Mum on the edge - can you relate?

Updated: Aug 10

The Channel 4 drama "I am Victoria"; a lesson that we Mums need to look after ourselves and our mental health.

Image from Channel 4

This week I sat down to watch the Channel 4 drama I am Victoria. The episode provided the viewer with a snapshot into the life of a woman of a similar age to me, who has two children, a husband, is running a house and a career. Victoria, brilliantly played by Suranne Jones, is struggling to juggle all of these demands and clearly putting herself under enormous pressure to realise the perfect house, children, marriage and life.

We see how Victoria is pushed to the brink of coping and beyond towards crisis. What is interesting is this crisis does not arise as a result of some huge dramatic event but is the result of a culmination and gradual build-up of demands and pressure over time. This resonated with me, and I could see a number of parallels to my own life as I am sure a lot of Mums watching could.

Like many Mums, I can at times place pressure on myself to be everything to everyone and not let anything slip. My list can feel endless and I find myself chasing the elusive feeling of contentment when I finally get EVERYTING DONE. The truth of the matter is this will never happen. In a busy family home, there will always be something else that needs to be done, or someone’s needs to consider.

In the drama one line summed this up for me. Victoria’s husband was interrupting her whilst she was trying to get some work finished after she had prepared the family breakfast. She explained “I said that I just need half an hour more. That’s why I got up at 6am … Then I can come back into family life.”

It struck me how important it is that we give ourselves time and permission to look after us; to drop the notions of perfection and getting everything done, to move away from making comparisons to others (see my post on how to stop making comparisons).

I find it helpful to consider what we are told about using oxygen masks on a plane “put your own mask on first before helping others around you”. It is so important to look after ourselves in order to continue to have the strength and energy to meet all the demands on us; a lesson we can certainly learn from Victoria’s story.

I am Victoria was aired on Channel 4 on 5th August 2021

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