Mummy’s Depressed Darling


Depression is a change in perspective.

Nothing can be different in reality from this week to the next but the perception of that reality is completely altered. To bring this point home – I can actually take a photograph of myself and keep that photo on my phone. Nothing in that photo has changed, nothing has been edited. But I can look at that photo on a Monday and completely loathe what I see. I can look at the same photo, the exact same photo on a Tuesday and be so astounded at how attractive and slim I look I will post it to Facebook.

Nothing has changed – except on Monday I was depressed and on Tuesday the cloud had lifted. My perspective of my reality had changed.

Part of getting older is slowly learning to accept yourself.

I have depression and anxiety.

I have always had these things. While I used to be afraid of these aspects of myself – I am no longer scared. I am also honestly no longer ashamed of it. I have always ‘suffered’ from this and I say suffered because it really isn’t nice.

I used to blame teaching – I used to spend days asking ‘why?’ Why do I feel this way? My upbringing? My choice of career? Hormones? Something not quite right in my brain? The weather? Then at some point I stopped asking why and just accepted it. I accept these two things as a part of my personality.

A personality by the way that includes being extremely funny, creative, generous, impulsive, and a desperate need to be accepted and/or perfect.

When I have been depressed in the past I have looked around me to see what was causing it.

It must be the man I’m with – I’ll get rid.

It must be my hair colour – I’ll change it. I’ll change it and I’ll be cured.

It must be the job I’m in, my weight, my friends, my lack of success.

And I’ve learned it really isn’t anything external and there’s really not much I can do to change other than wait it out.

It was a surprise that pregnancy didn’t cure my depression and anxiety – it only heightened it. And it was a surprise that having children wasn’t a magical cure either. I don’t know why it should be a surprise – after all, I can’t escape myself can I?

Whether I’m single and free in Rome elbow deep in gnocchi and red wine, or I’m in my house for the seventh consecutive day cleaning and looking after two children not having time to shower or eat a decent meal – I’m still me.

And I have depression and anxiety.

On a bad day things can seem hopeless but after living with these aspects of my personality for thirty three years I am lucky enough to understand that this feeling, though entirely real to me, isn’t permanent and will eventually lift.

On a good day I am overjoyed with the beauty and luck of my life.

So children, mummy might be depressed but there’s nothing to worry about, she knows all about it, she’s been living with it for a very long time and

it’s got absolutely nothing to do with you.

It also means she’s adequately adept at understanding and helping you with any feelings you may have in the future.

If you’re the mummy who just like me last week is sat today crying in your pyjamas, unable to get dressed, the house going to pot around you, just getting through the day feeling utterly hopeless and like you’re failing – it’s really ok. I know how that feels. I know how it feels to feel completely exhausted, done, to feel like you can’t be mummy – that you don’t want to be mummy anymore.

Try not to trust your perspective of the situation right now and know that you won’t always feel like this. Tell someone, you’re not alone.



The mum I’ll never be and the wasp

mummy's writing darling

Yesterday I took my youngest son to the park. This for me is an achievement in itself. The fact that we were both washed, dressed and actually out of the house with the three dimensional people – I felt pretty pleased with myself. The sun was shining and I suspected it was the last day of sun in 2016 so I had no choice but to throw us both out of the door and face the world.

I wear gym gear now – everywhere. If you live in gym gear no one wonders why you’ve no make up on and your hair looks like shit – little mum tip for you there. We went to the park, did the swings routine and then went to the outdoor cafe for a snack.

The park cafe; That’s where I saw her. The mum I will never be. She looked groomed, calm and collected. The first thing that struck me was that after she put her young daughter into the highchair she took out a special top for her to wear (like a towel texture top with no back but long sleeves – like a very elaborate bib). THEN she took out a second bib. The plastic type that catches food in the bottom. She basically had two forms of defence for the daughter’s lunch. Already I was in awe.

THEN the food she had ordered appeared and the daughter had A SALAD and a sandwich. I saw the gorgeous girl feeding herself peppers, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, fist fulls of sweetcorn and bloody carrot. I think my jaw was hanging open at this point.

Meanwhile over at team Siviter we had a chubby lad straddling a highchair with no bib at all. Not one. He was stuffing a grated cheese sandwich into his face with both fists in between eating ready salted Walkers crisps (wonderfully nutritious for a one year old). Grated cheese was in his ears, in his hair. There were crisps strewn around the floor area where he sat. I looked at him to her, then from me to the mum.

I will never ever be that mum. That mum who just looked like she was winning at mothering. Like she was born to be a mum. Her long curly hair flowing in the wind. Her massive breast feeding breasts swaying there, unsupported, her clean child sitting in the sun with a cute bonnet on eating God damn vine tomatoes.

I will never ever be that mum. I felt a bit sorry for my children in that moment. Sitting in the shade of the perfect mummy near me knowing that I certainly was not made to be a mum. That I just about get through each day and that’s all I can manage. A trip to the park and a cheese sandwich probably being the highlight of my poor sod’s week.

Then a wasp appeared. It swarmed around my baby a few times and I hoped it would leave as I’m absolutely terrified of them. I watched it intently and it landed on my boy’s face right next to his ear – I knew it was a matter of seconds before he reached for it to see what was on his face and he might get stung. I leapt up from my seat and swatted that bastard wasp away with one aggressive swipe with my bare mother fucking hand.

Which is when it struck me that we are all different in how we parent – how we get through this thing we call ‘mothering’. We might be born to do it and we might just be getting through each day as well as we can but one thing is for sure – however we parent – we would all swat away a twat wasp with our bare hand to protect our babies.

And respect to that mum. I’ll never be you but you are killing it; This mothering thing.

We then had to leave because I am pretty sure she thought I jumped up and slapped my child’s face for no reason.