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

In my eyes i'm a mental mum, in other peoples eye who knows what i am....!

What i do know is i try my best. I'm a mental mum in the way that i can be a bit nutty around my daughters. Singing Disney with all the enthusiasum in your soul is not out of the norm for me whilst in the kitchen. When they join in and express themselves it's hilarious and becomes some sort of theatrical dinner time regime. I don't take myself seriously at all in front of them. I feel that it will encourage them to be who they want to be in life and to always have a laugh and be a bit 'mental'!

My eldest daughter would probably say i've got a 'mental' sense of style because i'm not dressed like the other school mums. I've had a whispered 'god Mum what are you wearing?' under her breath numerous times at pick up. My response?... 'It's fashion babes'!

She may think it's cringeworthy for her now, but slowly she will grow and realise that it's teaching her that it's ok to be different from the others, if that's what makes you happy!

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?

Ok so three things help me when i'm in my 'mental' state. Numero Uno is going for a run. That feeling you get from running as fast as you can (in my case not THAT fast, but whatevs) with 'Good Morning Baltimore' blarring in your ears so loud that it makes you want to burst into some sort of hollywood movie role. Pretending in your mind to dance up against lamp posts and leaping over puddles in the street can be invigurating. All of a sudden i'm concentrating on my next shimmy and not the negative bubbles of doom floating about in my mind.

Number 2 is meditation! I was told about the @headspace App from the lovely jubbly ladies on Instagram and gave it a go. The simple and easy app gives you an option of 3/5 or 10 minute intervals of meditation. The guys voice on it is SO soothing he's got me practically nodding off and dribbling within minutes. For them few moments i've paused, taken time out for myself and it teaches me to allow the thoughts to come and go rather than fighting them.

Number 3 is TALKING. I cannot express this enough! The moment i started talking about the issues i was experiencing was like i had just taken a tanker off of my shoulders. Keeping it a secret in my mind was only fueling the negative bubbles of doom to multiply and tell me i was a wierdo. When i opened up it turned out that infact i wasn't odd, others were just like me and soon enough i was being reassured that i wasn't alone. Slowly but surely, the bubbles began to pop and it became easier to talk about what was going on in my head.

Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?

I have done in the past, but most certainly not enough. You know what it's like.. a trip to the park you think will be a great opportunity to have a catch up. Pffff no such luck. Your moment to offload has now been overshadowed by 'Muuuuum push me' or 'Muuuuum watch me do this' or 'Muuuuuum Chloes' just trodden in dog poo!'. Mum duties eh....

How do you tackle mental health chats with your kids?

Honestly? I struggle.

It's extremly hard to explain to my children what is going on in my head when i can barely explain it to my husband. I encourage my children to talk to me all the time. Anything they are worried about or think they are strange for doing, i tell them that they are not alone, it is SO common and it's what builds their amazing little characters and unique strengths!

Who helps you in the dark?

4 legends. My Mum, my Dad, my Sister and my Husband. These are four people that have never have judged me. Sometimes they can relate, other times they will try there utter hardest to understand and all the time they will offer their support and an ear. They have been the ones who gave me the strength to share to the world of social media and to do stuff like answering question for a fellow #mentalmutha ha! I know i am extremely lucky to have these people in my life and in a way i wish i had had the balls to open up sooner to them...

What helps you in the light?

Having something to focus on. I'm keen to build a community of #mumsinsparklyarmours and to start writing a blog about the ups and downs of 'mental' life. When the light is shining i continue my love of styling affordable fashion and sharing it with the world of Instagram.

In doing so i have come across the most fabulous ladies through the little squares and these people give me such genuine positivity. Some share the same love of fashion, whilst others share the anxiety/mental health side. Either way, their kindness and support is incredible.

Is it hard to talk about your mental health?

If i was asked this question 10 years ago i would of said yes, absolutely. But now in 2018 i feel like for me the stigma is slowly lifting, but we do have a long way to go. My goal as a #mentalmutha is to break the silence of mental health so my children will always feel free to say 'i'm not ok' if they were to ever feel this way. 

The first time i plucked up the courage to speak out to my GP was last year. What i got out of going was not what i expected. I got handed an NHS leaflet and told it was 'really common and to have a read'...

Now since speaking out and making my mental health known on social media, i have had more positivity, encouragement and strength from people that i don't even know then to a 5 minute time slot i was given with a professional.

I feel us as individuals are breaking the stigma by working fantastically together!

Where is your head at?

So at this presice moment i am sat across from my house in Costa. I felt a change of scenary, a cuppa and a chocolate twist would help the flow of answers to the questions. Surprisingly, it has. As i look around and see the small groups of men and women chatting away,  i hope that each of them has a person in their life that they can approach and talk freely too. If not, then i hope that they find the courage to find another soul by making a phone call, by googling, or simply by finding someone through social media who may share the same 'mental' ways as them. Now please believe me when i say, you are NEVER alone. There is always someone out there who is thinking the same way as you and perhaps needs a helping hand. It just takes one of you to reach out.

I feel positive and proud of how far i have come with speaking/typing about mental health and realising it's ok to not be ok.

I don't however feel so positive about eating a chocolate twist...but sod it!

Soft play or Rehab?

Soft play. Find a place in the corner, take headphones wack on the Spotify, grab and cuppa (and cake) and let the little people crack on. They get tired whilst you have had a moment to yourself listening to 90s classics. Winning at life.

Jacobs Creek or Jacobs Crackers?

Jacobs Crackers smothered in garlic and herb soft cheese. Yum.

Nut job or nut allergy?


Self care or self sabotage?

Self care all the way. Nothing like a heavy coating of tan, getting my nails done and a successful trip to primark to get myself feeling top notch.

Journal or Jog?

Oooooooo toughie!! Both! You will now know from my waffling on above that i do love a jog, but also writing stuff down most definitely helps to explain how i am myself...if that makes sense? ha?!

Ask for help or happy to hermit?

For me it's asking for help, but that's only because i'm in the right mindset to do so now. As an individual you have to be ready to ask, which takes time and encouragement from within.



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

Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.