Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Mummy Don't Cry - How PND is affecting my child

"Mummy don't cry,
Look at me, it'll be ok,
Please don't cry,
I'm here for you,
Mummy just look at me and smile,
Just smile mummy,
Mummy let me touch your face,
Just remember that I love you and you love me,
Mummy what can I say to make you happy?
I don't like you sad, you're making me sad,
Mummy don't cry,
I love you with all my heart".

Eva aged 4


This was how my 4 year old handled me during a bad day with post natal depression last week. At the time I was crying, sad, couldn't get up from the sofa. I was so lethargic. Anything and everything was making me upset and I had no strength or motivation in me. My husband's attempts at helping me failed. Everything was failing. Then Eva came along and uttered those words. As she stroked my face and cuddled me, I realised what an impact my illness was having on my children. 

I felt awful. Here was my 4 year old girl who's supposed to be my baby, the one I care for, the one I nurture and protect, looking after me. It's supposed to be the other way around. I am supposed to be the one to tell her everything is going to be ok, to stroke her hair and face and cuddle her until she stops crying. 

It was the first time I realised that my illness was having an affect on my girls. It's funny when I sit back and think of it now, there are times when what I would class as bad behaviour, now just seems to be attention seeking or playing up as a direct result of my illness.

I realised that on my deepest darkest days, all the girls have ever wanted from me is love, affection, playfulness and overall my attention. 

When you're suffered with PND or any form of depression, decision making becomes overwhelming. This often leads to me being very indecisive or just giving up. This may have been effecting Eva's own decision making and problem solving. When I ask her to do things i'm often met with a response of I don't want to or lots of crying or lots of stalling. Therefore, just mirroring what she has seen me do over the last year and a half.

I've always put her mood swings down to her age but I am now worried that again she is just copying my behaviour. I'd like to think it was an age thing rather than have the guilt of knowing it could be from me. 

Seeing how she behaved towards me that day was bittersweet. Part of me was overwhelmed and astounded by how much of a caring, sweet girl Eva had become. I was blown away by how grown up she seemed. However, that is the saddest part about it. She is 4. She shouldn't have to be dealing with things like this. She shouldn't have to take a mother role on. 

I know things won't always be like this. In fact the majority of days are now filled with laughter and happiness. But when they're not Eva this is what I want to say to you.

"I do love you,
I love you with all my heart,
You do not make me sad and never will,
You fill me with joy and happiness,
You make the days bright,
You show me the light,
I may be crying,
But I will never stop loving you,
I don't know why i'm crying,
But I know the reason isn't you,
When I am crying just know that I love you,
And that it will get better soon."

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44 comments

  1. Oh Kerry I'm reading this with tears in my eyes. I really feel for you and Eva. To hear those words must be so hard. And yet it shows just how much she does love and care for you. We sometimes forget that our little people are like sponges and will soak up our influences on them. But you should also be proud to know that despite your pnd you are raising a beautiful, caring, kind little girl and no doubt her sister will follow in her footsteps. Sending hugs your way x

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  2. It just shows how much Eva cares for you, though it can be hard to hear. You do need to make sure that you are taking care of yourself. I found getting out and about together on the good days certainly made a difference x

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  3. Aww it definitely shows how mhch your little girl cares about u. Depression is hard and u have to make sure u take care of yourself.

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  4. Oh Kerry, I only just saw this post. I'm so sorry you are having such a tough time. It must have been such a difficult day for you, to hear her saying that. But what a beautiful and caring little girl Eva is. I know you have been doing everything to try to overcome the PND. I just wish I could take it all away for you. Lots of love xxx

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  5. The only thing I want to say is, she won't remember. She won't remember mummy crying, I promise. You will get through this and the only thing she will carry from it will be a beautiful caring side. Let people help you and give yourself some love xx

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    1. That's true. I have to keep reminding myself that she won't remember it x

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  6. I can't be so hard and feels like things won't change but they do. I really struggled with my first and it took a good two years before things become right again but it does in the end and kids are so resilient and Eva knows how much you love her!

