It feels like I have to constantly be on "standby" for my little girl so there's no time to do anything for myself anymore. I have to wait until my husband is home just to wash my hair because I'd have to leave her alone for too long otherwise. I don't read or meditate - both things I used to love doing. It feels like there is nothing in my days that really defines who I am as a person. It feels like my whole life has been put on standby. I wish time away - I hope that I'll be happier when my daughter can talk and interact more and we can have a more obvious connection. On the other hand, part of me is afraid that it's just wishful thinking and I won't actually feel better and will just be wishing time away forever, or at least for a very long time.

I wish I could enjoy being a mum. Does anyone else feel like this? Or does anyone who has felt it in the past have an advice?

52 Replies

  • Hi Peppermint Pig, I'm sorry to hear that you feel so low - it's great that you've found the courage to share your experience here as I know that many people here have been through something similar and will be able to help you.

    Firstly I can say that what you are describing sounds very familiar to me, and I definitely felt like you at a similar stage of having PP after my first baby. I wonder if you're still in contact with a mental health team and if you have any medication? I ask that because I stopped medication and discharged myself when I came down from the "high" and psychotic part of my PP, but very soon started to feel as you do, and over time came to be diagnosed with a depressive episode. I now understand that to be the usual course of PP. You say it's been 4 months since you were unwell, but PP often has a much longer recovery time, including the dip into depression, so I wonder if that may be happening to you now? I had such similar symptoms - feeling unable to care for myself, being unable to see any purpose in my days, feeling very lonely and not at all connected to my baby. But with medication and support I realised that it was being depressed that had made me feel that way, and over a few months I started to feel so much more positive and motivated.

    I think it'd be really good if you can tell your GP or mental health team exactly how you feel right now. If you have medication it may need adjusting, and if you don't they may recommend that you take some, or perhaps attend some counselling sessions. They'll be able to let you know the options and help you decide what's best for you.

    I'd like to also let you know that despite feeling exactly as you do at that stage I went on to very much enjoying being a Mum, and to have another child, and I'm very bonded to them both now and we have a happy family life (they're 7 and 11.) I know for sure that very many Mums on this forum have felt as you do but went on to enjoy fulfilling relationships with their babies. Please keep in mind that things can and will get better and you won't always feel the way you do now.

    I know that others on this forum will give you lots more advice and support soon. In the meantime take care of yourself, and perhaps set yourself a simple small goal of self care each day? You say you enjoyed meditation in the past so perhaps you could try a short meditation on one of the mindfulness apps that are available now (I use Headspace which has a lot of 10 minute sessions). Or maybe, as you enjoy reading, find a book with short chapters that don't seem too daunting to pick up and read a little as a time? Or treat yourself to a proper relaxing bath sometime when your husband is home? Self care is so important and very neglected for many news mums, and these little things can really help, even though it can sometimes feel impossible to find the time or the motivation to do it.

    Best wishes


  • Hi Tracey,

    Thanks so much for your reply. It's reassuring to hear that you went through something similar in terms of how you felt, and that you came out the other side.

    I think I am in the depressive episode. I've been on Sertraline for a little while and when I saw the doc just recently, she suggested I try a higher dosage, although she didn't seem to think it was urgently needed. I was having a better day on the day that I saw her, so I said I didn't want to. Since then, I've had a couple of worse days, so I'm wondering if it might be a good idea.

    Until I'd read yours and the other posters' replies, I sort of forgot just how short a time it's really been since my PP.

    I was so happy to read that you went on to enjoy being a Mum - so there is hope! I had so wanted to have a family... and I so wanted to have more than one child... so perhaps I shouldn't close the door on that just yet ;)

    Thanks for the app recommendation too - I'll check it out :) I really appreciate you taking the time reply.



  • I'm glad you found my reply useful Maria, and it's good to see you seeming a bit brighter in your replies to people here. I hope you get to try the increased medication dose and that it helps you. I had a lot of tweaking of medications until I found the optimum benefit. Yes do keep holding on to hope, and don't discount having a second child yet. Take one day at a time for now. I know it's frustrating when the days are mixed between good and bad but I'm sure that over time you'll find that the number of good days increases and the bad days will lessen. That's how it was for me anyway.

    Take care of yourself, and try to enjoy some peaceful moments in this busy festive season.


  • Hello Peppermint

    I don't know if you saw my reply to you under the Parenting thread where there are many mums who can empathise with the way you feel.

    It's very understandable that you feel low because it's not that long ago you were so unwell. Have you had a chat with your G.P about how you feel; sometimes medication can help to give you a lift? Perhaps you could speak to your Health Visitor for advice? You could try a self care regime when your baby girl is sleeping, although I know it took me a while to have any interest in myself. I lost my dignity and respect and had to fight those feelings which were holding me back from a full recovery.

    Is it possible for you to let a family member stay with your daughter while you perhaps have a 'date night' with your husband? That will remind you both of how you once were and it's a good thing to do, say once a month, just to 'escape' the daily routine. Also meeting friends for tea or coffee to talk about anything and everything might do you good.

    Unfortunately, following PP with my second son, I did suffer depression so try to keep a balance on your feelings and reach out for help from professionals if you need to.

    We are all here to lean on and understand how you feel in these early days.

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Hi Lilybeth,

    I hadn't seen your reply under the other thread, so thanks for mentioning it :) I'm considering upping my dosage of Sertraline, on my consultant's suggestion, to see if that helps.

