Time is ticking by and Christmas is coming, this year I’m full of excitement, looking forward to all the sparkle and lights, seeing Isabelle’s face when she sees the tree for the first time and waiting for Father Christmas to come. I can’t help but see the difference from last year. Last year I was in the throes of sleep deprivation and postnatal depression. If this is your first Christmas as a mummy with PND, don’t fret, I’ve been there. You may see similarities and that’s OK. It doesn’t have to be the dream you had in mind, you just have to do the best you can.Having a 4-month-old at Christmas wasn’t easy. I frequently say to people that I only remember very small bits of the first months of Isabelle’s life and I count the 25th of December as the moment I started to remember things. I struggled with the approach to Christmas as I really found it hard to find any joy in the festive season. All I wished for was a full night’s sleep.
I couldn’t even think about buying people gifts, I was too consumed with my daughter and I had no headspace to go Christmas shopping. We told family members that we really didn’t have the mindset for a full-on present sesh, so we bought small token gifts, and my husband arranged the majority as I was just too tired and busy.
I was dreading Christmas dinner because all I wanted was to eat my wonderful meal in peace and I was devastated when our little one would not sleep. My husband took the brunt and didn’t get to eat his meal hot. The meal my in-laws cooked was divine, but we just couldn’t sit and enjoy it like we wanted to. It sounds like a very first-world problem, I know, but when you have PND little things get blown out of proportion and you fixate on things being perfect. When they don’t go to plan it completely derails you and it feels like the worst thing in the world.
Looking back on last year’s festivities I feel a little sad because I really didn’t embrace Isabelle’s first Christmas but in the scheme of things it really doesn’t matter. I was doing the best I could, and that is the most important thing. If you are sat there thinking about your first Christmas and you are filled with anxiety, just remember that this Christmas isn’t the be all and end all, there will be many more and your baby won’t even remember this one anyway.
Just do the best you can, and because of that, you are a fantastic mother.
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