    Laura x

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  7. Oh bless her! This brought tears to my eyes. My 2 year old daughter often strokes my face and says 'it's alright mama' when she thinks I'm hurt or sad. It's the cutest xx

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  8. What a lovely little girl. They know so much we take for granted how clever our children really are. xxx

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  9. Aww how sweet are her little words. Take care of yourself.

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  10. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Sending lots of love.

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  11. I have never dealt with PND myself but I am sending you lots of virtual hugs. It sounds tough going. You have got a little sweetheart.

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  12. Oh how sweet is Eva! I suffer from PND myself and this was one of my worries. I'm sure being so young still she really won't remember you being sad

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear your havng such an awful time of it with PND. I think your words for Eva at the end are absolutely perfect, so uplifting. You might be in a dark place but you have light in you!

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  14. You must have brought your daughter up to be a caring person and it's nice to know how much she loves you x

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  15. Eva sounds like such a lovely and caring little girl. You are doing an amazing job obviously.
    Sending hugs and love your way, I hope things get a little easier for you xx

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  16. I do understand this. I love your poetry and I think it's really brave to speak out about this subject for sharing.

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  17. What a lovely post. Your daughter sounds very caring.

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  18. What a beautiful special little girl.. it shows what a true amazing mother you are! Even on down days she's there for you.. that's a testament to you as a mother x x hugs

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  19. I don't really know what to say that hasn't already been said, but your post touched me so much I had to comment. What a caring, smart little girl you have and I think your response of what to say back is so perfect. You also need a mantra to remind yourself of what a wonderful mum you are too, don't you forget it! xx

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    1. Thank you so much. I defo need to remind myself more x

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  20. Oh Kerry, this is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Even though you're struggling with these feelings you are clearly an amazing mum for her to have that beautiful response to you, big hugs xx

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  21. Awww bless her, she's such a sweetheart �� Believe in yourself Kerry, your doing a fab job and you need to keep telling yourself that ! Xx

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  22. A very personal and moving post. How beautiful your daughter's words are. You are a wonderful Mother, and there is the proof.
    It does get easier, I promise you. But I know those words aren't the biggest help. Keep those good days to mind, and remind yourself that you're allowed to have your down moments, you're allowed to need time, and please don't feel guilty on any level for having to go through this.

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  23. I can so relate to this. I have lived with PND for 13 years and with 10 years between my eldest and youngest, my eldest has seen me go through PND four times with younger siblings. Just remember that you are doing an amazing job, and keep on going, sharing your story is so brave. You are amazing!! xxx

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  24. Aw bless Eva. I know what you mean, you can feel totally overcome by depression or pnd and sometimes you do not realize the effect it has on other people. Hope things get better x

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  25. Just remember, your little girl is loving because of YOU and the love you show her. That's a wonderful thing :)

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  26. I am so sorry that you are suffering. PND can be such a crippling illness, I hope you are getting the help you need and deserve sweet Kerry xxx

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  27. Such a beautiful and brave post darling - just remember whatever happens you are all the mum your daughter needs.

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  28. How lovely that you have a record of this so that when your little girl is older she can look back and read your account. That's very precious.

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  29. That's beautiful! And say those words to her, it will mean so much.

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    1. Yes I should say them to her more often x

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  30. She is such a sweet and lovely girl, a real credit to you. You can't be a superwoman no one is. You can't be happy all the time and that's OK, it's OK for the girls to see you like this. They understand and care about you some days nothing makes sense and it feels like you're at the bottom of a pit. But take each day as it comes x

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  31. You have clearly raised a beautiful, affectionate little girl who thinks the world of you. I am sorry for what you are going through and I hope eventually everyday is a great day x

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  32. Awww that is just adorable that she wanted to look after you. I suffered with PND when my older ones were little and it has had no adverse effect on them :)

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  33. It's hard not to worry about how this will affect your little one. Your daughter seems like a very loving child. I'm sorry to hear you are going through a tough time x

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  34. You have raised a beautifully caring little girl. I hope you are getting through it kerry xx

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