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Now I'm a mum I feel lost

(13 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

notsurewhoiam Fri 16-Feb-18 20:37:23

I'm 9 months into motherhood and as time goes on I'm realising more and more that I'm not sure who I am anymore.

I was really unwell during pregnancy and put on a fair bit of weight. After a traumatic birth and months of therapy I'm in a better place regarding what happened but this new version of me is so far from the old version that I just feel lost. I know I could lose the weight I've put on if I put my mind to it but I'm scared that it will just lead to more issues as I know my body won't ever go back to how it once was.

I've lost so much confidence that I don't really go out to baby groups or classes and won't go out without my baby.

I hate photos of myself now and as a result there are hardly any of me with my baby which just makes me so sad.

I know I'm a mum and a wife but I'm not me anymore.

I hope this makes sense to someone out there.

Did anyone out there go through similar? How did you find yourself again?


BiscayTrafalgarFitzroy Fri 16-Feb-18 22:17:55

@notsurewhoiam Sorry - I don't have any advice but just wanted to say if you posted this in relationships or parenting a few more people might see it and be able to offer advice.

Hope you feel better soon flowers

Beetlebum1981 Fri 16-Feb-18 22:27:10

Yes! And currently about to do it again with DC 2! The biggest thing for regaining my identity was going back to work. I took a year with DD but went stir crazy so am just taking 9 months this time.

Have you got friends you can meet for drinks even if it's just once in a blue moon? We have a group of us that meet up every couple of months but it's just nice having that release. I also get DH to have daddy-daughter time at weekends so so I get s bit of space - even if it's just catching up on jobs without being tailed by a 2 year old!

It does get easier as time goes on.

crustyface Fri 16-Feb-18 22:36:09

Hi there notsure I think I felt similar to you... is a while ago now (DC are 6 and 9) but I do remember feeling stressed at motherhood and not feeling quite myself. I also put on a lot of weight during pregnancy- about three stone - but oddly enough this didn’t bother me at all. I just ate a lot while pregnant- simples! I do want to reassure that there is no reason for your body to go back to the way it was. I did no exercise and ate a lot of cake so for me it took a couple of years but I honestly wouldn’t worry about your physical changes. Try and relax and reassure yourself that your body is your own again now (unless you’re still feeding) and it will gradually become the body you recognise from before pregnancy.

Are you happy deep down? That’s what I’m more concerned about for you. I’d massively encourage you to find a couple of classes a week you can go to with your baby. If you aren’t feeling all that confident classes are better than playgroups because there’s no mingling needed! Swimming maybe or rhythm time. You get to go out, be with other people and their babies but there’s no need to chat if you don’t want to.

And you are still a new parent at nine months. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

crustyface Fri 16-Feb-18 22:37:54

Jeeeezzzz - I meant there’s no reason your body WON’T return to the way it was before pregnancy! Sorry!

Mybabystolemysanity Fri 16-Feb-18 22:54:45

I could have written your post word for word at nine months. That was when I hit real rock bottom and had to go and ask for help from the health visitor and mental health team.

I'm still waiting to get onto anti depressants (pregnant again - too soon and had an awful hard time getting my head around it). My DD was crap company at that age. Really bad. Could it be that you're finding it very hard work and lonely? I haven't done mother and baby groups because I can't face it and can't get out the house for 9.30am.

You ask how do you find yourself again? I genuinely don't know if you do. I'm in a better place now than I was six months ago, possibly because I'm maturing into my new identity as 'Mum'. I think I'm slowly accepting the transition from my old life and settling into the new one. DD is now walking and eating finger food by herself and is sleeping through the night. Her being more mobile, less frustrated and less tired helps, I think and I'm a starting to see the funny side of things like poo accidents (naked under a blanket in the car seat at Tesco yesterday). At nine months that would have finished me off. I also don't put pressure on myself now to take her to things neither of us enjoy (like swimming).

I think what I am attempting to say is that maybe it just takes time to get into your groove? I think there's a lot of pressure to look amazing, enjoy every shitty nappy and marvel at every new development and actually, it's not quite like that in reality. It's incredibly hard work, destructive to your physical and mental health and it can be unspeakably lonely, even in a loving and supportive marriage.

You're not 'just' a wife and a mum. You've grown a baby, endured and recovered from a birth, cared for, cleaned and cuddled your child every day and every night and managed not to get divorced in the process. That's a massive achievement and maybe it's ok to give yourself the recognition for it and consequentially give yourself a break from disliking your body and being anxious for your identity?

One day at a time. Every day you spend worrying is a day you don't get back, IYSWIM.

