Working helped My Postnatal Depression 

When Luca was 7 months old, the new year started. I decided to take it upon myself to finish my studies. I had studied a Bachelor degree in Applied Science, majoring in Psychology.. oooo ahhh… no…yeah no one cares in the working world…if you’ve just studied an undergrad in psych… “but but… I did lab reports?!”
So I decided to do a masters of social work so I could actually get a job. 

The second half of the year was a placement. A four month or so long placement. A little extra as I had one day off a week which was the requirements of the placement. Basically full time work. Luca was 14 or so months when I started and I organised all types of care to get him covered for the week (that was bloody stressful, and for another blog) 

He was doing well and 80% sleeping through the night, so I wasn’t huddling in the corner in a foetal position as much as usual. I still had postnatal depression… I found studying and a kid to be overwhelming, but I NEEDED this. I needed it for me. I needed to finish and have this little bit of my identity because I feared all would be lost. I feared I would be gone forever, and all my hopes and dreams would be lost. Dramatic? That’s me. But nonetheless it made me depressed.

I was also 4 months pregnant, so I was going to spend most of my working time pregnant. A toddler, working, running a household and pregnant! Crazy and exhausting right??!- normal situation for most working mothers!  And we doubt ourselves… pfft. We are fucking legends. 

I was sad that I wasn’t going to have the chance to nap or put my feet up (like I actually did lol) but something started to happen to me as the days went on. 

I was anxious about the pregnancy, no doubt, but I started to have a lighter step in my walk.

I got up, I got ready, I dropped Luca off, kissed him a million times and went into work, talked to all the kids about their nights and what they wanted to do for the day or the weekend, had the same conversations with my colleagues… Made coffee, my beloved beloved coffee, ate a few biscuits and got to work. I immearsed myself in tasks, and even had sessions one on one with the kids. Luca would pop into my head from time to time, I wondered if he was okay and was having fun. I really had no time to think, but I loved it. 

I started to laugh a little more, I started to joke a little more. I was able to have conversations with people. All the things I really struggled with before. Simple things that I shouldn’t struggle with but found so difficult. 

I started coming to the office with my hair done nicely, make up done. I even bought myself nice work attire that suited my growing belly. I felt, dare I say, a little more confident.

I had structure, routine and important daily tasks. I was important at work. I was working closely with a classroom and 5 kids. Every day there was something happening that needed a social worker. The principle often called on me (and the other lovely social work student) to handle it. He often praised us and praised my work and told me how great the feedback he was getting from us. 

I made great friends with the people I worked with, we had lunch daily together and had real adult conversations. We even had the premier and minister of education come to the school. I was introduced to all these politicians. ME! The depressed mum of one who was knocked up was considered a person. 

Now I know there are all these quotes floating around saying “motherhood is the only job you need bla bla” and it is. It’s a hard, rewarding, amazing job. I am happy to be home raising my kids… but I also need to study to get a job. 1. For financial reasons and 2. Because I’m just not one of those people who are satisfied when they aren’t  bombarded with work and life. I need to be busy. I need to be a boss. I need to be around adults. As much as I love my children, I need to work for me. I feel like those quotes just instill guilt. Why the hell shouldn’t I have dreams? I’m a person. 

Being a working mum was hard, but I tackled it so much better than I thought. I wasn’t isolated, I was outside. I wasn’t  lonely, I was surrounded by people. I wasn’t bored, I was challenged every day. I wasn’t just talking about the state of someone’s nappy, I was dealing and communicating with real issues, and liaising with government bodies and parents and kids and lives… and I was important, but mostly, I felt important. I came home exhausted and couldn’t think of anything worse than cooking and cleaning (so I didn’t… much) but I approached everything with confidence and more positivity than I ever have. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m valued at home, but when you’re depressed you don’t value yourself, you feel as a human being you’re failing, and postnatal depression; you feel you’re failing as a mother, and this helped me see that I’m a superwoman. I appreciated my parenting much more and appreciated my son much more. I valued every second I had with him. I was happy when the placement was  over though, because I was so exhausted and I was desperate to spend time with my son who was no longer going to be an only child. 
I took the year off to focus on Sofia, and I go back in two weeks. I am absolutely looking forward to placement and finishing, and starting a life where I can contribute to my family. 

Now let’s hope I get some minutes to actually study. 😐🔫
My kid thinks every day is pants off Friday. Who am I to judge? I don’t like pants either.