MENTAL MUTHA MEETS SOPHIE JONES
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS SOPHIE JONES
Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?
I am definitely both! Some days I will be the eye twitching, hyperventilating Mum dropping the kids off while just about keeping myself together, other days I will be the Mum that’s mental singing full volume operatic stylee ‘love you’ to my teen as she hops out the car and runs for it haha.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?
Breathe. I do breathing exercises I learnt years ago. Slow deep breathing and quiet space. It is hard not to hide away and shut down, as that’s my fight or flight reflex, but I have learnt to just sit a few minutes and breathe. I’ve also started using aromatherapy oils to help too, although it’s early days yet with them.
Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?
Only with a select few who ‘get it’. There is still a decent amount of stigma around invisible ailments such as mental health, and when I have tried to share I have noticed other Mums pull away a little. So no, not anywhere near as much as I would like to if I’m honest.
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kid’s?
We are extremely open with our kids, all five of them. I must insert they aren’t all mine, three are my step children. Four of them are diagnosed with autism, which makes it imperative we encourage them to speak openly about how they feel and where they are at because all of them do dip in and out of low periods. Mainly when they are overwhelmed from socialising. We have one girl in the mix of kids, and we have had a very difficult time mental health wise with her. She is Asperger’s, and struggles so much as a teenager trying to fit in with her peers. We had a very dark time for a while where she was self-harming. It was very difficult to process as a mother.
Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?)
My husband is amazing. He has had a steep learning curve with how to help me with anxiety, but he just gets it. I’ll ask him if he thinks I’m sinking and he will always reply honestly, which I need. He gives me that breathing space when I need it, when I need isolation, and he also pushes me when I need that too. He’s my person, my rock.
What helps you’re in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)
Being creative definitely helps, be it through writing on my blog or taking photographs. I love the process of it, the gratification of capturing something beautiful that only I could see. It helps me keep focused on the light, making me want to stay there longer because it is so incredibly wonderful. Being around my family, especially when the oldest children are visiting from Uni, is medicine to my soul. I love just breathing them in, feeding them up and the general banter the fills the house.
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'?)
Yes it is hard to talk about mental health, especially anxiety. I think the stigma over PND is lifting at last, I suffered after having both of my children and only really felt confident in talking about it openly after my second. But the conversation around anxiety is more strained I think. People assume you just have the collywobbles and need to pull yourself together. Just today I had someone say they felt people perceived them as being lazy, which proves there is a lack of understanding for something many struggle with every day for a whole smorgasbord of reasons. Anxiety is not a one size fits all mental health issue, and I think that’s why so many feel like they need to censor themselves or shy away from those who talk openly about it. And I do include myself in that, especially when I am with people, because it is hard to confess you couldn’t sleep last night as you were panicking over whether your kids were still breathing. I think those conversations will take a little while longer unfortunately.
Where’s your head at?
Right now I am ok. But then we were away the weekend and a change of scenery always helps, especially when it is to the seaside – my happiest place to be.
Soft Play or Rehab?
Easy – rehab! Just thinking about soft play gives me a nervous twitch.
Jacobs Creek or a Jacobs Cracker?
Creek, in the bottle with a straw and my pjs on. Less washing up.
Nut Job or Nut Allergy?
Nut job definitely, absolutely bonkers, it’s the only way to be in my opinion.
Self Care or Self Sabotage?
I would love to be pious and say self care but I know I do both all the time. So I will settle for aiming for self care instead.
Journal or jog?
Journal, obviously because I like a bacon buttie way too much and after two kids my pelvic floor is decidedly broken!
Ask for help or happy to hermit?
Again both, I will ask for help but sometimes I just need to hermit a little before hand.
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.