It’s funny the ways in which life can take you. I found out last week that I was shortlisted for the prestigious Eir Spider Awards for the Best in Blogging for The Mammy Blog. To say I was delighted was the biggest understatement in the history of understatements. I was ecstatic!
Indeed, I happened to be wheeling the pram in Dundrum on an urgent soother replacement mission, when I got the news and immediately let out a shriek of pure delight, leaving the baby and the other shoppers in Dundrum looking a bit bemused by my outburst.
I never imagined that I’d be lucky enough to be in this position again. You see seven years ago I was shortlisted for Best Digital Editor in the Eir Spiders for my old blog Beautycouture.ie.
Seven years later, I cannot believe I’m fortunate enough to find myself shortlisted once again! This time it’s for The Mammy Blog and it’s been such a personal journey, the feeling is infinitely more extraordinary.
I didn’t set out for this blog to be something that would ever be in with a shot for awards or gain recognition or anything of the sort. I simply started The Mammy Blog in April of this year as a form of catharsis, after becoming a mum for the first time in December 2016. I struggled massively with the huge change to my life. I felt completely overwhelmed in the weeks after I gave birth. I looked in the mirror and I didn’t know who I was. Every day was a huge struggle. I didn’t feel this famed bond that other mothers had gushed about. Indeed, I felt very little connection to the baby. Every morning I’d hope to feel more like myself, but I didn’t. Instead I cried every day. Things got worse and worse until one day, through the cruel haze of post-natal depression, anxiety and exhaustion, I hit rock bottom and had a total meltdown.
Terrified, ashamed and shocked, I resolved to make that my watershed moment. And since that fateful day, slowly things got brighter. My son’s silent reflux began to improve, he started to smile at me, the dark January evenings were behind me and little, by little I found myself again and today I don’t have the words to express just how much I love my baby boy.
As a writer, naturally my urge was to write about everything I had gone through and was still going though as a form of therapy for myself. But as I continued to write, I realised I was also helping other mums who had or were still feeling the same way as me. It was as if I had tapped into this very visceral chord that I didn’t know existed. It was as if an entire generation of new mums were feeling much of the same things I had been, but they had no voice to channel it. Their feelings were locked away for fear of being judged.
I’ve shared some very personal stories, but if it helps just one other mum who has felt the same way, then to me it’s been worth it. I’ve received dozens of messages and comments from fellow mums thanking me for writing about the reality of motherhood; that it’s not all sweetness and light. In fact it can be bloody tough and it can bring you your knees. But that doesn’t make you a bad mum. It just means you are normal.
I’m so happy to have struck a chord and connected with an amazing community of fellow mums, but it is me that should be thanking them for their support in reading my blog.
So thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to all the mums (and dads!) who have supported me, I hope you’ll stick with me as I continue my journey through motherhood with honestly, love, grace and humour….
Now all I need to find is a frock for the Eir Spiders! Fairy Godmother… I could really do with some sparkle dust right about now to get the baby sick out of my hair and industrial amounts of eye bag concealer would be great too!