MENTAL MUTHA MEETS ALICE IN MUMDERLAND
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS ALICE IN MUMDERLAND
Are you a Mental Mutha or a Mum that's mental?
Oh a Mum that is mental, that's for sure.
For the last 4 years, I have lived with anxiety. I would sit in tears, hyperventilating to the point where I would struggle to breathe. At its worst, I was having a panic attacks because someone had read my Whatsapp and not replied. It had grown into paranoia. I realised that it had taken a stronger hold than I wanted it to. I saw a counselor during pregnancy as I wanted to enter motherhood with a calmer, less anxious mind. And it worked. Until my beautiful Freddie was born and then boom, Post Natal Depression came home with him and we've lived alongside it every day.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?
First, cry. I cry it right out. Sometimes in bed, under the covers. For me, it gets the negativity out. Then I find I can focus on something more productive. I journal, focus on the positives, sometimes even list 3 things that went well that day, look at photos on my phone, speak to my Husband-turned-Therapist. And sometimes, cry some more. But hey, whatever works.
Do you discuss your mental health with your Mum mates?
I didn't for months. Probably for the usual reasons - fear of not being understood or being dramatic, worried that admitting it made it real, worried that it made me look like a bad mum. One day i plucked up the courage to post about it on my instagram and the DMs, comments and seperate texts I received showed that I needn't have worried. People are good.
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kids?
I don't really tackle any chats with Freddie as he is 11 months old but I hope to always encourage him to feel his feelings and validate them. If he is sad, be sad - allow yourself to feel it and allow it to move on. I want to be someone he can always talk to about his emotions and someone that can help him piece it together as he negotiate growing up.
Who helps you in the dark?
Out and out my husband. He doesn't require context, explanation or an apology. He knows me better than I know myself and will often predict when I might be low or struggle with a scenario. He's my biggest cheerleader.
What helps you in the light?
Fresh air; it gives the gift of perspective.
Pissing about on Instagram; whacking on a snapchat filter and lip syncing to cheesey pop. Giggling along with other Mental Muthas who are living their best right along with you.
Journalling; rounding up your (possibly mundane) day into a small series of wins.
Wine; the primary tool in any mum's kit.
Taking time for myself - rare but essential. Sometimes just a shower but man, after a day of Mumming, it feels damn good.
People that make me laugh: friends, family, colleagues, TV, Instagram - whatever it may be.
Is it hard to talk about your mental health?
I'm fairly hard to embarrass - I will prattle on to anyone about anything if I think it gives value to the conversation. Mental Health will always be a topic I will be honest about because I know how much the honesty of others has affected me and just how shit it can feel when its happening to you.
Where's your head at?
In a better place for the first time in a long time - focusing on the positives but allowing the negatives in. Working a day a week gives me time to shut off the Mum part of me. I've let go of 'working mum guilt' and am enjoying the time I get with my mini.
Soft play or rehab
Jacobs Creek or Jacobs Crackers
Pass the wine every time
Nut job or Nut allergy
Self Care or Self Sabotage
Journal or Jog
Journal - its easier with a wine glass
Help or hermit
Oh it depends...i'll be honest and say hermit first, help later...?
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.