For me, becoming a mother has been the toughest challenge. And that is up there with completing a level eight college degree, learning to drive at 45, moving overseas and back, living with a parent who has Alzheimers and parenting alone.
I have always felt that support is key in helping people through tough times. Our mental health is the strongest part of our bodies and needs to be nurtured all the time. If you are not well mentally, coping skills are not there.
The word “Psyche” is Greek for butterfly and it also means the soul. Some of us mothers, parents and carers learn to fly straight away and adapt beautifully to parenthood and there’s some of us who need a few practice runs to get it right. Support from family, friends, local parent groups and perhaps your GP is essential if you have no partner to share the load.
When I had my twins at the ripe old age of 42, I was in shock first, then realisation set in that I would be parenting alone as I knew my relationship with their father was not going to last. This unfortunately was the way it went for me. I found it difficult to cope alone and went through the days in a blur. Every day was just like the one before. Until I needed external support which I got through my local GP. I was embarrassed to ask for help but knew I had to for my family’s sake.
It was the best thing I ever did. I picked myself back up slowly and got through each Groundhog Day without feeling hopeless. The children continued through each phase of growing up and it did get easier when they could understand and listen to me.
When they began creche, I approached the manager to see about starting a support group for mothers. They had been thinking about the same idea. I met a very good friend and fellow mother who was looking for the same support I was and we helped each other along. The group was so hard to get going as local people didn’t want to engage. We organised a few events for the local parents and carers which went great but they just didn’t want to participate in our meetings. Unfortunately, through lack of funding and local support It didn’t last. I really believe these types of support groups in local areas are so important. We as parents, need them.
I hope young and older mothers come around to talking more about everyday life with bringing up children and the highs and lows of it. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Let’s hope our future “butterflies” have everything they need to cope with being a mum.
Some helpful links