Hi, my name is Kris. Now a mum of three (8, 6 and 3 years, all boys). I’m a former ABC kids singer-songwriter and after having toured for over 15 years, when I gave birth to my first son, I thought I was done. Little did I know that music would kind of save my life. When I had my first son Harrison I went into a deep depression. He came out and I remember thinking ‘Wow, it’s a real baby’. Then the next thought was ‘what do I do with it?’
After having read all the books on how to be the perfect mum and raise the perfect baby, I was in for a shock. Harry cried constantly, wouldn’t sleep when the book told me to put him to sleep and all the developmental activities I tried to do with him, I couldn’t do because of the crying.
I was scared to leave the house in case he cried and vomited (later finding out he had silent reflux, which explained a lot) and if visitors came, it took a lot to be my usual chirpy self. After a while, I started becoming really depressed and would cry when my husband left to go to work.
Until you’re in that situation you can’t quite explain it fully and how you feel, however it’s a feeling of hopelessness, feeling like you’re not good enough, and looking on social media is the worst because everyone else looks like they have a perfect mum/baby situation.
I also struggled with breastfeeding as Harry had a tongue tie so that too didn’t help, as I was beating myself up with the whole breastfeeding versus bottle thing. After months and months of this and being stuck inside for the most part I truly gave up. I remember falling into the couch and literally losing it.
Then when Harry woke up, I just sat him on my lap and looked at him. I didn’t have anything to do, no guide to follow, no expectations of myself, it was a strange feeling. He looked at me and I looked at him, then he started to cry, this filled me with that familiar feeling of panic and loss of control. Then acting on impulse I started to bounce him and hum, he seemed to calm down so I tried to sing, making up fun songs.
All of a sudden, as I started to sing, he stopped crying. That’s when I realised I was onto something. So I ran to my fridge where I had the NSW Government baby development guide and started to make up a song for each developmental activity.
It was amazing, I sung and he stopped crying and played along. After a while of doing this, I noticed my mood start to shift, the sense of relief was huge. I was able to help stop the tears and it somehow gave me a sense of peace. What it also gave me was a feeling of control, I now had the ability to control the awake times somehow. For me, this was the biggest game-changer.
So taking it a step further, I then wrote songs to help me get him to sleep, settled him, and create a daily routine. What that meant then was that I was able to start planning my days and I was able to start leaving the house feeling confident. Week by week as we followed this music routine and activities I felt better and so did Harry. It truly dug me out of a dark hole.
In saying all this, I really hope this story can help others like me, if life seems dark, that truly is ok. It’s ok to feel like that, it’s normal, and the great thing I have learned is that if we let ourselves stop striving and trying to be perfect and just be, we each have something in us which makes us happy. For me it was music, for others it might be a shower. Maybe you’d like to try my music too? Whatever it is, if we each follow what makes us happy in our day, what sparks us up, I truly believe that’s the first step. And then building from that, a little more happiness and confidence step by step our new world can start shaping into the new world which now includes a beautiful baby.
I hope my story of darkness can bring someone else light xxx