I had the most amazing day today. My cousin and her partner and sweet little baby are visiting from Switzerland. 
All our extended family met up at a local park and we spent hours chatting and hanging out. It was soooooo nice! 
While we were chatting we got onto the subject of post natal depression. As you know this is a topic very close to my heart. We talked about the fact that it is still a taboo subject. 
Depression is still seen by many as a weakness. As a cop out. As someone just ‘having a bad day’. However it is so much more than that. 
When we have our first baby we are told it is going to be amazing. We are told we should be blissfully happy. You are a mother! Look at your little baby! Be grateful! (Too many exclamation points, to emphasise the forced happiness we should feel). 
I can guarantee you that if you start talking with your friends who have had kids, that the majority did not feel this.  
I’ll bet they felt lost. They felt out of their depth. They felt like they were doing a shitty job. They felt like a fraud. They felt sad. They felt alone. Alone…
In our society, the village isn’t there. Many feel very alone. It can be very hard to find your tribe members. We are locked away in our suburban houses right next to each other, with no idea how your neighbours are doing. 
You’ll wave hello over the fence as you collect your mail with a fake smile plastered on your face. Then you walk inside, shut the door and dissolve into a flood of tears. 
PND is real. PND is scary. PND should be spoken about as much as other aspects of parenting such as breast vs bottle, sleeping, teething, solids. 
Being a mother is the hardest job you’ll ever do. It commands every part of your being and there’s no off switch. No clock off time. 
Reach out to your fellow women and ask them over for a coffee. Send a text message to a new mother (or any mother for that matter) and ask them how they’re going. It’s a rewarding yet tough gig. 
If your friend is a bit quiet lately, don’t take offence. It’s not about you. Take her flowers. A home cooked meal. It really is the little things that can warm someone else’s heart more than you can ever imagine. 
If you’re feeling like a shit mother who isn’t cut out for this job, reach out to a friend. Or family member. Or anyone you know loves you. That very person you call might be feeling exactly the same as you. 
After the phone call or textathon, I hope you’ll both end up feeling less alone. Less like a freak, less like a failure and more of a normal person who is feeling very normal feelings. 
If your down days outweigh the good days, please seek professional help. Here in Australia there are many avenues for you to travel. Your GP can put you in touch with a psychologist who may help. Anti depressants may be needed. Talking regularly with a close friend may be needed. Talking with a stranger may help more. (Gidget Foundation, panda.org.au, beyondblue.org.au). 
Everyone is different. Every situation is different. Birth trauma may be involved. Repressed childhood memories may rear their ugly heads once you give birth. 
It’s such a complex time and we need to look after eachother more than ever. We also need to look after ourselves. Love yourselves guys. ❤️