Have I made a big mistake in becoming a mother? 

Fiona gives advice to a woman who feels overwhelmed at being a mother
Fiona gives advice to a woman who feels overwhelmed at being a mother

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COUNSELLOR FIONA CAINE GIVES RELATIONSHIP ADVICE

Q I was so happy when I became pregnant and couldn't wait to be a mother. The birth was easy, my baby was healthy, and I loved her from the moment she came into my life.

However, she’s now four months old and I think I’ve made a terrible mistake and that I’m just not up to being a mother.

I’m tired all day, yet the only things I need to do are feed, clothe and change nappies for a single baby.

I’m a mess and I feel so inadequate. What’s wrong with me? 

A Few first time mothers are prepared for the turmoil a new baby brings; it's emotionally and physically draining.

Throw in lack of sleep and some anxiety about whether you're doing everything right, and it becomes easy to see why many parents feel unable to cope.

If these feelings persist beyond a month or two, it might indicate that a mother is suffering from postnatal depression.

Given this, please consider having a chat with your GP. ​​​​​​​

Q I have been married for 24 years to a good man, but something is now missing in our relationship. I still love him, I think, but I'm not sure that’s enough.

We both have secure, well-paid but demanding jobs. What time we do spend together is usually over meals or streaming TV programmes through our tablets. We rarely go out together. We spend our holidays in the same apartment each year, but nothing changes; we just transfer the same dreary repetition to Italy. I just wish there was more to married life. 

A There is, but you need to do something about it. The essential point is people who think a lot about making changes rarely achieve as much as those who set out and actually do something.

When was the last time you turned off the TV, talked with him and asked a big question, like ‘Are you happy?’

It’s possible he’s just as bored as you and would welcome the chance to join you in some new and exciting activities.