I have come to realise that my mental health is definitely linked to two different factors – my home and my body size. By my home I mean the mess and disorganisation. These bother me hugely these days.
I was in a friends house last weekend and her house is beautiful, fully finished and fully organised and spotless, and that spurred me to get a move on with more organisation in my house. I also started looking at bits and pieces of finishing touches for some of the rooms, and putting plans into place, so I’m hoping that will all help with the house.
But we also got to talking, and I was saying I was a bit “not myself” at the moment, and that I know its because I’ve put on a bit of weight around my tummy since Christmas. She thought it was interesting that it bothered me so much, because she was saying that when she was at her skinniest for her friends weddings, it make no difference to her feelings or happiness than when she was at her heaviest. Whereas I notice my weight/size at every part of my day, and it affects me.
It really got me thinking how different we all are, and how different things affect us differently. It shows that we need to look at what is important to us, and what affects us and then try to make our lives fit in accordingly. Not to think that what makes one person happy will work for us.
I think this is also important for new mums and people around new mums to understand. I have a lot of new mums around me at the moment so it is in my head. Even last week I was at playgroup and talking to two mums, one with a newborn and the other has older children, including a teenager. This experienced mum was saying to the new mum that this time with a newborn is the best time of your life and to enjoy it, but I was getting the feeling that the new mum was actually started to get a bit antsy and maybe a bit bored because she’d mentioned thinking about starting doing a bit of work again soon. The other mum was saying not to even think about it and just enjoy this time with the baby.
While I agree personally myself that you should sit under the baby and enjoy every moment, I also understand the mundanity and boredom that comes with a newborn when you only have one child (it all changes when you’ve older children, and you’d love to be just able to concentrate on the newborn!). I myself was back working for our family business when my first baby was a few weeks old. I regretted it afterwards but at the time it didn’t phase me.
I think one mum pushing the other mum to just enjoy the baby, if that mum isn’t enjoying all the time with the baby, can make her think that there is something wrong with her feelings and with her. I think we all need to make sure if we’re giving advice to a new mum, or anyone really, that you allow that person to know that it is just your opinion and they could find something else works for them. And in general, just to remember we are all different and what works and affects one person might not another.