I'll shut up nowgrin

phoenix1973 Fri 16-Feb-18 23:04:06

I felt pretty much the same OP. That's why i stuck with one.
The loneliness, the body shock, all relationship changes, your entire life is shifted like an earthquake. I still see the old me on the hospital bed and know I'll never be her again. BUT I've made my peace.
I felt better once she started nursery then again school. I also started working around this time. It gave me a bit of me back. The job was so shite that i was on ad's for 2 years but i stuck it out for nearly 4 years.
I feel for you, i remember those days too well. My Dd is 11 going on 15....but strangely enough, because i don't feel needed i sometimes imagine having another baby and my poor cat is getting affection overload 😂😂

surlycurly Fri 16-Feb-18 23:21:36

I could have written this post at your stage too; I felt so lost and alone. I did find having baby number two helped to be honest, as I liked him more and enjoyed being more relaxed. I also didn't lose any weight (I put on 5 1/2 stone the first time because I was a greedy bitch) until after baby number 2. Now I have a body with more scars and lumps and bumps but I also have more confidence in my ability to survive. Don't feel guilty for being bored. Or being disappointed that the life you now have feels small. But don't try and fight it all the time either- the life you have now won't last for long, and before you know where you are your baby will be big!

Celledora Fri 16-Feb-18 23:27:35

I absolutely understand. I'm 2 years in and only see now that I was probably more deeply depressed than I realised for the first year. The HV at weigh-ins spotted that I was a kind of functioning mess. She referred me to Mums Aid which like you, helped me start dealing with birth trauma which on top of IVF, had left me feeling like a shell of a person by the time DS arrived. The safe space to talk about it was really useful but I still struggled to find 'who/how to be' in everyday life. The HV kept recommending groups but I could never bring myself to go. Others seemed to know each other/be more confident/awake at groups and I struggled not to cry constantly. The first year is 'supposed' to be so precious but I found it long and bewildering. Looking back, sleep deprivation was probably the main culprit as well as a long-lasting shock and the sudden difference between my/DPs lives and therefore relationship. Things change. Life is so much better now. I stopped breast feeding at 8 months so I could begin taking anti-depressants and I was lucky enough to have my mum offer to visit from across the country for a week on and off over a couple of months, to help me get some sleep (partner only around on Sundays). My former job had been fixed term so I had no work to go back to and the only friends I had here (London) were child-free/expected me to be insanely happy. I eventually began talking to one person at a time, at classes (like @Crusty said, much easier to navigate than groups) and found a few other women who were in the same boat/have become people I look forward to seeing. I didn't plan any of that but it sort of happened thanks to other peoples encouragement. What support do you have? Please be gentle with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you x

disneydatknee Fri 16-Feb-18 23:54:48

I felt exactly the same. I lost my baby weight and still didn't look the same. It took a lot of getting used to. But your body is amazing. It grew a child. It happens to everyone. Even the photoshopped celebs! Being a new mum is very lonely. Make an effort to go to baby groups. They may seem clicky at first but stick with it. It takes a while to make friends. Even if it's just to get you out of the house for a bit, give it a go. I found the early days really mundane. Same shit different day kind of thing. Set yourself a goal every day. Something small. I will achieve x y z. It will make you feel a bit more proactive. No really useful advice other than you aren't alone. Everything you are thinking and feeling is totally normal.

notsurewhoiam Sat 17-Feb-18 07:17:58

Thanks for all your responses! It's reassuring to hear I'm not alone in feeling like this although also sad and shocking that this is the case for so many!

@Beetlebum1981 none of my local friends have children so it's a bit tricky finding a time to meet up that suits everyone. My mum friends all live far away and we only really meet up with the kids. Going back to work isn't really an option at the moment as childcare is so expensive.

@crustyface sadly I know my body will not go back. I have already lost a bit of weight and can already see that I have a lot of excess skin that's not going to go anywhere.

@Mybabystolemysanity I can't put it down to being lonely or finding it hard work. I'm very lucky. Baby sleeps well, eats well and is generally a happy baby. Life is so different to how it was before I had before baby and that alongside having this new body it's just hard I guess.

@phoenix1973 @surlycurly and @disneydatknee It's reassuring to know there is a life beyond feeling like this.

@Celledora I'm really lucky as DH is supportive and great with baby and my family are all really local so I shouldn't complain as I have so much support.


notsurewhoiam Wed 21-Feb-18 13:53:27

I've just been sent photos from a family event at the weekend. I look horrendous. I look pale, exhausted, huge, just generally a mess. I seem to have forgotten how to do my hair and make up and clothes just don't look right anymore.

I genuinely didn't recognise myself in the photos.

Is this what life is going to be like now?

LornaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Feb-18 15:10:44

We're moving this over to parenting at the OP's request.

flowers for you, OP. We hope you feel better soon.

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