    I need to make sure I try to find time to look after myself. My upper lip needs some serious hair removal haha... Oh dear...

    We're with my family and my husband's family over Christmas so I'm going to ask for some time just for the two of us. I think it will really cheer me up a bit.

    It really helps knowing you are all here and I can come here if I need to.

    Thank you xxx

  • Hi Peppermint_Pig,

    Oh it's such a major adjustment becoming a mum, even without a severe, traumatic illness being thrown at you right at the start of it too. I know so many mums who have struggled to come to terms with that feeling of loss of self, becoming 'mum'. It's hard because we don't know how we'd have felt if we hadn't had PP. I worried for a long time that I didn't have a good bond with my son because of PP and the feelings I had (or not) were because of the illness, but never knowing how it would have been under different circumstances. I still have my wobbly moments 3.5 years on (our bond is fine but it really does knock your confidence doesn't it).

    It honestly does get easier. The early weeks and months are hard, really hard. And it's early in your recovery too. As time goes on and your daughter becomes less dependent on you for everything, you'll find you have more time for yourself, and try and make time for yourself if you can (do you have family nearby that could give you a bit of a break?). I think it's really important to keep things in your life that are for you, it's healthy, and it'll get easier to be able to do that. I don't know how much sleep you're getting but that also improves (my outlook on everything is much better when I'm not shattered all the time!)

    In the meantime, I'm sure you're fed up of everyone saying it but they really don't stay small for long. I think from about 4-5 months I found it much more enjoyable as you get so much more back from them, and have found it's just got better and better as he's got older. Hang in there and use any support you have available to you to get some time for yourself. You're not alone and you're doing great :)

  • Hi J-B-55,

    Thank you so much for your reply. Such a relief to know it got easier for you. And thank you for the reminder that it's early in my recovery. I have such high standards for myself that I forget that a lot of the time!

    We don't have family near at the moment but are just in the process of buying a house that's just 40 mins from my parents, as opposed to 2.5 hours at the moment. I'm sure that will make a big difference :)

    Thanks again for responding xxx

  • Hi Peppermint,

    I'm sorry to hear that you're not enjoying parenthood. I can absolutely empathise with this. I had pp nearly four years ago now and after the initial sleepless phase I fell into a depressive phase where I enjoyed nothing and felt like I wasn't bonded to my daughter.

    I see you write you don't feel like you can leave your daughter long enough to wash your hair without your husband around. That reminds me very much of how I felt. But it also sounds like a bond of sorts.

    I also fully relate to the feeling you have of sacrifice and I personally wondered whether I would ever enjoy parenting but thankfully I can say that with help things improved for me though it was a slow process.

    As others on here have said please try to explain your feelings to those around you and your health professionals. I feel sure that with help and support things will improve, you have already taken the first brave step towards this by discussing your feelings on here so well done.

    Can I also recommend that you try to get time for yourself if you can, to do the things you enjoy however small they may be or even just a mental break from being constantly "on call" and from this I hope that you may begin to feel better.

    Thanks for sharing your feelings during this difficult time, here for you and wishing you all the best, Amy

  • Hi Amy,

    Thanks for your response. It's reassuring to hear from others who have been through similar feelings.

    I went for a coffee today with an old friend while my husband stayed at home with our daughter, and I really enjoyed it :) Small things like this help me to have more energy afterwards.

    Thanks for your kind words xxx

  • Hi Peppermint Pig

    Lovely to hear from you and so glad you are able to find that 'personal space' to share your feelings with women who really understand and can empathise with how you are feeling.

    It is still early days and it is hard coping with the aftermath of PP and as I recall, at 4 months, I was being treated depression which does seem to be a common occurance after PP. It is certainly worth talking to a health care professional such as your GP or Health Visitor about how you feel.

    I mourned the loss of 'me' and wondered what had happened to that carefree girl who had travelled, had lots of interests and a career. I had given up my job, felt totally alone, ashamed, guilty and isolated, I also was worried that my experiences of being an in patient and how I felt would effect the bonding process which contributed to further guilt.

    Caring for a baby is a full on experience for any new Mum though and it is very hard to find space. I found it useful to try and take my baby out for a little walk in her pram around the block, it gave me a sense of purpose and broke up the long dark days. I had lived overseas, got married, moved country and had worked so really didn't know anyone other than former work colleagues who of course were still working. On my walks, I also got to meet other new Mums and invited to join a local Mother & Toddler Group which was the highlight of my week! I gradually developed a little network which helped to rebuild my shattered confidence.

    Do you have any family or friends nearby that could help out at all and maybe babysit to give you and your husband some time together.

    However, take it slowly, small steps, you will pick up the pieces, find yourself again with the added bonus of having a beautiful daughter who will enrich you life beyond measure. All the very best to you, love VeeXx

  • Hi Vee,

    Thanks so much for replying. I'm really glad too to have found this space where it's safe to share my feelings. Thanks also for reminding me that it is still early days. I know I'm suffering from depression too, it's just hard to separate what is depression, and what is not. Or is it all? Confusing!

    I know what you mean about the guilt. I also wonder about how all that I'm feeling affects how my husband feels about me. It can't be easy for him.

    We don't have family nearby yet, but are planning to move next year to be a little closer to my parents.

    Thanks again for your response xxx

  • Hi Peppermint Pig

    I guess it is pretty bewildering for our partners too. There is a guide on the APP site which may be of use to your husband.


    I'm so glad you have this safe space, it has taken me 33 years to be able to 'talk' about it and it has been so liberating.

