MENTAL MUTHA MEETS CHRISTIE MATHER
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS CHRISTIE MATHER
Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?
I would say I’m a definite mixture of the two, I get stuck in my own head quite a lot with a million thoughts going around at once. Other days I am a mum that’s mental and can picture my neighbours shaking their heads at the other side of our wall when I’m shouting ‘WILL YOU PLEASE JUST PUT YOUR BLOODY SHOES ON’ for the 47th time that morning.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?
I’d like to say talk, I think talking is for me the best form of therapy. Tho sometimes I can’t find it in me to put my thoughts out there in the open and retreat into my own head. When things all get a bit too much I like to hide away in a hot bubble bath, this habit started shortly after my daughter was born. I suffered PND had the most immense guilt over any action I took when it came to parenting. However in my own weird way I deemed taking a bath to be an acceptable excuse for some time alone, Bathing is a basic human right after all. I would leave her downstairs in the care of her dad and if I could hear her playing up for him I managed to calm the urge to rush to her aid. I was slippery and wet and by the time I’d dried she would probably have settled down anyway. This seems to have been a habit that’s stuck and that one little half hour a day is a perfect way for me to escape from it all. (I told you I was mental haha).
Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?
It took me a long time to pluck up the courage but once I did I’ve never looked back. I was terrified of being met with judgement and fear and instead I found quite a lot of nodding and ‘yes me too’ which really blew my mind. I make a bit of an effort now to try and bring up the topic and check in on my mum friends mental health. I want them to know they can talk about it with me. I may not have any answers but tea sympathy and a ‘yes that’s really shit isn’t it’ can really make a difference.
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kid’s?
I haven’t had to so far as my babies are still quite young, however the eldest just turned six so I know that it may not be far away. I’d like to think I will be as open as possible with them. I currently see my relationship with depression and anxiety a bit like I would a cold/flu… Some days I feel like I’m coming down with it, not ‘Ill’ as such but there’s something in the air for sure. Other days it hits me a bit harder and affects may the way a full blown cold would, and then there are the precious good days once it has lifted and I remember what it was like to be able to breathe again. That’s the best way I can think of to introduce it to them, most importantly I want them to know that it isn’t a taboo and something to hide away from and that they can always be open with me about how they’re feeling.
Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?)
Some of the time it’s myself. I think accepting it for what it is has helped me massively. Being able to look it in the eye and tell myself I am feeling this way because of depression or my pulse is racing like this because of anxiety, soothes me in a way. The saying ‘This too shall pass’ has also got me through many a dark hour, I have it printed in my living room and it’s a reminder to myself. A mixture of people have helped me over the years, I give huge thanks to women like the unmumsy mum and hurrah for gin who helped me see the real side of parenting, and showed me that I wasn’t alone, or failing as a mother. When I hit rock bottom with PND it was a bottle of wine and my auntie that pulled me out of the darkness, she has battled her own depression demons for years and arranged a get together for us to talk about it. It was the first time I’d truly voiced my feelings out loud and to somebody who just completely ‘got it’ it was quite a game changer.
What helps you in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)
I like a project. I find myself constantly on the go for something to throw myself into, It’s one of the reasons I have launched my own business. I like being busy and having something to focus my mind on and goals to achieve. My kids keep me going and I love the little people they are becoming, they provide me with so much humourand one of my favourite things in the world is seeing them make somebody else laugh.
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'?)
When I first experienced ‘mental health issues’ I found it very very difficult, but I do feel in the last six years the stigma has lifted slightly (or I have become more aware) There are so many brave people out their talking openly these days and I strive to add my voice to that. Deprerssion and Anxiety feed on loneliness and insecurity and I really feel reading stories form or speaking to ‘mental’ people helps break a bit of that.
Where’s your head at?
It’s in a pretty good place. I’ve lots of exciting things in the pipeline to focus on and most of the time lately I find myself feeling genuinely happy. Anxiety is always simmering away inside me and I do find myself seeking a lot of re-assurance, but I have come to accept that as part of me and being anxious as a quirky personality trait even?
Soft Play or Rehab?
Rehab any day, laying in peace on a soft fluffy pillow over the screaming burning pits of hell that is a soft play area.
Jacobs Creek or a Jacobs Cracker?
Nut Job or Nut Allergy?
Definitely a Nut Job
Self Care or Self Sabotage?
Journal or jog?
Ask for help or happy to hermit?
A mixture but probably closer to being a hermit I’m afraid.
I have recently started my own business The Mummy Club, with the aim of helping mums know they are not alone. It is a monthly subscription / gift box service for mums and mums to be each box bringing you a reminder that even through the 'explosive nappy poo' days and 'ran out of dry shampoo' days You’ve Got This! We’re all a part of the club. £1 from every box sold is donated to PANDAS foundation.
The Mummy Club
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.