MENTAL MUTHA MEETS LISA GUMN
MENTAL MUTHA MEETS LISA GUMN
Are you a mental Mum or a Mum that’s mental?
Probably a bit of both!
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?
Generally my first feelings are of panic, but since starting CBT a couple of months ago I’ve been trying to stay calm. The biggest thing that helps me is being active and getting a few things from the to-do list done even if it's just putting some washing on and sending a couple of emails. Just focusing on each task at hand, and trying to block out the endless to-do list that runs through my head constantly.
Do you discuss your mental health with your mum mates?
Not really, at least not directly. Even though I am quite a chatty and social person, and pretty candid (as evidenced by TMI in my blog) I find it really difficult to open up face to face with my mum friends or my family to be honest. I am so lucky to have really supportive mum mates and family but I find it so much easier to write about it and then its up to them if they want to read it and respond. I try to avoid putting people in the awkward position where they’ve asked you how you are and instead of giving the classic british stock phase of ‘im ok or i'm fine’ start pouring my heart out about my low mood and anxiety!
How do you tackle mental health chats with your kids?
Well thankfully this hasn’t been an issue yet as Hayden is 2 and not talking much yet and Austin is 1. To be honest I am not at all sure yet I will go about this, but definitely think it's really important to talk about emotional/mental health openly as a family. Especially for the boys, because I think it can be even harder for them to open up when they get older as its not deemed ‘manly’, which of course is crazy!
Who helps you in the dark? (In your pits, your mental rock bottom - who is your hero?)
My mum and my husband Mike, Hayden hugs and makes me laugh. Austin has the cheekiest little grin which always makes me smile, this dream combo are my family of heros.
What helps you in the light? (Meditation? Procrastination? Perspiration? People?)
People definitely people, my mental health and mood always benefit from getting out the house, going to see friends and have a good natter over a coffee and a slab of cake. Exercise and yoga does definitely help me too, but it's not something that I have made time for since having Austin, probably need to change this. Procrastination is my worst enemy and will without exception always make me feel worse!
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'?)
Initially when I became unwell after having Austin, even though I had been blogging for a few months pretty openly about the gory details of pregnancy and labour, I did hold back about my mental health. I was worried people would think I was moaning, attention seeking and a bad mother.
But I really needed to talk about it all, and just couldn't seem to get the words out any other way so I wrote about it on the blog, and have continued to.
I definitely feel that the stigma has lifted a lot in recent years and instagram and facebook for me have been very supportive virtual environments that have really helped me through some tough times. I still think though that it is not discussed much or at all antenatally and there are gaps in recognising people postnatally struggling with their mental health too.
Where’s your head at?
I recently went back to work as a GP trainee part time. It has been good to go back and use my brain again and talk to other adults besides mums and toddlers. But I have found my anxiety levels have been quite high since going back to work but I am working on it and having counselling and CBT. Today wasn’t a great day, I was on a study course for work in Cardiff and got quite worked up about the whole thing and everything that could go wrong. So much so that my the end of the day whilst waiting for the train home I completely freaked out that the train announcements were in Welsh and I couldn’t understand them! Forgetting momentarily that they repeat them in English afterwards! It still takes me by surprise the things that make me feel so panicked.
SOFT PLAY OR REHAB?
If I can have coffee and a huge slab of cake then soft play wins hands down!
JACOBS CREEK OR A JACOBS CRACKER?
Jacobs creek definitely.
NUT JOB OR NUT ALLERGY?
A nut job certainly!
SELF CARE OR SELF SABOTAGE?
Probably my go to reaction is self sabotage but I am trying really hard to focus on self care more recently.
JOURNAL OR JOG?
Really? Journal 100% I hate running, though I do miss exercise classes that I used to got to pre-children. Plus since starting the blog, I have discovered my love of writing (not that im any good) but I can ramble on and on and no one stops me!
ASK FOR HELP OR HAPPY TO HERMIT?
My initial reaction is always to hermit, but this never actually helps me personally and I tend to get into a spiral my isolating myself, If I ask for help and get out and about I always feel ten times better afterwards!
I am Lisa a 30 something mum of boys Hayden and Austin, work part time as GP trainee, blog at www.mummygummie.com and after suffering from PND and anxiety recently started a small online business; Mama Be Kind (www.mamabekind.co.uk) selling slogan tees and accessories for mamas and strong women, with 10% of the profits going to PND charities.
Facebook- @mamabekind and @mummygummie
If you'd like to read more conversations with Mental Muthas, click HERE.
Women talking unashamedly about their mental health and parenting innit