    Anyway I wish you all the very best over the festive period and for the coming year. Honestly, it will get easier for you but take it gently. Love Vee xx

  • Hi Peppermint_Pig

    I am sorry to hear you are having a tough time at the moment and not enjoying being a Mum. Your story reads very similarly to mine and I remember the haze of the period after PPP when I, like many others, had a period of depression afterwards and I didn't enjoy the baby care days and just wished the days away until my partner came home.

    The early days are incredibly tough with all the feeds/bottles and lack of sleep and like you I felt like I had given my life up. The highlight of my week was a baby sensory class I went to with my little boy and the mother & baby groups which allowed me to be with other adults who didn't really care whether my hair was washed or not (I am now a big fan of Baptiste dry hair shampoo!). A friend of my sisters also went through a difficult time when her baby was young in terms of not enjoying it and she didn't have PPP so I actually think this is more common than it is made out to be. Certainly watching Dr Winston DVDs about motherhood set what I felt was a false impression in hindsight of what it is like to be the carer of a small baby! - I now tell people openly that the 'baby' days didn't suit me and I much more enjoy being the Mum of a toddler.

    In terms of advice one of the things I started doing after attending a 'craft for PND' group was to start a notebook and write at the end of the day one thing I had enjoyed and one thing I had achieved (sometimes as small as having 5 mins of fun play in the bath or cooking a meal I enjoyed). I found this gave perspective on my day. I was also fortunate to have weekly CBT - is this available in your area? I found this really helpful so I would recommend asking your mental health team if you can be referred asap. Make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need as deficiency can contribute to depression and low mood.

    You will have more time for yourself as your daughter gets older and becomes more independent - try to be patient and not be too hard on yourself. If you like creative things could you teach yourself about baby photography and take photos - I enjoyed this and found it helped me too.

    Just take things one day at a time and you will get through this period. Wishing you all the best.


  • Hi Sarah,

    Thanks so much for your reply. That sounds exactly like me - I watch the clock until my husband comes home. Last week he was meant to be going to a Christmas do after work and I had a bit of a meltdown, couldn't cope, and he ended up coming home at the normal anyway as he said he couldn't enjoy himself if he knew I was at home feeling low. Which was really sweet of him, but then of course I felt guilty that he missed out.

    I went to a baby signing class last week to try it out and I think I'll go along to that in the new year. Love the comment about Batiste - it's a miracle-worker, isn't it?!

    Interesting that your sister's friend also had a phase like this without having had PP. I wonder if more mums do than we realise. I think there's probably a lot of shame around feeling like this. I know that I wouldn't feel comfortable admitting it to lots of people.

    I hope I'm like you and am perhaps just going to be more a fan of the toddler period!

    Thanks for your suggestions. I did keep a gratitude journal for a while... I might start that up again. I've also been taken supplements but have recently run and not bothered to get more in - so I shall make the effort to do that!

    Thanks again for your response xxx

  • Hi there,

    I am very experienced through my own struggles.

    I can hear what you're saying.

    What's your daughter's favorite toy, what expression does she make when she sees you playing with it? This expression, if only just copying yours, is the communication you need I would imagine, going by my own experience.

    The thing that helped for me, was when I could start feeling the expressions my children made.... I mean , feel to the point of 'wow this is my baby and this is what they like and that means so much to me, and i understand that as I know what it feels like to like something'....at this point, and only then, did I know i was on the right track.

    I have three children now, plus two step children that don't live with us.

    I have been through the worry of not knowing how safe I am opening up about who I know/knew I was, as I knew there was a big part of me that I did or still do not know, how does one know how deep the well is by looking down it?

    My point is, if you cannot enjoy things, it is no wonder you feel hope of communication with your child, you are very insightful for realizing this is the key, however you are not at a lost, and do not need to try so hard or put yourself down my darling, just don't give up, even if it means playing the same record over and over and you know others are getting bored of it....this is what makes the right help come!!!!!!!!!!!

    To keep pushing how you do, even without feeling things, you are as strong as us human beings come. Give credit to yourself, as very soon, when you get the right medication and treatment, all that you have put in you will suddenly start seeing and feeling it through her one day, and the beauty of that will make it all worth while.

    Keep close to the mental health team, and keep yourself as honest as you can. Keep moving forward and if you feel things are getting too much and you start to feel stuck, ask for more help.

    They may not look like they are listening but people always do generally. It's just when perspectives are so far from ours, although all we say makes perfect sense, to them they just pick up on clues.

    Keep on going and you can look forward to better days, I promise.

    Look around you, as everyone we meet is a guide, and all those thoughts you have are just your guide. Many thoughts for me have often felt like I must be being hard on myself, but it was my 'self from before' not giving up. The messages we hear from others can be confusing, don't give your whole self to their logic, but use it as a guide. Like when giving birth, follow your own mind and gut instinct.....delivery always goes best when not putting your whole trust in someone else.

