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Feeling very down on first week of mat leave?(11 Posts)
I am struggling a bit. This is my first week on maternity leave (37 weeks) and although I'm enjoying it I have struggled to get anything done or find enthusiasm to do it.
I have lovely NCT friends and have family not too far a drive away but yesterday I just felt incredibly low and then had a long cry on my DH when he got in. I think finishing work has made me feel identity-less in some way. I worry I'm going to be terrible at being a mum as I have no current drive to do anything useful but sit still and watch tv.
Has anyone gone through anything like this before at this stage in a pregnancy? I understand I have a lot of hormones buzzing around but this is just a bleak feeling-I have had depression before and I'm not going to go and hurt myself...I just feel very sad and useless.
I am doing things so it's not a matter of getting out more. It's just there with me.
CL1982...I am 33+2 weeks and a sahm prior to this anyway.
I understand the feeling useless bit/lack of enthusiasm for things- my youngest dc (4 and at pre-school) is definitely being short changed which only adds to my sense of guilt that I am not my usual run around mummy, taking her here there and everywhere and she is currently having far more screen time that I would like.
I too have experienced depression and unfortunately, I experienced post natal depression following both of my pregnancies (this doesn't mean it will happen to you but just be aware). Guilt always seems to sit nicely alongside being a mother, most women probably feel this at some point or other and there is no such thing as a perfect mother...I suppose we all do the best we can...it is obvious that you care by the very fact that you are worrying about this now x
Late pregnancy is tough going for a lot of women (including myself), so try not to be too hard on yourself, go with the flow for the time being if you can (or as much as possible) x
You’re not alone - This was me when I went on mat leave last October!
I worked til 35 weeks (which was bloody hard work - I’m a hca in a busy hospital ward) and couldn’t wait to finish and rest, but after that first week I felt so depressed! I agree I think it’s like you feel as though you don’t really know where you fit in anymore, and that the world is going on without you. Not busy with baby yet but too pregnant to do ‘normal’ things!
It sounds silly, but do try to enjoy it! It’s totally normal to be too exhausted to do anything but watch tv, I did exactly the same in those last few weeks! If you feel up to it, do it. If not, put those feet up and don’t you dare feel guilty for it!
Get into a new box set or maybe sit and organise baby’s clothes? Just little things to keep you busy, that’s what helped me. Hope you’re feeling better soon
Be kind to yourself. Life is changing from your norm. I think it’s fine to experience a sort of grief for your previous life. It will change when baby arrives — you will find purpose again. You won’t be terrible at bein a Mum. Acknowledge the grief, process it and then try to change your mindset.
While you wait, take the time to do what you want. Instead of feeling guilty for sleeping, embrace it and have a nap everyday, with no guilt. Go to the cinema at 10am in the morning, and watch whatever you want. Binge watch your favourite tv shows. Lie on the sofa for most of the day. Have a bath at lunchtime. You may have a while to go if you go post 40 weeks.
I remember feeling low at 38 weeks when baby hadn’t arrived. After a reality check from my Mum, I changed the mindset. I made it all about me in the last few weeks and, glad I did because I ended up popping closer to 42 weeks.
For the meantime, be kind to yourself. Eat. Nest. Sleep. Read. Watch anything you want. And enjoy it.
It's a really hard transition to switch gears and I think it's especially tough if you've not done it before. I only had about 4 days off with my first and I spent nearly all of that frantically doing all the things that still needing doing (and then she was born at 37+5). So I hardly had much time to think about it. But I did have one day when I cried hysterically about how I didn't deserve a baby and was going to be an awful mum! It was just hormones and feeling a bit unmoored.
I'm on week 3 now of mat leave with my 2nd (and still waiting!). It is really hard at first. It's a massive transition. I had so many plans for all the things I would get done this time. Lots of walks, swimming, tidying the house, books I was going to read, etc. Plus I still technically have work I need to finish that I never finished before I went off on mat leave. I found it really hard to get motivated. I did do a lot of cleaning and tidying of the house (I'm having my 2nd home birth, so I know the house needs to be in good order for the birth and the early days). But a lot of the other stuff, I just couldn't quite bring myself to do. I just felt tired and sore and unmotivated. Not to mention honestly I really didn't want to go out loads in case I got sick with flu or there's also lots of winter vomiting bug here at the moment. It's just a tricky time. What you are feeling is not unusual. It's very normal. Just do what feels right, try to plan in a few things to do each week, make yourself a to do list of things you need to get done before baby and work through that when you feel up for it. More than likely you'll feel better in a week or two. I couldn't do anything to start, but then I got bored enough that I started to do the things I'd planned to keep my mind busy.
This is totally normal, I felt exactly the same. People kept telling me to go to the cinema or museums but I didn't want to go out at all. Binge watching tv is not a bad thing now, get as much rest as you can (I understand sleep is difficult but try to nap during the day) and do try to get out in sunlight, or at the very least have curtains open and let daylight in. Vitamin D will help.
Good luck for the birth and congratulations
Feet up, books, tv, if you get the nesting itch then fine to clean etc. Come back in three months and tell us how much you wish you had appreciated this time
I think I also had whatever is the opposite to nesting, I didn’t have any drive to do anything a few weeks pre-baby - perhaps it’s natures way of making you take it easy?
I am sure you will be a wonderful mum, enjoy these few weeks to catch your breathe and unwind.
I remember feeling a bit like this with my first. I kept emailing people at work in case they needed me. I got over it after about a week and settled into a new routine.
I ended up cooking quite a lot and tidying/sorting but mostly watching TV. Once I was overdue I was pretty much just watching TV and doing stuff on my laptop like meal planning and organising Christmas. It doesn't feel like it at the time but you just have to do things for you. Rest as much as you can. If you plan on breastfeeding you could read up on some of the trials and tribulations (like tongue tie). This is basically what I wish I had done because I felt thrust into it. I felt like I had to fix everything now and had no time to do it and desperately wished I'd found the answers to my questions before I'd given birth (except I didn't know what my questions were then!) - it's basically an impossible task!
Thanks everyone. We have an IPPS service here so may give them a call. It felt very like a bout of depression I had 7 years ago which made the alarm bells ring. I think you're all right-just don't expect too much of yourself. It is hard though. My DH is being incredible but he's having to work very hard at it bless him!!
No shame in talking to someone just to touch base and get some support. It's the start of a massive life change and it sounds like you've got your head screwed on in terms of your mental health. I would definitely recommend reading up on post natal depression, especially if you've suffered from depression in the past. It's quite difficult to spot because baby blues and sleep deprivation coupled with recovering from the birth can be quite rough. Forewarned is forearmed.
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