Mummy Madness by Rebecca Sutcliffe-Major

Hello and Welcome to Sweeney’s Blogs!

Today’s blog is a guest blog written by one of our readers, Rebecca Sutcliffe-Major! The blog is about how being a mother can be a very hard job and to never give up. You may make mistakes from time to time but it is all a learning process. Remember the job you are doing, the value it brings to the world and try not to beat yourself up if things seem to go wrong. Hope you enjoy the blog!

One thing that all mums have in common and most don’t even know it. We all at some point are adamant we are ‘mumming’ wrong. I worked full time in management to help support my family while trying to further my education to better our future. The response I got from others “don’t you miss your kids?”, “shouldn’t you be spending more time with your family?”. Then when I gave up working so I could concentrate on my children and my education I had comments such as “don’t you think you should work to help out your husband?”, “Are you setting the right example for your kids by not working?”. All the while inside my head I’m screaming “ARE YOU SERIOUS!”.

woman biting pencil while sitting on chair in front of computer during daytime

On the outside, I look like I have it all together, on the inside I am full of self-doubt and anxiety. When I worked, I was in smart clothes, makeup done, hair done, nails done but I worried about my kids missing me. Now I’m out of work, I look neglected and I’m worrying that I am not occupying the kids time in the right way like they had a nursery. There is no end!

I was adamant that once I finished work, I would have an amazing routine and do crafts with them, make home-cooked meals and basically be an amazing mum. Oh boy, was I wrong!!

After the first week at home, I was so very tired. ‘Mumming’ full time is hard work. Running after a 1 year old and school runs really take it out of you. Even the little things were hard.

Something as simple as putting down the baby for a nap, then I can shower or clean or do the washing. NO! Baby decided that napping was beneath her and spend 30 minutes singing and shouting before I gave up and brought her back downstairs. But it’s ok… I spent that 30 minutes cleaning the living room, I was productive!

The baby was then in the living room eating a banana while watching tv, coolies… I’ll clean the kitchen. NO! Baby decided that playing on her own while watching tv was not acceptable. I walked into my living room and it was trashed. The one-year-old hooligan had thrown toys, cushions, banana peel everywhere. Clearly, she’s not to be left alone.

brown leather sofa and two pink sofa chair

Next thought…. Why don’t you help mummy!!! NO! She proceeded to pull things out of the washer before I could fill it and set it going. Then she got distracted …. I managed to put the washer on, turned around…… oh hell, the baby is playing with the cat bowls ….. biscuits and water all over my kitchen.

Bath time …. Ended with both me and my bathroom soaked. We were now late for the school run. I turn up at school soaked and looking like id been dragged through a hedge backwards. Get the kids home my eldest says “mummy why is it so messy?” REALLY KID!!

I managed to get them to play nicely together while I tried to tidy around them, then moved into the kitchen to sort out the washing (which as it turned out I set off gong without putting in any washing powder or fabric softener). Back to the living room……trashed. My husband comes home ….. “what happened here?” I’m stood there, baby in one arm and wet unwashed washing in the other, surrounded by toys. It actually looked like I had done nothing all day.

I felt like such a failure. I can run a business, manage staff, deal with customers, do the rotas, create strategic plans. But I couldn’t keep my cool with the kids, I couldn’t keep my house in check, I couldn’t have tea ready for when my husband got home. I was in jeans and a hoodie all day, no make-up, hair a mess. I looked nothing like I was used to.  All these goals that I was adamant I could do, turns out I couldn’t. I thought when I gave up work I would have less stress which would lower my anxiety and make me a happier person to be around. This went on for weeks. I made myself feel worse with all the bad thoughts. My depression spiralled downwards; I could feel myself loosing. I went back to the doctors thinking I was getting too bad and I cried a lot.

Then it occurred to me, who cares. My children are happy, fed and well looked after. Who cares if my house is a mess, who cares if I am a mess, who cares if my husband has the opinion that I am slowly going insane after watch re-runs of Pepper Pig all day! The only person who actually cared about it was me. My husband and my kids want me healthy and happy, that’s it!

Once I stopped putting all the extra pressure on myself, I got into a rhythm. School run, nap, clean, lunch, play, school run, tea. Don’t get me wrong, it is not easy and most days the cleaning won’t get done until the kids are in bed. My house is nowhere up to the standards that it used to be and I still don’t always have time to sort myself out.

Without putting standards on myself I started to feel better. I was smiling more and laughing more. I’m still struggling with inner demons and I will be for a while. There is no quick fix and some days the only thing that gets me through the day is a cheeky smile from a one-year-old hooligan.

The NHS states that 1 in 10 people have clinical depression[1]. In 2018 Forth conducted a survey which stated that 42% of women admitted that they were ‘too stressed’[2].

The message I want to get out there is ‘mumming’ is hard, you are not overreacting, you are not worthless, and you may have days when you feel like a failure but it’s ok. We are all feeling that way. You are not alone. You may make some mistakes but it is all part of the process. Remember we can only learn from a mistake if we actually make it in the first place.

[1] NHS, Clinical depression <https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/&gt;

[2] Forth. Great Britain and Stress – How bad is it and why is it happening?<https://www.forthwithlife.co.uk/blog/great-britain-and-stress/&gt;

Thanks for reading! What do you all think? Would you like to see some more blogs by Rebecca? Let me know your answers to the above questions and any other questions or queries you have either in the comments below or via our Facebook page!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!

Sweeney’s Blogs

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James

 

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