    Something along those lines anyway, big hugs and enjoy Christmas, maybe share some moments smelling different things with your daughter, smells/scents are what triggered me into re-connecting with the me I'd lost. But always remember things do change people do change and everything is always changing, so don't expect yourself to be the same as before, it's the instinct you want back, the bit you have not control into.....tap into some innate qualities you were born with, and watch these grow in yourself and your child at the same rate.

    p.s. and don't let the bad days hold you back, the road of recovery sometimes causes the better day to be more amazing than ever and the bad days to be even worse than before, but it become worth it, well, that's my story, and I'm really glad I am finally able to share it, for the first time, for a good cause, and that is you! You're worth it hun xxx

    xxxxxxx <3<3<3 xxxxxxx

  • Hi amiemaybe,

    Thanks so much for sharing your own experiences. I've always been a deep thinker and a seeker... reading lots and thinking a lot about personal growth and self-discovery. I feel it's an ongoing journey and that we're learning about who we are until the end... but PP was so scary and that combined with new motherhood feels like a lot of the old me has been stripped away. As I write this, I think that actually, it probably hasn't really gone away, but perhaps I'm in "survival" mode right now, and that stuff has just been shoved out of the way as I try to cope each day. Not to mention the amount of attention a new baby needs!

    Thank you for such kind words. Your encouragement means a lot xxx

  • Hello there,

    Can I firstly say, welcome and a huge hug for talking about the side of parenting that nobody likes to talk about! I have had PP twice and was not treated following my first. I was exactly like you and didn't enjoy a thing and felt numb. I experienced the awful depression following both episodes, but know it can be much easier to manage with medication.

    I was so poorly following my first, my husband pretty much raised our son for 3 years. With my second I saught help and was treated and have enjoyed motherhood. Recovery is long, but bit by bit, you will see glimpses of yourself. Small snaps at first and gradually more than less. My little one is 2 1/2 and I mostly feel good, like myself and put back together, but still using Sertraline.

    Motherhood is a huge change. I've always loved work, earning money, I am very independent...and parenting hit me hard. Being at home all day, cleaning, changing dirty bums- and all that washing! Really, I did not believe how my life had changed and it wasn't me. I love and adore my two children, but have come to accept, we are all different, all have different needs, and not one type of mum makes the best mum. We have beautiful picture moments with our family, and we also have noise, fighting, untidiness, and less money! Please don't think we all fall in love with this life instantly- bonding and adapting takes time, each relationship in the family needs to shift and develop...but give it time.

    It gets easier, they get older and more self-sufficient, you get more time back...and before you know it, they start school and you long for that time back. Xxx

  • Hi Cath,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. My husband has been great, and taken on a lot more probably than he expected. He does the night care for our daughter, which is luckily only one bottle as she's a brilliant sleeper! But still, he wakes up at 5am or 6am to feed her and then goes to work. I'm so grateful that he does this for me so that I can have a good block of sleep.

    I'm also using Sertraline, just 50mg at the moment as that's what they thought it best to start me on. My doctor last week recommended I try 100mg as she could tell there was still some depression there. It's good to hear from someone else who is taking it that it does help.

    Thanks again for your sharing and encouragement, I really appreciate it xxx

  • Please do not despair, I'm on 200 mg of Sertraline per day! Very high, but I tolerate it well. After my two episodes I found the depression phase the most difficult, traumatic and enduring. Medication has made it bearable this second time, but I am still aware of dips and highs. I also have a wonderful husband whom balanced childcare, night feeds and work, whilst his wife told him she hated the very sight of him. Remind yourself of the love, excitement and passion you had for your husband and family pre-birth and hold on to that thought. As you get better small bits of the feelings will shine through and eventually out shine. This is a really nasty, horrible illness, so please be patient with yourself and let yourself heal. This really isn't something you put a plaster on....and many people who haven't suffered struggle to understand. Xxx

  • Thanks again Cath. Spoke to the doctor again today and asked to go onto 100 mg. She said we could go up to 200 mg if needs be. So I'll see how I go on 100 mg. I'm hoping it will help as I really am finding the days difficult. This forum and hearing from others really does help though. I really appreciate you writing xxx

  • Dear peppermint pig,

    I don't feel like I have a lot to add to the replies above. I just want to reiterate what early days these are in your recovery. When I think back to when I was ill, 5 years ago now, I was still in an MBU when my little boy was 4 and a half months. When I did come out, though, I remember trying very hard to communicate to a health visitor just what you've written, very coherently, here. she looked at me blankly, which is strange given how many times I've heard these sentiments communicated, quietly, between women in these early days of parenthood. Well done for asking the question. You are very brave and by no means alone.

    I think you may find that requesting a medication review might be helpful as your mood just sounds a bit flat. Perhaps something you're taking might be doing that, or conversely an anti-depressant might help lighten things a bit. But there are things that you can do to help as well. I remember finding being in the house all day very boring and structured my week around playgroups and classes and play dates and park visits. Even if it feels a bit forced it can be better than inertia. Also if there's someone you can ask to take the baby to the park or cafe or something for an hour it might give you the space you need just to shower or read and take a deep breath?

    I also just to reiterate the comments about keeping a journal and photographing your baby. It will help you form and intensify that bond over time, even while it feels like a futile activity. I hope some of that helps.

  • Hi Jane,

    Thanks for the reminder that it is still early days. I have quite high standards for myself and think I'm probably expecting too much for how soon it is since I had PP. Being patient can be so hard when you don't like where you are!

    I'm very lucky in that my Health Visitor knows how I feel about parenting, and she has told me that some mums just feel that way and that I'm not alone.

    You're right about my mood. I'm on a starter dose of Sertraline but I saw the doctor last week and she recommend we up the dose. Unfortunately, I was having a better day when I saw her so I refused! Having had a couple of bad days since then, I'm now thinking there's no harm in trying.

    I feel at my worst when I'm stuck alone in the house so I need to make sure I get out and do stuff. On the other hand I find it quite difficult to plan something in for every day as I don't know enough people (yet) who don't work... but I could try going to more groups.

