Maternal Mental Health

  • Photographer
    Manja Wachsmuth
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention
  • Company/Studio
    Manja Wachsmuth Photography
  • Date of Photograph
    Feb 2019-Feb 2020
  • Technical Info
    Fuji X-T20 & Canon 5D IV

Having grown up with a mentally ill mother and suffering post natal depression with my first born, I have immersed myself in the theme of Maternal Mental Health and focused on the time as a first time mother and the struggles with adding a second child to the family, being conscious of not falling down a big, black hole again. While many mothers, I’m sure, will be able to relate to this range of emotions, the tipping point from baby blues to depression is a very fine line.

Story

Having grown up with a mentally ill mother and suffering post natal depression with my first born, I have immersed myself in the theme of Maternal Mental Health and focused on the time as a first time mother and the struggles with adding a second child to the family, being conscious of not falling down a big, black hole again. While many mothers, I’m sure, will be able to relate to this range of emotions, the tipping point from baby blues to depression is a very fine line. 1: “bridge of despair” – walking here, there and everywhere with a baby in a pram and a toddler in tow, the last few meters before you reach home, when you realize, you have nothing more give 2: “in the dark of day” – countless hours in a dark bedroom, rocking and nursing a baby to sleep, over and over again while the days pass by outside. 3: “you are what you eat” – eating with children is the biggest mess, and the stress of it all will send your state of mind flying in an instant 4:“the demon in my mind” - is playing catch with my hopes and dreams, whoever wins the battle is ever changing 5: “hold me tight” – accepting that the only way you will get rest or maybe even sleep in the nearest future, is to lie down next to your bub 6:“while you sleep” – being awake on an early foggy morning, the landscape seems covered in cotton wool and somehow the whole thing feels like just a dream 7: “the demon of my mind 2” – battling the exhaustion and the worry, the feeling of isolation, the sadness, the anger, the overwhelm, the uselessness, the unknown 8:“bridge of control” – venturing out into the world, feeling organized and ready for the day, you’ve got this 9: “reset your ions” – finally giving in to what you really need: Space - to feel the wind in your hair, the sand between your toes and the sea-spray in your face. Nature shall set you free 10:“you made me cry’ - the sum of it all, becoming a mother, giving up hopes and dreams, while adapting to the new normal, life will never be the same

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