I’m writing this because I want to say: I see you out there. I know what you’re going through and I know what it’s like. I know you’re not acknowledged enough for not just creating this life, but for nurturing it too. It’s a lot of work. And I know that it sometimes feels like nobody understands the lengths you go to.
I feel like when it comes to mothers and their mental health and wellbeing, a lot of people assume that once you’re through the postnatal stage, and you’ve adjusted to this new life with your baby, that it just goes away. Like it’s all happy families, forever. And as my daughter turns three this month, I can tell you from experience: it’s not as simple as that!
I love my kids and my family more than anything in this world, and I know you do too. But that doesn’t mean motherhood is just a walk in the park – we’re constantly adjusting to this new life with our babies. We’re everything to everyone, all the time, and sometimes it can feel like we’re pouring from an empty cup.
I know that a lot of mothers have a hard time explaining, or even feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed by their children or their new life as a parent. For me personally, nothing prepared me for how tough it is to be a mum. It’s tougher than any training I’ve had to do, tougher than competing at the most elite level, tougher even than representing your entire country on the world’s biggest stages. It doesn’t even come close.
You’re dealing with this new life, saying goodbye to a lot of your freedom, and you have absolutely zero experience. Mothers are constantly going through it. They deserve a gold medal after pregnancy, after giving birth, after looking after a waking baby night after night – it’s tough.
But guess what: you can do all of this. You can be a mum, raise kids, have a career, there is literally no limit to what you can do. And I think we need to remember that.