    Thanks so much for your advice and encouragement xxx

  • Hi there,

    I also don't have much new to add but wanted to reinforce the above. I had PP in Sept 2014 and the subsequent depression. When my son was 4 months old, although I was discharged from the MBU, I was still unwell. Like you I mourned my old life, wondered what on earth I'd done. My approach was to keep busy as I found being at home really stressful. I attended lots of classes and went out for walks every day. Joining classes can be daunting but if there is a focus to the class like singing or massage, it can be very focused on just you and your little one, the social interaction can come later when you're feeling better. I really think this approach is what saved me, I have slowly formed some wonderful new friendships and have learnt that almost all mothers struggle with the early baby days. Once you start getting something back it really does change. This time last year I was really struggling as a mum, now I absolutely love it. I do still have 'bad' moments but have accepted that as part of life!

    Also wanted to reiterate the importance of self care. I was similar to you in that I couldn't be bothered, I used face wipes to wash my face, they're so simple and quick but just make you feel a little fresher. I lost the ability to read as well but I got myself some 'easy readers' with short chapters to regain my focus. My partner and I have also created a kind of timetable which shares the household chores out across the week to make them more manageable but also includes time for each of us to do something for ourselves.

    Finally, please do talk to your medical professionals and family, they are there to support you. Unfortunately it does take quite a long time to recover from PP but I can tell you that now I feel better than I did before.

    You are stronger than think! Big hugs

    Katy xxx

  • Hi Katy,

    Thanks for your lovely message. Like you, I do find being at home really stressful. I think I need to keep pushing myself to get out. I live in a second floor flat without a lift, so that initital going up and down with her and the pushchair is almost enough to put me off some days! But once I'm out, I always feel a bit better. I tried baby signing last week and think I'll start that in the new year. Something to look forward to.

    How old is your little one now?

    Thanks for the reminder on self care. I do have a lot of face wipes as I bulk-bought them a while ago! A good compromise... I could do with some 'easy readers' too... something that I can dip in and out of easily and still give me some of the pleasure I used to get from reading.

    I'm glad to hear that you're feeling better now... and looking forward to feeling better myself :) xxx

  • Hi,

    Can I just say that I think you're amazing for finding and using this forum so early on in your recovery, it took me much longer to get back to social media and the internet, you should be really proud of yourself!

    My boy is 15 months old now, so full of character and fun, I'm definitely more suited to the toddler years but I do sometimes wish I could re-experience the early days.

    I've read through some of your replies to others and you sound so much like me, I too am very hard on myself and have very high standards that are usually impossible to reach, I have spent time with a psychologist which has been amazing in helping me understand how my brain works and be more forgiving of myself.

    It also sounds like you, as I did, over-analyse the situation, trying to find answers or reasons, I know there's not much point in telling you to stop this, it's not as easy as that but you will learn to accept that life is different now but that is part of becoming a mother, let your feelings develop naturally and one day you will look back and wonder what you worried about.

    Sorry to bang on so much but I have one final thing to add. My consultant told me to try to think of my PP in physical terms. If you broke your leg, you'd have initial intense treatment to 'fix' it, then you'd be sent home with a cast, you would have limitations in what you could do and even after the cast is removed, you might need physiotherapy to be able to use the leg to its full capacity. Apply that to PP, it is your brain that 'broke' and you are still wearing the cast. The unfortunate thing is that others can't see it so you need to become more self-aware of your limitations and not feel guilty for them. Don't push yourself too hard! I am still taking my anti-depressants, I took the decision to stick with them through the winter months and look to reduce them in spring. Everyone's journey is different, there are no set timeframes, try not to look forward too much and recovery will creep up on you!

    Oh and we do baby signing, it's fantastic and I highly recommend it! Enjoy

    Lots of love

    Katy xx

  • Hi,

    I can understand how u are feeling. I had pp back in Nov 13 and my husband was off work until mid Jan looking after my son. When he went back to work I felt so alone and didn't want to spend time with my son by myself, I would be out of the house from 9 until lunch and then back out again after lunch until about 4. I used to go to a lot of baby groups just to try to feel like a mum. The feelings do fade with time and you need to allow urself that time. Is a big thing that has happened to u, let alone ur a new mum which is hard enough.

    I hope this helps, just remember u are not alone in your thoughts and feelings xxx

  • Thank you Betty, it helps a lot knowing I'm not alone. I do hate being on my own with my daughter and try to plan in something for every day - either a group, class or meeting someone for a coffee. Panicking a bit about this week as I have absolutely nothing planned in! xxx

  • Maybe try doing something at home like read a book or sing songs. I'm sure there lots of thing u could do at home together. I found its a lot easier to stay at home when they start interacting more with u. Try not to panick u will be fine X

  • Hi,

    I have just stumbled acrosss your post and am so glad I have.

    I have been feeling so low for weeks with no idea why.

    I have a four month old baby and a fifteen month old.

    I didn't experience PP with my first child so I hadn't even considered that there might be a reason why I'm feeling so low.

    Thank you so much for sharing your feelings and thoughts, it is so brave of you and you have helped me to understand a bit more about what's going on with me.

    I'm going to book an appointment with my GP this week to see if I can get some help.

    I hope things get better over Christmas and you can enjoy some 'you' time ☺️

    Thanks again for sharing!

  • Hi Rebecca,

    I'm glad my post helped. I'm sure if you talk to your GP he/she will suggest ways you can start to feel better. I was told that depression is a normal part of recovery from PP (during which you can feel very "high", as I did).

    Good luck and do come back here if you feel up to it and let us know how you get on xxx

  • Hello Peppermint

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

    I hope all the replies here have reassured you that you're not alone in how you have been feeling ....... Adding PP after childbirth is such a trauma and feelings for our little 'bundle of joy' take a while to surface until we find our feet again.

    Perhaps increasing your medication slightly might help you? I think once the right balance of medication is found you will have brighter days and not feel as though you are on the brink of depression.

    It does make such a difference if you can take 'time out' for yourself; even just a soak in the bath can be relaxing. I try not to look too closely in the mirror these days .... sometimes I wonder who that woman is looking back at me! It sounds as though you will have many helping hands at Christmas ....... you have given your family such a gift ...their precious grandchild.

    So be very proud of yourself and look forward to planning a break (just for an hour or so or an evening) with your husband to celebrate how far you have come in such a short time. Then after that put another 'date' in your diary so that you can look forward to the next time you have a minute to yourselves.

    We have all felt as you do and know how hard it is to stand up and be strong but with good medical care and family support you will slowly but surely feel better .....

    Take good care of yourself.

  • Hi Peppermint_Pig

    It’s great to see the response you’ve had on here, I hope it’s helped you feel not so alone in your feelings.

    I had PP in 2011 and also suffered from depression afterwards. As others have said you really are early in your recovery.

    I distinctly remember feeling bored most of the time, and so guilty for feeling bored... I did love my boy, but at the same time the depression numbed everything so I didn’t feel that love quite a bit of the time, and I would agree, I found it so hard not getting anything back much. But do hang in there, you will get better, you will recover, and your mood will lift. And it does make a big difference as your daughter gets older. When my son started giving me hugs, and showing very clearly he was very attached and fond of me, that’s when I truly started to build a relationship.

    I’d agree too, going out the house was what kept me sane. Luckily I live by the sea, so I could go for a walk along the seafront then to the cafe if there was nothing else to do. I did find meeting up with other mums a mixture...some days I couldn’t face socialising, it just felt too much, and being with seemingly happy mums who’d had a normal experience I found difficult too, but I think it did still help.

    I also found having a general routine really helped – planning what I was doing – even for the next couple of hours – including mundane things like household tasks etc, it made me feel like I’d achieved something and got me through the day. Also, as I think someone else said, writing one or two positive things about the day, even if they were so small.

    I wonder as well if you can find some time for yourself? Just commit to doing one thing you used to enjoy before while your baby is sleeping? Or maybe you don’t feel you have the motivation or ‘mind space’ to do it? Or maybe join an evening class in something you would enjoy, and get your husband to babysit?

    Take care, and you most definitely will get better, and the bond with your daughter will grow and grow. I have an amazing bond with my son now, I think partly because of everything we went through X

  • Hi Ellie,

    Yes, the responses have really made me feel less alone. I also feel so bored! And guilty! I can't wait until I start getting hugs too :)

    Living by the sea must be wonderful... I would love that. It's so very healing being by the water.

    I don't really plan very much, though before PP I was a real planner. Now, because I'm depressed I tend to try and stay in bed or on the sofa for as long as possible. I'm hoping that with an increase in meds (which I have just requested today) that I will feel more motivated to actually plan to do things.

    I'm so glad to hear that you have an amazing bond with your son now. Thanks for taking the time to reply and share your experiences xxx

  • Hi Peppermint Pig

    I just realised I never replied to your reply, really sorry! I somehow missed that. How are you feeling at the moment? I hope you are OK?

    I remember very well the depression, I talk about planning a routine like it was an easy thing to do, but to be honest quite a lot of days it was a real struggle to do anything, and all I wanted to do was sit on the sofa or in bed and do nothing. I remember very clearly at times just willing my son to fall asleep for his nap so I didn’t have to do anything or deal with him. Some days I would have good days but a lot of days were a struggle like this.

    I found it important though to really try and fight the depression whenever I could, to not give up (though quite a lot of days I did just give up and let it envelop me). Even just small things like force myself to hold my son and say something, or to talk a bit with my partner (even though I felt I had absolutely nothing to say). It really was was a struggle some days.

    I say all this not to hopefully make you feel even worse but more to let you know, I have been where you are, I remember it well, and it was the worse part of the illness but I promise slowly you get better, somehow the days got better, with more and more good days and less bad days, until I realised I hadn’t been down for a few weeks. And now I am happier than I have ever been, fully myself again, and I have an amazing and close relationship with my boy.

    Take care, X

  • Hi Ellie,

    Thanks so much for your reply. I'm now on a higher dose of Sertraline and it seems to be making a difference :) Sometimes I do still just want to curl up in bed and stay there though! Thank you for sharing what you went through. To hear that you are now doing so well is very encouraging - thank you! xxx

  • Really glad to hear a change in meds is making a difference.

    Have you been offered any counselling or psychological support? I had regular meetings with a psychologist for a while, mainly doing CBT and I have to say it was a lifesaver for me. I remember being very anxious one day about being alone with my son all day until 8pm at night because my parents couldn’t visit and I was spiralling into a depression again and the psychologist really helped me to plan the day, and to see that my fears weren’t based in any reality, and that I could cope with it. For me it was one of the things that helped me most to cope with the depression, but I know some people don’t find it so helpful.

