How Others Perceive Depression

I often worry how people perceive me since I have started writing this blog. I am honoured to have received lots of positivity from friends as well as strangers. However I often worry that by being so open about my struggles, that people focus on my mental health more than me as a person. I know I was once seen as a Mum of two who seemed to be perfect, I played this role so well. But now they know the truth, I cannot hide as well as I used to. I feel like people see through me easier.

I guess this is to be expected when opening yourself to the wider audience, and I understood this to a point when I started. I did not realise just how differently people see me now though.

I have just spent a weekend with my in laws, without the children. It was an interesting experience. I hope they don’t mind me delving into our conversation. #bloggingfamilyproblems

Since moving to our new house six months ago, I am forever offering to babysit one of my nephews. He isn’t at school yet, and with both parents working and not going to pre school every day, he often stays with Grandparents. As I don’t drive, it would not have been easy for me to care for him and my two, but now we live in the centre of town, it just makes sense for me to help out. So I offered time and time again and whilst they said they would think about it, they would never take me up on it.

So after we had all had a few drinks, I asked them why. They admitted they worried that it would be too much for me and that I might struggle. They didn’t want to put on any pressure on me. I admitted that I was quite offended by this. I can see they were thinking of me, with best intentions and kind hearts, but I was a bit annoyed.

My main ‘trigger’ when it comes to my mental health is that I see myself as a bad mother. No matter how many times people tell me otherwise, I am not what my crazy mind sees as a ‘perfect parent’ and in that mind, anything other than perfect is imperfect. One thing that keeps me going is hoping others don’t see me as a bad parent.

So by my in laws admitting their worries, even though their concern was with me, not my parenting abilities. I took it to heart. And then started to doubt myself.

Do my in laws see me as a bad parent? Do they talk about me behind my back? Do they feel sorry for me? Do they feel sorry for my children?

I have always had quite a good relationship with my husbands family, of course we had a few boundary issues when Isabella first came along, what new family doesn’t? But they were resolved quite quickly and I really feel part of their family.

But maybe by opening myself up in such a public way, I didn’t quite take their opinions into consideration?

However my worries were quickly eased as following the weekend, I was asked to look after their son. I was overjoyed. He was a bit shy at first but we ended up having a fantastic day. As much as people don’t believe me when I say it, having the responsibility of others children, makes my days so much easier. Especially now Isabella is getting older and harder to keep entertained. She loved having her big cousin around to play.

Turns out by being honest, a simple issue was resolved. So a few drinks had to be involved to get the conversation going, but it worked. I feel I have been given a new trust with my husbands family.

Hope they get the hint from this and continue πŸ™‚


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