Being confident as a mother after pos... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Being confident as a mother after post partum psychosis

Marshman profile image
5 Replies

My husband's brother and his wife are having a baby, baby is due in May. I don't feel jealousy as such. I would feel able to admit to feeling jealous on here because I know many members have been very open about the mixture of feelings they have in their recovery and further on in the future. I am rambling a bit trying to get to my point. Basically I feel people will see her experience of being a mother as more relevant than mine. I don't feel that I can talk to her about the baby because people will think well she was ill and she was sectioned before her baby was a week old so she didn't really look after her in the early days so she doesn't really understand. And I suppose what hurts is that she came and saw my baby and looked after her a bit while I was in a Psychiatric intensive care unit. I just feel really bitter and I feel like people think I am less of a person and less of a mother because I was ill. I also sometimes think people think it is somehow my fault or that it is further evidence that I am weird and extreme. I know that my husband's brother and sister in law don't really like me. I haven't booked the time off for their baby shower because I just don't want to go and have to hear the mother in law say what a fantastic mother she will be especially as she is a nursery nurse. The mother in law always goes on about how much experience she has with children. I suppose ultimately I would just like her to acknowledge me. Not in light of the new baby but just generally

5 Replies
Lilybeth profile image

Hello Marshman

It’s good that you are able to express how you really feel on here because, as you say, others here have been very open about the mixture of feelings they have. So it’s good to share our experiences in this safe space.

Rebuilding confidence after PP takes time. Also, as I might have written before, we had no choice when PP hit and it wasn’t our fault. You should be proud that you are a mum who has gone that extra mile for the love of her family. In no way are you less of a person or mother .... please have the confidence to know that against all odds you are recovering from such a traumatic illness.

I was also sectioned and spent time in a few psychiatric units. It took a while for me to find my place and rebuild my confidence.

Thinking about it, hopefully your mother in law will be right in her assumption that her daughter will be a fantastic mother .... which is what we all hoped for when our babies were born but fell under the control of PP instead.

We are all amazing mothers who endured so much. I think your mother in law should acknowledge you after going through so much for her precious grandchild. Be kind to yourself and take care 🌻

EmiMum profile image

Hi Marshman,

It hurts, I so empathise with you, I can relate very much to your experience. I am very close to my mother in law, but I do know certain conversations regarding mental health in the family are taboo. I once was talking to a relative of my husband's and she said to me, it is so good that you went to that unit where you learnt all about being a mother (referring to the mother and baby unit). It was unexpected and then I realised that was the way my hospital stay was explained to some members of the family. It hurted me a lot for a while. But I listened to my husband as he repeated to me, do you actually care about this person's opinion? Turns out I do not.

There are fantastic members of my husband's family with whom I can be honest and we share love and understanding, they are hugely supportive and they are the ones that understand the events as they panned out just after the birth of my daughter. There are others who I just smile politely to and try to stay out of their way.

When my sister in law was about to give birth to her son, me and my husband relieved quite a few moments of our story. So it is very wise of you to try and keep your polite distance.

I would like to end by saying you are such an amazing mum, no one can deny that and if someone else gets the rearing praise, well they really have no idea what it is to survive pp, come the other side of it and thrive. Sending you massive hugs, take really good care of yourself as this can be a triggering time for you. We are here to listen and support you

Edattani profile image

Hello Marshman,

I completely understand. I recovered from pp 2 years ago - my son is now 3 1/2. I have felt triggered when people close to me (family and friends) have babies. When it goes well for someone else, part of me is happy for them but then part of me thinks 'why was it so different for me'. Even when I know the reason was because I was just unlucky and got ill. I have found that keeping my distance from people for the first 3-4 months, as well as keeping my distance from friends who are pregnant, helps me not to become triggered. And then once they are out of that newborn phase I can then manage to see them more and enjoy seeing them and the baby. So make sure you go easy on yourself and if you need to keep a healthy distance from certain people at the moment that is completely fine. xxx

KatG profile image

Dear Marshman,

Your post really resonates with me, as I can see it has with others too. I have two sisters and they both have had kids after my PP - they seem to have taken motherhood in their stride, and I think because I was only able to have the one that sort of compounds feelings of failure that bubble up in me from time to time. My family are super supportive but I can tell they don’t really see me as particularly maternal. I just mention this so hopefully you can get the sense you are definitely not alone in these feelings.

I wonder if you’ve been able to access any counselling? It could be so helpful to chat this through with someone completely impartial and able to help you process some of this. Bitterness is a horrible feeling that can eat us up from the inside, so definitely worth trying to overcome.

All that said it sounds like you are doing brilliantly and should be so very proud of everything you’ve achieved - recovery from PP makes you a total wonder mum in my book! I wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy and am glad it’s so rare! Of course that makes it hard for others (eg family) to really understand what you’ve gone through and overcome but we here on the forum certainly know and we can only applaud you!

Take good care of yourself,

Kat x

Koala2021 profile image

Hello Marsham

I can relate to this in a similar way. After having my baby and experiencing Psychosis, when my close friends went on to have babies, they would ask each other in group chat settings for baby advice, but not me. I'd be left feeling like "Hello 👋 I had a baby as well" then I would start thinking they don't see me as having mother experience as I was sectioned and unwell and my knowledge isnt valuable. I totally agree with the feeling that you want to be seen and heard.

I'm sorry you're situation is making you feel this way. Have you spoken to your husband about how you feel? Relationships with in laws can be hard in general life so maybe being able to talk through your feelings of your sister in law not liking you may help.

Keep talking to us on here when you need a blow out as I totally understand how you feel and you're right its not jealousy it's wanting to be seen and heard as a mother without the reminder of PP.

Be kind to yourself 🌸

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