    Take care, I hope you keep feeling better and better. X

  • Hi Peppermint Pig

    Big hugs to you! I felt the same way at the beginning and had the same thoughts about dreadfully missing my old life and even though I loved my son, I wished I didn't have kids.

    I think it's probably fairly normal to feel like that, after all, we never would have had PP if we didn't have kids. But I can tell you that after about 6 months I started to live being a mum.

  • Whoops sorry I somehow submitted my reply before finishing.

    I started to love being a mum. Besides the fact that the babies start to get much more interactive from 4 months onwards, I started to gain some confidence back and realized that I was doing an 'ok' job at it. I also felt like parts of my old life started slowly returning. We started having baby lunch dates and walks around the lake with other mums. My husband and I scheduled in date nights and bubs was in a good routine.

    My boy is almost two now and I've enjoyed this second year even more, he's so much fun I feel that my life is so much better now than before I had him.

    I'm sure the same will happen for you. You need to give yourself some time, 4 months out, the trauma would still be very fresh. Try to schedule in some time for yourself to do the things you love again and as the girls have said, speak to someone about how you're feeling. You'll get through this tough time xoxo

  • Hi Maxi0501,

    Big hugs back! I've had that same thought - even though I love my little girl, I wish I hadn't had her... I feel SO awful for thinking that. I just wonder if perhaps I'm not cut out to be a mum. But I do think (hope) it's the depression that makes me feel like that... I want to enjoy her and my life again...

    It's so reassuring that you did start to love being a mum! And that you've enjoyed the second year even more... I hope I'll feel the same.

    Thank you for sharing xxx

  • I love that there are 29 replies here. I hope you have gathered strength from them!

    I had PP in aug 2011 and those first 6 months were so hard. I did feel the same way you do.

    It does get better.

    So 2 things

    1) you are not alone and ill keep you and all of us PP moms in my thoughts and prayers.

    2) try to get a shower or do something for just you while baby girl is napping. I know easier said than done. People had to tell me this daily.

    I hope you are feeling a little better and this group helps

    Much Love and Understanding

  • Hi K8Stack,

    Thanks for sharing and for keeping us in your prayers. Knowing this group is here helps a lot xxx

  • Hi Peppermint Pig,

    I can relate to how you are feeling. I had PP with my first child, although I didn't get it until he was 9 months old which is a little bit unusual. I can honestly say though that with all three of my children I haven't enjoyed the 'baby' phase! Everyone is so full of joy and wonder at new babies but in reality they are blooming hard work and everyday brings new stressors. Just as you think you have cracked it you are on to the next thing like weaning or something else to worry that you are not doing right! And if only they could talk and tell you what was wrong. I used to think that at least every day. I was like you in that I didn't like to leave my baby alone for a minute but once I had my second child I realised that it's ok to let them sit in their bouncers watching children's TV etc whilst you wash up or do something else even at four months old. The more you can do this now n then the less 'needy' they become.

    If you can join a mother and toddler group I would definitely recommend that. All have baby bouncers or rockers so they can just be fascinated watching everything going on around them whilst you have a cuppa and a natter with other mum's so you can realise you are not alone with these daily struggles. I know it's not easy walking into a new group alone and feeling as you do, so maybe arrange to go with a friend the first time, even if they haven't got kids.

    You won't always feel this way. Just remember be kind to yourself and not to be hard on yourself just now as it's still early days. I definitely loved the toddler stage. If they could just pop out age 1 and up that would have been just perfect for me! Lol

    Hope this gives you hope.

    PS I wasn't brave enough to have my 2nd child til 7 years later. The third just sort of happened :-)

    x x

  • Hi tstewart,

    What a relief to hear you didn't enjoy the 'baby phase' with all three! I'm particularly worried about weaning as with the depression at the moment, I'm not even feeding myself properly :S

    I think I need to go to more groups - at least one or two more - as I tend to rely on meeting people for coffee and the reality is that sometimes, there's nobody free on a particular day so to have a group to go to instead would be helpful.

    Thanks for sharing and yes, it did give me hope :) xxx

  • Hang in there Peppermint Pig.

    It will get easier. I used to get annoyed with people who would say . . It gets harder as they get older. I used to think how can that possibly be so. They obviously meant well but had no idea!!

    Do set yourself the challenge of going to one or two groups as I'm sure it will set you up for the day. Meeting other mums and seeing that some of the struggles are just normal everyday struggles helps enormously. Also, as your lil one becomes more active its a great way to stimulate them whilst you're just having a coffee. Let us know how you are getting on as I would love to hear.

    Hope you and your family have had a nice Christmas amongst all the extra stressing it brings!

    All the best

    T x x

  • Hi peppermint

    I replied on the other 'parenting' thread so just copying it across:

    Thanks so much for sharing on here. I'm sorry you have these difficult feelings too. I wonder if there are some good days or whether it's always the same? Once i started journalling about it i found that not every day was bad.

    I'm curious about what you say about your husband. I wondered if maybe he seems more of a 'natural' because actually he's not with yiur daughter so much of the time so he doesn't get so tired. Being with children can be exhauting. I think the truth that noone ever talks about it is that it's not only fun and cute but also a hard slog which can be exhausting, boring and demoralising. Maybe full time childcare is more like a job than anything else. And even though i do it myself ALL the time, i dont think comparing myself to others is helpful - well, in my case it feels like an indirect way of beating myself up.

    In my experience it has got better with time, even though i have got some way to go. As my son learned to talk in sentences, our relationship has felt so much more real. That doesnt help ,uch at your daughter's age though, i wonder if yiu have any friends with babies who you can have playdates with? Or maybe get out to a sure start actibity?

