MENTAL MUTHA MEETS EMMA GARDNER
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS EMMA GARDNER
Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?
More and more I think I’m a painfully self aware Mum that’s mental.
Mental in that I insist on cramming as much as humanly possible into a day, week or a year without ever learning. And painfully aware that I say things like ‘don’t wig out’ and ‘buzz off’ in general conversation and have a tendency to politely rap such classics as Warren G’s regulate at whoever’s nearest after one too many Pinot Blush.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Meditate? Talk? Hide?
At the point of complete overwhelm, I leg it and withdraw from whatever it is that’s taken over me almost immediately. I tend to retreat to the protection of my home and husband to cry, rest and reassess what’s important to try and help me prioritise.
Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?
Definitely. And with girlfriends that aren’t mums and also with guys that are and aren’t parents too. Writing my blog has helped me to open up about a lot of things that I would’ve found difficult to say in face-to-face conversations and the response I get from the people around me, as well as strangers, gives me a sense of validation and permission to carry on sharing. Plus I’m one of those people that wears their emotions all over their face so if I’m having a bad day, it’ll naturally come up in conversation. I definitely have some form of filter but I guess I like to encourage others to share so leading by example is a good way of letting them know it’s safe to do so.
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kid’s?
Due to Dotty’s genetic condition, it’s not something we have to worry about right now to be honest. However, becoming her mother has tuned me much more into my own mental health and the triggers I need to be mindful of to stay on an even keel. The feels that come with being a full time, working mum of a child with complex needs are real and in my experience, it’s far more effective to acknowledge them as opposed to pretending they’re not there and getting caught out.
Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?)
Those closest to me help me a lot but really, rock bottom is reserved for a counsellor or two. Someone with no connection, bias or context that will help me unpack what’s really going on without trying to influence me in any way. Seeking this sort of help is something I’ve learned to do proactively now to avoid getting anywhere near that level of stress and upset.
What helps you in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)
ENERGY. With less time and tolerance for drama, I’m mostly drawn to people that are excitable, engaging and fun. Those that aren’t genuinely drain my mojo so I seek out likeminded folk with ideas and drive that I can bounce off and connect with. Those people make me giddy and I like to feel giddy.
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 and no. I find it hard not to judge myself sometimes so the thought of others doing it too off the back of something I’ve shared or said can make me decide to keep certain things to myself. But I’d say that only lasts so long and whatever I’m feeling finds a way of coming out one way or another so I try not to over think things too much. Pah!!
The way I see it, the more we talk the better – it can feel like a risk but I’d rather be brave about it, even if I’m perceived as a bit bonkers as a result.
Where’s your head at?
In a word, full. Full of ambition, purpose and to do lists as long as Joel Kinnaman’s torso but I’m not worried. I recognise I can’t do it all which is the most important thing. Chucking it all in the mix for a bit is just part of the process I go through in order to figure that out.
Soft Play or Rehab?
Soft play??? Don’t you swear at me!
Jacobs Creek or a Jacobs Cracker?
Alll of the wine.. Alll of the time. With a chaser of English Breakfast Tea and some mini eggs.
Nut Job or Nut Allergy?
I’m pretty sure the perfume I wear attracts nut jobs but loveable ones so overall I’m good with it.
Self Care or Self Sabotage?
Self-sabotage tends to lead to self-care in my case. Looking after myself outside of that consists of the odd manicure and, some would say, far too regular haircuts.
Journal or jog?
100% writing. Journal, blog, articles, listicles, scribbles, all of it. It’s therapy.
Ask for help or happy to hermit?
Ask for help. In a conversation, in text, in an email, via a codeword or some form of interpretive dance. Whatever works. It’s the only way things will get better.
Also Managing Partner at http://www.elviscommunications.com/
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit.