One dark rainy night in Sydneys south west, a 38 week pregnant woman overdosed in the back of a seedy pub. I was the responding police officer, one of two in attendance. We were there to check on her welfare, and to protect and assist Ambulance Officers as they treated her in a rough area.

It was my first day back to work after Buddy’s death. My reaction shocked even myself. I was overcome with a shaking rage. I felt the universe was bitterly unfair. I followed all the guidelines. I hadn’t eaten even soft cheese during my pregnancy, but my baby had died.

I sat myself in the car, and let my partner handle the situation, knowing that my pain and my experience is not the fault of anyone else. Later, I rocked the baby born via emergency surgery in the NICU ward, with a gentleness and love that I thought I had lost earlier.

Our mental wellness can affect how we see the world, how we see ourselves, and the levels of tolerance and capacity that we have to respond to others actions. I saw this in my policing life, and its easy to see and apply to my parenting life. It’s why we scream over spilt milk, and then feel guilt when they are peacefully asleep. It’s why we sob during the night, as we rock them back to sleep for the 20th time, but why our hearts flood with love when we rock them in our arms at other times. Overwhelm is normal, and it certainly doesn’t make you a bad parent or person.

When the world is overwhelming, when we are struggling to act within our core values, when the words we are speaking are surprising our own ears- its time to ask for help. To be vulnerable, to be raw. To surrender to accepting the help.

No person is perfect. No-one is without trauma or triggers. Progress over perfection.