Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has been interviewed by ITV news recently and shared the stark reality of her feelings when she became a new wife and mother.
The thing is, how many of us recognise that look in her eyes? I’d be willing to bet we all do in one way or another.
But as she says, nobody has really asked her how SHE was doing. She’s been keeping up appearances, looking so incredibly strong on the outside, that it probably never occurred to anyone that she might not be feeling that way on the inside.
How many of us are guilting of doing that, too?
How many of us have a picture just like this one? Smiling and happy on the outside, but actually suffering a lot more than people would realise?
When you have a baby, you’re “someone’s mum”, and all of a sudden everyone is concerned with the new baby, how they’re doing, if they’re okay. It’s a lot less often that anyone is concerned with how YOU are doing, and if YOU are okay. It’s so easy to lose sight of the fact that you are your own person, especially in Meghan’s case, where she has the entire world watching her through the eyes of the press. I felt lonely and isolated enough after having a baby, that I cannot imagine how it must feel for her.
I recently had the strange experience of actually having some time off work, and decided, for once, to treat myself. I took care of ME for once, invested in myself a little bit, and felt so much better for it.
It’s important to remember that every “new mum” is still a person in their own right. It’s important to remember that YOU are still YOU, not just “so and so’s mum”, no matter how many people call you that.
Meghan, thank you so much for being honest about how you’re feeling. Being a parent is so hard, but if you’re only ever told how amazing it is, so that you’re never fully prepared for when it isn’t so amazing all of the time.
I don’t think I’m alone in being in awe of how inspiring a woman Meghan is, all the more so for this honest and frank interview. But there are SO many other mums in the UK and abroad just like her, feeling like things aren’t really okay.
Rosey (@PNDandME on Twitter) is also one heck of an inspiring lady, working so hard every day to make sure parental mental health is taken seriously, and providing an amazing support network for new mums and dads who are suffering with their mental health. I 100% recommend her weekly twitter chat #PNDHour on Wednesdays at 8pm if you feel like you’re alone and could do with a supportive network of people around.
If you are reading this and could do with some extra support, check out these online resources to access help with mental illness: