Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?

Mum that's Mental (or at least that's what my kids say!)

I have definitely chilled out as my kids have gotten older but some days I feel overwhelmed with managing being a mum and work. I try my best and I still feel like I am not doing enough, but that's when I try and have time out and just snuggle up with the kids, after all that's what its all about.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?

I normally go into panic mode and get stressed with my husband (sorry P) I forget to eat so then I become HANGRY and tearful.

I tend to do the opposite of what is good for me.

After a few days of behaving like a nutter I then manage to talk, normally to my husband or to my best friend or a sister (I have lots of sisters) and then I calm down. I will try and take a step back, eat something healthy and have a long bath or get to yoga if I can.

I suffered from Anorexia as a teenager and my eating disorder does peer its ugly head when I feel overwhelmed or upset.

Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?

I moved back from Barcelona a few years ago and left some of my best friends there so it was really hard to settle back into Brighton life, BUT  I am lucky enough to have met some really lovely new mum mates, so yes to a certain extent. They have mopped up my tears on more than one occasion at the school gates, but I am also quite good at hiding things if I am having a shit time.

How do you tackle mental health chats with your kid’s?

My kids are still quite small but I try and be honest as much as I can with them. If I am sad I tell them that Mummy feels a bit sad and hugs always cheer me up.

They also see me when I am stressed and or really busy… I am quite emotional and don't hide that from them, but they are too young to understand when I feel really low so I also put on a brave face, big smile and reassure them its all OK.

Putting on some music and dancing usually does the trick..which is why they would call me a Mental MUTHA!

Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?) 

My partner Peter… We have been together for 16 years and been through so much…

We had many years of heartache when trying for a baby. We had 5 late miscarriages before we had our 2 healthy children and that was the hardest. Peter always picked up the pieces after each one even though he was suffering too.

At the same time I discovered I had a different father (hospital tests and fear of not being able to have a child led my mum to tell me) and this was also a life changing event that caused lots of heartache for me (and still does) I met him once but he didn't want to know so being rejected was and still is hard. Peter listens to me talk about this over and over and over and is always there to listen.

What helps you in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)

It has to be people…I love my mates and making new ones. I love going out and being sociable and I love a good natter in my local coffee shop after school drop off !

I'm lucky enough to be doing work that I LOVE, which is cooking and sharing my love of plant based food with others. It really has lifted me when I am having a bad day or feeling low.

I feel so blessed right now to be doing what I love!

Is it hard to talk about your mental health? (Doesn't mean on Instagram necessarily, but do you feel the stigma is lifting and do you feel safe to speak your mind, even if it is possibly ‘mental'?)

I really do. Its so hard and there is so much stigma around it. I am grateful for social media for making it easier for so many of us to talk about it and I do think its helping lift some of the stigma, but I think its that overwhelming feeling of shame that you feel if you are losing your shit or depressed.

Growing up my Dad (who bought me up) suffered from manic depression and spent lots of time in a mental hospital. I remember not knowing what was going on and being so scared when we had to visit him, we didn't really talk about it as a family and I was so embarrassed that my friends would find out.

Later on when I was anorexic and was referred to family therapy at the local mental health children's hospital I was mortified that people would think I was crazy…I didn't engage the whole experience and it was terrifying, even though I was so unwell.

I am one of 5 kids and 2 of my sisters have both had mental health issues lately and it makes it even more important for me and us to be able to talk about mental health and lose the stigma that surrounds depression and anxiety.

Where’s your head at? 

Really good actually… (Obviously I still have the odd day...feelings of my eating disorder creeping back or sad about the dad thing but 8 out of 10 days really good right now.

My work really is my therapy and of course eating all the healthy grub just helps lift my mood and being around so many supportive people in Brighton too. But no 1 is my kids and partner…I look at them and just feel grateful. (other than the days I'm losing my shit on them…heehee)

Soft Play or Rehab?

Oh God..Rehab for the peace and quiet but would rather it be a retreat with wine allowed..

Jacobs Creek or a Jacobs Cracker?

Oh gotta be the wine darling ..maybe a cracker on the side with a bit of hummus to accompany!

Nut Job or Nut Allergy?

Nut Job all the Way..I am one and I could not live with NUTS Being a Veggie and all that. Bloody love them x

Self Care or Self Sabotage? 

Have done both  (earlier years always sabotage), but I’m learning that it has to be self care all the way… and I try and do something nice just for me regularly…because you know what. I think i deserve it! 

Journal or jog? 

Boobs are too big to Jog ..Bloody hate it so has to be Journal… I have about 4 on the go at the moment…Love a scribble and a doodle me .

Ask for help or happy to hermit?

Both. Probably Hermit more…as prefer to be alone when I'm down, but it works for me. I certainly have some very lovely people there if I do need help.


If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.

Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.