MENTAL MUTHA MEETS JO SMITH & CHLOE WEBB
Smith Webb was founded by Jo Smith and Chloe Webb, two 30-something mums. Whilst working as Pilates Instructors and juggling 5 children between them, Jo and Chloe designed and created an ethical and stylish brand that would also enable them to support mental health and anti-bullying charities, two causes very close to their hearts.
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS JO SMITH & CHLOE WEBB
Are you mental Mum's or Mum's that are mental?
We think of ourselves as Mums who are mental. We would be mental whether we had kids or not!
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?
When we feel overwhelmed, we run. We exercise. Meditate a bit, but mostly run and do Pilates. We find that exercise helps clear our heads and because you have to think about the exercise you're doing, you can't obsess and worry about all the things......
Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?
We didn't used to. But then we started to, and we found that pretty much everyone has had a blip in their mental health at some point, with pre and post natal anxiety being the most common. Some mums have tried medication, others are still on it, some are still depressed and some aren't, anxiety is a common theme though. But it still felt weird taking that first step to talk about it to anyone, and after that it got so much easier. Now we tell anyone who will listen!
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kid’s?
A tough one. We talk about things openly, and in an honest way. If the kids have questions then we answer them with honesty, but we might edit some things according to the age of the child and not go into as much detail. The message we try to convey is that it's nothing to be ashamed of, it can affect anyone and the most important thing is to tell someone you trust how you're feeling.
Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?)
Jo - husband, kids, mum, siblings and my best friend Isabel. And the bloody dog! Who knew. And Chloe of course :-). Not one hero, a whole bloody team and they're all so amazing.
Chloe - sometimes family can be a bit too close if you know what I mean? I speak to my friends, a good mate. And my lovely Jo!
What helps you in the light?
Perspiration, for sure. People - the non-toxic kind - absolutely. We are talking friends, family. Fresh air, not much caffeine or alcohol, and distraction. Distraction is key!!!
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'?)
The stigma is definitely lifting, and it felt like there really was a big shift in the right direction in 2017 - so many high profile people talking about their mental health (but we were anxious before it was a buzz word)! We do feel safe to speak our mind, although we have some boundaries about what we share over social media - a healthy boundary we would say. We don't feel embarrassed in front of family or friends and can talk about it candidly. We've been called mental, but we really don't care!
Where’s your head at? (Right here in this moment, today)
Jo - I'm in a very good place right now, but it's taken a long time to get here. I rarely drink caffeine or alcohol and have adapted my lifestyle to lessen the anxiety. I run A LOT. Like, a lot. I used to be obsessed with running but I've now found a happy medium with that. The OCD has literally gone, thank goodness. It was exhausting. CBT knocked that out of me. I tried medication briefly for the anxiety, but it wasn't for me.
Chloe - these last two months have been the hardest ever personally for me and a complete head fuck. Our business is doing so well, but it feels like my personal life is falling apart. I try to look at the bigger picture, and when I've been really down it's been a case of just getting dressed and getting the kids out, and that's OK. Just trying to focus on the future.
SOFT PLAY OR REHAB?
JACOBS CREEK OR A JACOBS CRACKER?
Jacobs Cracker - with loads of cheese and grapes
NUT JOB OR NUT ALLERGY?
SELF CARE OR SELF?
Way too much self sabotage. Self care - what's that?
Journal or Jog?
Jog, for sure. We aren't fans of writing too much down, because it makes us think and obsess about it more!
Ask for help or happy to hermit?
Ask for help. Always.
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Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.