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Not a mum, but would like some advice from some!(6 Posts)
I'm 27 have a great job but i'm single and have been for a while. There is nothing I would like more than in the future to meet someone and become a mother however.... I have a history of anxiety and depression.
My question is, would I be capable of being a mum? I have been raised in a loving family and have many good friends but I get exhausted even after a hard days work sometimes... and struggle if I don't get my full 8 hours sleep. How on earth would I be able to cope with a child?
It's an issue that has been playing on my mind for some time, and I often think what if I brought a child into this world and couldn't cope?
I had a history of depression before I had my first child and I did suffer badly from both antenatal and postnatal depression. I found that, once this had been identified, support was very quickly forthcoming and my GP, health visitor and local PCT mother & baby team worked together to pull me through. With my second baby I didn't have any problems at all.
I have a history of depression, and I know it's a cliché, but being a mother has changed me. I have to live more in the here and now, just to get everything done. I also have a reason for living. There is no option to lie in on a Saturday morning and just despair.
I used to need 9 hours on average a night, now I'm good with 6. The good news is that usually you don't have a child on your own, you normally have a partner who can help you cope. I genuinely don't know how single mothers do it.
In my case the health workers were rubbish, and the doctors prescribed my medication which wasn't suitable for breastfeeding mothers (without checking to see if I was breastfeeding) so care is patchy, but if you are aware of your issues going in, I think you are in a stronger position than someone who has no history of mental health problems who first encounters them as post natal depression.
Depression doesn't preclude you from being an excellent mum! The fact you are already taking care over your decisions re any future children demonstrates that you would take the responsibility very seriously.
Two practical things - try to be sure you are in the right circumstances - there is never a perfect time, but a planned baby born into a loving stable relationship with solvent parents is a heck of a lot easier to cope with (hats off to those parents doing it alone/struggling to make ends meet - you have my sincere respect and admiration)
And keep in touch with a GP you trust, seek support early if you have any concerns about your mental health ante- or oostnatally, and encourage family/friends/HVs etc to watch out for you and encourage you to get help if they have any worries.
A close friend has a history of major depression and vowed he wouldn't have children as he was convinced would be a useless dad. Fast forward a few years, the depression has left it's mark because of the difficult years it created, but is much less of an issue now, and he found himself with a DP who came as a package with her son, biological father overseas and not hugely helpful. Said relative has turned out to be an excellent father to that boy, and with the confidence of realising he is actually pretty good at this stuff, and he and his DP have now have another lovely son.
Depression need not be a barrier in itself, the problems arise when people deny the possibility of a problem and aren't empowered to get help when they need it.
Get out there and find yourself a lovely man if/when you're ready for a relationship! At 28, you've time for all this to fall into place with no pressures about you biological clock and fertility. Enjoy the dating phase!
Hi Mums! Thank you so much for your advice and kind words. It has definitely put me in the right frame of mind that I could some day be a mum, and possibly a great one at that!
Cheerymum - many thanks for your advice, I would love to meet a man soon and settle down. Most of my issues from depression stem from heartbreak/singledom and most recently.. 'the one' from a year and a half ago who chose someone else. I'm still working on getting over that one... but when I do, I hope to meet a man who will love me for me and build a life together.
Good for you OP. I met the man I am now happily married to about 18 months after being "overlooked" my the man I mistakenly thought could be "the one" - lucky escape with hindsight. Good luck x
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