I was a successful, professional woman – a high achiever and perfectionist from way back. But as a new mum I was an exhausted, defeated shell.
I couldn’t stop my baby crying. I couldn’t get her to sleep. Her birth had been confidence-crushing and scary. And I was losing my grip on breastfeeding, despite all my research and preparation. I was a failure. And, worst of all, I was failing at something that was supposed to be beautiful, warm and fuzzy, the pinnacle of my life as a woman.
I believed everything that was going “wrong” was down to my own personal inadequacies. And I honestly believed my baby and husband would be better off without me. I cycled between that sort of hopeless thinking and a frantic search for solutions to my baby’s sleep and feeding problems. I read every book and article I could get my hands on, saw multiple “experts” and became even more exhausted and distanced from my baby. The one positive was that this anxiety-driven mode got me out of the house and in front of health professionals, who eventually managed to convince me to accept help, and that motherhood didn’t have to feel that way.