    Im really happy to keep talkinkg about this on here. It's a subject close to my heart!

    Sending you love and hopes for an enjoyable first christmas holiday.


  • Hi Spaghetti,

    Thanks for copying this across as I hadn't seen it...

    You're right, some days are better than others. I think my husband is a natural - he's very tactile and hands on, like his own mum. I'm more like my Dad... interested in the emotional connection and looking forward to reading her stories!

    I do feel like I'm doing a job... like I'm babysitting her until he gets home :S

    I cannot WAIT until my daughter can talk, especially in sentences! I do have friends with babies my age but they are all chirpy and in love with their babies, so sometimes it can do more harm than good to spend time with them as I compare myself and feel like the odd one out. I've figured out that it does me good to spend time with mums with older children as it gives me a glimpse of what I have to look forward to. So I try to do that when I can...

    Thanks so much for your response xxx

  • Hi Peppermint_Pig, and welcome to the forum.

    I think by the sheer number of posts here it’s clear how much your experiences have resonated with others and hopefully this has been helpful for you. As others have said you are doing fantastically well to be 4 and a bit months on and even being able to have the confidence to log on and speak so clearly and honestly about how you are feeling. Try and not beat yourself up, you are still very much recovering and the depression can be as hard, if not harder, than the psychotic elements of this truly awful illness. But you can get through it, and I hope over time it will continue to get easier for you.

    I had PP in 2009 and it was a long road to feeling like I was a “proper” Mum who could enjoy things with her baby and family. I lived in a village and couldn’t drive so was fairly limited to going round the block and a weekly baby group. I also had a fantastic CPN who took me out for coffee and cake and spoke to me as a normal person, rather than someone who was recovering from a serious illness, which really helped my confidence (which had been totally shattered). I think having a huge lack of confidence in myself also made everything baby-related even harder. I remember being clueless at times as to what to do with my son. But over time I would try different things, I remember him really liking singing and clapping so we did that together, and then a little older he loved to “draw” (scribble!) and I still have the notebook that he did some wonderful colourful creations in. It’s daft, but the little things will start to become the memories that you really treasure, and it is so true that it changes and gets easier in some respects when they can interact more (although with a now 6 year old, I wish he couldn’t talk or answer back at times, the kid has an answer for everything!!)

    I also have a 2 year old (and didn’t get ill after that birth) and have found that even without the recovery from PP, small babies aren’t the easiest to look after, and acknowledging that you need to do things for yourself and not be totally consumed by them every second of the day, is actually absolutely fine. Like everything in life, I do honestly think it’s about getting a good balance and keeping a sense of perspective. As time goes on, you too will find your way through it and we’re all here to chat and share experiences as you go along. Take care, xx

  • Hiya Peppermint pig,

    I've just remembered that with my third baby I did a local baby massage class. Although this didn't help me build up any friendships with other mums (as the class I joined a lot of the mums knew each other and had their own clique) it did help me bond with my young son. It was a lovely hands on thing where I really felt I was benefiting my little boy in helping him relax and I could then use the techniques at home also.

    You mentioned that you aren't particularly tactile so maybe something like this could help where you could feel you were doing something practical and useful without being too over the top in being showy and emotional. (If that makes sense). Maybe ask your health visitor about some classes in your area or look some up on-line. Not sure how easy baby massage is when your little ones grow and get a bit active!

    Take Care

    T x x

  • Hi peppermint pig

    Reading this, I felt a lump in my throat. Such similar feelings and a similar timeframe.

    Firstly welcome, and I hope this forum helps, there is amazing support here.

    It sounds to me as if you are depressed (as was I) and I would urge you to get support. I too, would not enjoy time with my daughter, I was functioning, but felt flat, and I too was worried to leave her and gave a shower. It was also a lovely time.

    It shocked me when my mum highlighted to me that recovery can take about a year, so do not beat yourself up at all, it's very early days.

    One day, you will all of a sudden notice a difference, I noticed mine when I started to sing as I did the housework again, and when I enjoyed my daughter more.

    At times I feel guilty I felt that way, then quickly remind myself I was recovering, and not alone. I thoroughly enjoy time with my daughter now, probably even more so since I came through the other end, as will you.

    I wish you all the best xxxx

  • Thanks Strawberry55 - I love hearing 'happy endings' - the more I hear, the more encouraged I feel. Thanks for sharing xxx

  • When I first started to read your post, I thought to myself, how lucky I was never to have experienced that after my PP. Then I started to think back, and of course I had completely shared those sentiments. But 5 years has now passed and that time seems so foreign, that I have almost blocked out that stage! Because now I couldn’t love motherhood more- and would consider a 3rd!! After coming out of hospital, I felt like I had made a mistake having a baby. I just saw years ahead of endless monotony and nothingness, looking after this baby and how dull it would be and how my life was over. But it was definitely part of the depression I had after the mania/psychosis. Plus your life does change so hugely after no 1, but by no 2, you are much better at multi-tasking and everything doesn’t seem so overwhelming. And the baby stage is quite boring, but it just gets better.

    It’s horrible to feel that way but I promise it’s only temporary and it is in part chemical (when my son was originally born and I was manic, I was filled for love for him, and then by your stage I conversely felt nothing for him). It definitely passes, try to remember that.

  • Hi Joanna,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I was thrilled to hear how much things changed for you! Each time I hear something like this I feel even more encouraged and hopeful xxx

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