Pressure to be a perfect Mum lead to a breakdown
Here at Kensington Mums we always emphasis the point on self care and making time for yourself. As a mother, we always put our children needs first and sort of neglect our own as we take on more responsibility and tick on more on our never ending to do list.
In this article, we share with you a personal story from a Mum in our community, Hanieh Vidmar who says the stress of trying to be the perfect mother caused her depression which lead to a breakdown. Hanieh is a speaker and trainer with a goal to help people overcome their fears of speaking in public- whether on stage or on camera. She lives between London, Ibiza and Slovenia with her husband and 3 year old son.I believe its good to share her story in case anyone else might be going through something similar.
“So, in 2016, one morning I woke up, unwell – slight depression and just generally feeling down! I was due on my period so I automatically thought it was that even though this time it felt different. A week had gone and so had my period, and I was feeling worse. I felt unhappy, foggy brained, I fell out of love with life, I lost all excitement! I really wasn’t myself … I kept going to sleep thinking “tomorrow I’ll be ok”. My thoughts turned into prayers! I had no idea what the hell this was! I was super energetic, super motivated and suddenly – I was slow and sick of life! It was a massive shock as I wasn’t even stressed to begin with.
I googled my symptoms and it came back with adrenal fatigue. I then joined a few AF groups on Facebook and shared my symptoms in there and someone told me “maybe you’re just burnt out”. I googled burn out and my symptoms were those! It turned out, I was pushing myself to the absolute max! I fell sick in September 2016 with a painful stomach infection – the pain wouldn’t go away. For a month I suffered and then eventually the docs put me on antibiotics … but when I was sick, I kept on filming, kept on moving, kept on keeping on for my family! I refused to rest … then I had flu, and I continued to move! Then about 2 weeks after flu, it happened!
When Maxi was younger, I loved my days. I loved it when I was exhausted at bed time. I felt like I’ve done a good days work. I even did yoga before I burnt out and I loved it but then I stopped.
My weight got to me, my lack of work got to me, I was trying to compete (((actually compete is the wrong word but I thought maxi needed an activity every single day and if he wasn’t at a language school or a music school then I’m failing as a mum))) with other mums! Then when I got all these horrid symptoms, I was forced to slow down, stop in fact, and take care of number 1!
Im number 1 because I have to control everything in my household … I plan meals, and activities, and bed time. My husband is an incredible man, hard working and supportive but his role in our household is to work and sometimes he works long hours so I never ask him to do anything more than he already does and it works for us!
But after I burnt out, I had to book me time! Massages, walks alone, reading, early bed time, early wake up to have 30 mins to myself before everyone wakes up, less stress on activities for maxi (he was young – a walk in the park would have been sufficient).
We always make jokes that were super mums or super woman – and we are! If we look back to generations before us, women were having 6/7/8 kids with little or no money and managed to raise doctors and billionaires that we see today. But even super mums need time out! It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity!!!!!!!!
If there’s anything I’ve leaned, it’s this: make time out for you and talk about your pain with someone. Someone you trust, send someone a message in insta and talk!!!!! Pick up the phone and call someone and talk ! Sharing is half the battle. Sharing our problems requires strength. It’s not a weakness to tell someone you’re unhappy or sad … people think “if I tell someone about how I’m feeling they’ll judge me or think I’m weak! I’ll get better on my own”. That’s bs! Talk about your problems and get help and take time out for you.
This isn’t just to mums. Burn out can happen to anyone at anytime but mums are seen as the golden figure, the do it all, the “we can do anything at any time”! And we can but we shouldn’t. ”
We would like to thank Hanieh for sharing her story with us. We always support mothers to reach out, speak out and get the support their need throughout their motherhood journey. Remember: You are not alone.