By Amy MacDonald
Being caught between two worlds is exhausting, and over the next 6 months I became so lost I didn’t even recognize myself. I felt so alone and isolated, and yet at the same time I had this deep sense of love for my beautiful little girl. I desperately searched for a connection to other mums, some women I could learn from who could guide me on how to be a good mum, so I attended a first mums' group with the local child health nurse. I remember the day I walked into that mum's group, the looks, the judgement and the silence, followed by the unhelpful comments. I felt like the outcast and I did not fit in. Their lives and mine were not the same or even similar, their experience of motherhood was different, most were married, buying houses, and majority of their friends were having babies also. Society was judging me, but I was judging myself even harder. I felt like I was failing my baby, I felt I wasn’t enough.
No matter what I did, or where I went, I felt I was always being judged or people felt sorry for me and my daughter. This was so disempowering, so unhelpful and only reinforced my negative self-belief. I was not a victim of my circumstances; I made a choice to bring this baby into the world and I had a deep desire to be a great mum. I didn’t realize it at the time but I just needed someone to come into my life and guide me, I needed to feel a sense of belonging again in my community, I needed to feel part of something that didn’t judge me but celebrated my journey, the good, the bad and the ugly. I eventually did and I will share about that soon, for now this is how my journey continued.
My life began to spiral out of control, I started to party a lot and relied on my daughters' father to be the responsible parent for our little girl. I felt so trapped by my responsibilities that I took any chance I could to escape in order to feel young and free. From Monday to Friday I was a responsible parent, and from Friday to Sunday I was just a teenage girl hanging with her friends. The two worlds never joined and that feeling inside didn’t change. Still I would wonder who am I, other than my babies mum and my partners girlfriend? Who is Amy? What does she enjoy in life? Where had she gone? Nothing brought me sustainable joy, just fleeting moments of happiness followed by a deep sense of being lost.
After a few months of partying every weekend my daughter’s father would plead with me to stay home and hang out. I felt so guilty and I knew I was being unfair; I just couldn’t stop and I didn’t want to. I wanted to escape, I almost needed to escape so that I could be a responsible mum during the week. He was such a supportive partner, he tried so hard to understand and he was an amazing father however I had Post Natal Depression and I couldn’t see any of that. I began to resent him. I blamed him for getting me pregnant, I blamed him for feeling so lost and I ended the relationship shortly after our daughters first birthday.
I was now an 18 year old single teen mum.......
To be continued...