Continuing the conversation for Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, we have the wonderful Jacqueline from @our_bravehearts
Jacqueline is a fantastic advocate for giving moms a voice and works with moms to help them find themselves again…..
I used to look for you everywhere I went.
I’d go to coffee shops with my babies and search the faces of the other mums to see if I could recognise myself in you. To see if I could find someone like me, someone who felt lost, someone who felt that I had been sold a lie.
I looked for you when I was at the soft-play with my babies but all I saw were mums who seemed happy, who seemed like they had their shit together. Mums who sat in small groups, laughing and talking so animatedly, they looked like I had hoped I would feel.
Occasionally I would catch a glimpse of you and when this happened I would reassure myself that I wasn’t alone.
According to a recent study (Aug – Sept 2018) of mothers living in Ireland done by everymum.ie, 73% of mums feel overwhelmed by motherhood and 62% feel lonely.
This same study tells us that ‘OVER HALF of new mothers indicated the transition to motherhood was either overwhelming, exhausting or emotionally challenging’.
These are BIG numbers. Yet, WHERE are the mamas who feel this way? I looked so hard for you when I needed you the most but I never found you.
Now I speak to you every day. Now I read the comments, the emails and the messages you send me every day.
I have found you.
Now I see you so clearly and I know that you see me.We were both here all the time but neither one of us wanted to be the first to take our mask off.
Just like I did, you stay quiet and hope your mask stays firmly in place. You hide.
I can tell you that this won’t work, you will wait a long time to be seen and your mask will slowly suffocate you.
It’s time for you to talk. It’s time for you to loosen the mask and acknowledge how you feel because only then will you be able to take part in the conversation that is *essential* if we are if we are to change the discourse around motherhood.
We NEED you. We need YOUR voice to add strength to our voices.
Let’s take our masks off.Let me see you.