I totally underestimated the intense feelings of time pressure after my second son and the impact that had on my mental health.
Motherhood sure does throw some curve balls doesn’t it?! I was always someone that planned my life down to the fine details. I lived by the saying “fail to plan, plan to fail”, the problem with this notion is that you can’t plan for motherhood and no book can prepare you for this crazy journey.
I thought I had this motherhood gig down to a pat and dismissed all my wise mum friends who said going from one to two is the hardest.
Now, I’m not here to scare any mamas about to give birth to their second bub, it’s truly a magical time and its so much more richer sharing that experience with your first born - it seriously is like no other feeling!
But I’m here to speak the truth, and no one mentioned to me the sheer and overwhelming feeling of trying to keep your head above water when introducing a second child. This pressure was intense and never ending, it was the same level of pressure every single day and I just couldn’t see how to release the feeling of having no time.
It seems I’m not alone, there is a great study conducted about the time pressure that mothers feel after having a second child. The study used data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, following roughly 20,000 Australians for up to 16 years. It concluded this:
“We found that mothers’ mental health improves with first children immediately following birth and remains steady over the next few years. But, with the second child, mothers’ mental health sharply declines and remains low.
The reason: second children intensify mothers’ feelings of time pressure. We showed that if mothers did not have such intense time pressures following second children, their mental health would actually improve with motherhood. Fathers get a mental health boost with their first child, but also see their mental health decline with the second child. But, unlike mothers, fathers’ mental health plateaus over time. Clearly, fathers aren’t facing the same chronic time pressure as mothers over the long-term.”
Wow! What an insight!
Why am I sharing this with you? I want you to know that your mental health is your number one priority and no matter how healthy it is when you go into motherhood it can totally catch you off guard. If you need to go see a professional to talk out your feelings, please don’t put this off until it’s all too hard. I have often joked around with friends that seeing a psychologist is like “facials for the brain”, your brain will thank you later and so will your family.
From the heart,
Kristy - owner and designer
Ps - here is the link to the full article, it's a fascinating read. Click here