Tonight we had soggy broccoli for dinner. This would never have happened 3 years ago without me having a huge meltdown.
3 years ago, in the height of my postnatal depression with Bear, soggy broccoli would have been a disaster. In my mind it would be a huge beacon to the world that I was unable to look after my child and prepare a dinner. It would only have to happen once and I would be left feeling like a complete failure. Failing as a wife, failing as a mother, failing as a human being.
I was very fortunate that through suffering antenatal depression with Fox that I received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I learnt about my unhelpful thinking habits and how I could tackle this day to day. I still use the “Good Enough Scale”. Which I am sure my therapist would be very pleased to hear. I’ve learnt it’s good to have a balance and that I only ever need to be good enough. Even more importantly I’ve learnt that I am good enough.
I still feel sad when I look back on all the times I would have “neglected” Bear to maintain the image that I was loving being a mummy. That I could balance being a mother with working life and looking after a home. To be fair at the time it was the easiest option, I would rather have done these things than enjoy a lingering cuddle.
I am so pleased that that version of me is long since gone. Tonight my Fox wanted a cuddle. It was a sleepy cuddle. He is still squidgy. However the lengthy cuddles like this are slowly disappearing, as he gets bigger and wrigglier. I sat down with him, he nestled in for a cuddle. I remembered the dinner was on, broccoli steaming away. I didn’t care, I knew it would be over cooked. 3 years ago I would have put Bear down to sort it out. I would have missed out on that cuddle. I would have been left feeling guilty that I didn’t love my son enough. Today I enjoyed every second of that cuddle. I could relax, happy in the knowledge that the cuddle was worth so much more (to both me and Fox) than a perfectly timed dinner. And I’m going to keep enjoying those squidgy cuddles for as long as I can.
And to any parent struggling out there, remember you’re good enough too.