The thoughts undermined my confidence, my positivity, my hope:
- I shouldn't have thought/eaten/drank/worked so hard/flown/exercised/waited so long/done...
- I don't deserve to be a mother
- I shouldn't have invested so much time in work/travel/that relationship
- I should have married that wrong-for-me boyfriend when I was younger. We'd be divorced now, but at least we could have had a family before it was too late
- I must have done something wrong... to displease the universe/in a past life
- Babies don't want me to be their mother
- I'm being punished for... any number of things I feel guilty about
- Maybe I'm just not the mothering type...
- If only I had/hadn't...
I have always held a job with a lot of mental stimulation, responsibility, long hours and stressful deadlines. Looking after and breastfeeding a baby is probably the most physically demanding and socially isolated work I've ever done. It is non-stop though doesn't keep my mind particularly occupied.
I know I am lucky to have a baby, and such a contented one. After five months of interrupted sleep and a few hard weeks with Pickle feeling her teeth coming through, I am tired and find my mind churning:
- I'm no good at this, it comes to real mothers naturally
- No wonder it was so hard to get pregnant, I'm not cut out to be a mother
- I love my baby but I'm not all in love and mushy like, the other mothers. Maybe there is something wrong with me
- A real mother would...
I recognise these thoughts as products of my tiredness but they feel so very familiar.
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