Young mother who’s lost herself
I love my daughter, I love my partner and I love the home and life we have created together, I just don’t feel like an individual anymore and it’s actually terrifying because I worked so hard to find myself after 15 years of depression, anxiety and trauma.
I can’t remember the last time I did something for myself and in the 2 years of being a mother I haven’t had time off to hang with friends or do something as simple as get a pedicure or a haircut.
I wake up at 5am when the other half goes to work, which wakes our daughter up (because he hates his job and ensures he tells me 35 times before he walks out the door) and so my day is full swing from that moment. Partner gets home at 3pm, I’m usually off to work at 3:30pm and don’t finish until anywhere from 9pm til midnight (depending on how busy we are as I’m a supervisor so need to count cash and balance registers)
I guess I’m just struggling in multiple ways and I really don’t want to spiral into a deep depression because it’s something I have struggled with for almost half my life. It’s also something that took me a long time to recover from and I don’t want to end up back there.
Firstly, welcome to the forums we are so glad that you found your way to this supportive and welcoming community. We hope that you find ideas, options and support from the shared experiences and knowledge of all our members.
We are so sorry to hear that you have been having such a hard time and feel like a ‘shell of a human’, as it sounds as though you have truly been trying your hardest to ‘push through’ a very stressful period and it is great you have reached out. As you stated in your post that you have suffered with depression in the past, can I ask do you have a G.P or psychiatrist that you are in contact with? If not your G.P is a great starting point to discuss the increased strain and pressure you have been feeling and the resulting feeling that you have ‘lost your individuality’, as they are an invaluable local resource for support and advice.
We completely understand the need to take some time for yourself as this is vital to a healthy state of wellbeing both mentally and physically. Have you tried to discuss the need for some recouperation and recovery time with your partner? Do you have any local supports that could help with your daughter and give both you and your partner a break from the current routine?
We have a few numbers and links that we have provided for you, we encourage you to contact and engage with any of these services that you may feel comfortable with. By contacting these services and speaking directly with a counsellor, it will allow you to provide more detailed information and receive advice that specific to your situation and current discission.
Please remember if you need more immediate contact or are ready to have a chat, you can use our Beyond Blue support service 24/7, either via phone 1300 22 4636 or web chat: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
The lovely supportive counsellors at Relationships Australia offer advice and support to anyone who is currently experiencing relationship strain and may be able to provide specific recommendations, or resources for your situation. You can contact them on 1300 364 277 or visit https://relationships.org.au/
We hope that you find the support and direction that you are seeking on the forums, this is a safe space to share and express your own feelings, struggles and experiences without judgement. Once again, we are so glad you have joined the forums and we hope that you feel welcomed into the community.
The stage of motherhood you’re in is really tough. Lots of highs and lows and very demanding. Hugs to you.
I can remember feeling the same way when my kids were pre-school. Loved them to pieces but struggled to keep a sense of self. Time was precious and there was never enough! Please know that you are not alone.
I can think of a couple of ways to buy you some “me time”. I don’t know enough about your situation to know if they will work for you but here goes …
Talk to your husband about the way he wakes the entire household at 5 am. There is no reason everyone has to get up and you can help safeguard your mental health by being well rested.
Network with another mum (or mums) to get some respite. Alternate watching the children so you both get a regular break. Or, organise to drop your daughter off with a family member on a regular basis.
If finances permit, you could also consider enrolling your daughter at a day care centre one day a week. I did this and it worked well—my child was well cared for, had fun with the other children and it saved my mental health.
Talk to your husband about scheduling a regular independent break for each of you on the weekends. For example, Saturday morning is your time. Saturday afternoon his time. Sunday is family day. Hopefully some kind of variation could work for you. Even if you could get an hour or two it could help.
Set a boundary and use nap time as “ me time”. The house work doesn’t matter—it will be okay. You can read, write, exercise, call a friend, do some mindfulness—whatever you want.
I wish you all the best. Hang in there.
Kind thoughts to you
Welcome to the forum.
As a dad of two boys a do understand your challenge. You are a great mother.
May I ask why you decide not to send your child to a child care centre? Mainly because of finance pressure, or COVID safety concerns? There're various options to explore, including smaller family day care services and larger kindergartens. Otherwise it's really hard to free your time and start to arrange something else for yourself.