MENTAL MUTHA MEETS THE LEGACY OF LEO
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS THE LEGACY OF LEO
Are you an mental mum or a mum that’s mental?
Mum that’s mental - attempting the bias on the mum bit
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate, talk, hide?
I write. It became my instant release as soon as my son died, I have to empty my head and put the thoughts to paper (in the modern form of my phone!) and then in the light of day with a bit more clarity, it helps me make sense of that feeling and relinguish it to the world.
Also allowing myself to be overwhelmed and indulge in it all when I feel it’s necessary. Having a good sob, getting angry and allowing it to happen.
And then to recover from it all - a bath, some yoga, a decent long walk near water always helps. On our darkest days, we run away to the beach.
Do you discuss your mental health with your mum friends?
Since Leo died, I’ve gravitated towards mums who have also been through baby Loss, so absolutely I talk about it - there is little I don’t express to them, because I know they get it. And it massively normalises the crazy in my mind, and that’s the biggest help!
With others, I try to do my best to, but mostly I let my blog do the talking for me - it’s my safety net to explore those emotions.
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kids?
Eli is only 8 months old, so we don’t really chat about it but in be patter of daily baby chat I just tell him that I’m sad, and that I miss his brother, and that he needs to be gentle with me. We will keep doing that the older he gets, its one of those things that has no benefit in hiding really. I’d always want him to be able to reciprocate that honesty with his own emotions.
Who helps you in the dark?
My wife. She tells me to breathe, strokes my hand, holds me and allows me to cry and say what I need to no matter how dark and she just waits until I’m calmer. I rarely allow myself to go to ‘the pits’ with anyone else.
What helps you in the light?
Doing something in Leo’s name. Whatever it is, big or small, an act of kindness, fundraising, a project, finding a way to take a new picture that reflects our love for him.
Is it hard to talk about your mental health?
Yes and no. I have to be open about it all, about the impact that grief and trauma has had on my mental health. It allows me to seek support, normalise it and to slow the fast pace of the thoughts in my mind. But it’s also hard to admit where anxiety takes my thoughts some times - the things that it’s allows my mind to visualise. I need to admit it though, as I can recognise that it impacts on my general mood to have it just sitting there collecting dust in my thoughts.
Where’s your head at?
Today, I’m calm. It’s been a tough month or so, with Leo’s birthday and anniversaries for everything that followed coupled with an eight month old who is naturally increasingly demanding and relearning how to nap, with the odd unsettled night here and there. It’s a hard balance at times to feel grief but also be as attentive as you want to be, but I’m coming round to the acceptance that I need to forgive myself of the bad days, and cherish the good.
Soft play or rehab?
Rehab, soft play is far too noisy.
Jacobs creek or a Jacobs cracker?
Cracker, with plenty of Brie.
Nut job or nut allergy?
Self care or self sabotage?
Both in equal measure, but self sabotage always quickly followed by self care
Journal or jog?
Journal all the way.
Ask for help or happy to hermit?
A bit of both really, but always get to the point of asking for help in the end.
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.