#MakingOverMotherhood

Next week is Maternal Mental Health Awareness week. Bit of a mouthful but nevertheless very important!

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I didn’t know anything about mental health issues after birth. I just thought, you have the baby and that’s it! You just have to cope. Anyway, how could you ever feel sad, down, depressed, angry, lost or just nothing while looking after your gorgeous baby? Oh, how I laugh now. I definitely had my fair share of all the above every now and again (and Lord knows sleep deprivation can do scary things to you) but I was lucky to not feel like this all of the time.

Screenshot_20200426-194721_Instagram

So, when I saw that it is Maternal Mental Health Awareness week next week, I wanted to do something. A quick Google and I stumbled upon #MakingOverMotherhood. A social media challenge to raise awareness of Maternal Mental Health disorders and struggles. Everyday, for 5 days, post something that shows what motherhood is really like. The good, the bad and the ugly. It can be something light-hearted that might make someone chuckle or something serious and revealing. It’s up to you. The idea is to end the stigma of mental health issues for mothers.

IMG_20200426_194120_872

As Mothers, it’s very easy to feel like EVERYONE relies on you and therefore you don’t have time for yourself. You don’t have time to be weak because you’re so busy being strong for everyone else. You can’t be seen to be struggling because you might be seen as a bad Mum, a Mum who can’t cope, a lazy Mum, an incompetent Mum. You might not even notice you’re struggling because you don’t have time to take a step back and see that you are. Well, take that step. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you do. And if you notice you are, reach out. There is no shame. I truly believe that everybody struggles with something and I guarantee, you won’t be alone and you won’t be the only Mum who thinks the way you do.

IMG_20200426_194447_245

It’s so vital to get help when you need it because (as the old saying goes) you can’t pour from an empty cup. Basically, you can’t take care of others, without taking care of yourself too. Now, I don’t mean going to get your nails done every week or making sure your hair is perfect (unless that helps you feel better). I’m saying practise self care on the regular, be selfish when you need to be, reach out for help even if you think you aren’t desperate for it. Don’t feel guilty (and trust me, I am no stranger to Mum guilt) because fundamentally, you’re doing it for your kids.  You’re taking care of you so they can have the best Mother possible. A happy Mum, a calm Mum (most of the time, I mean, whistles, right?), a Mum who isn’t constantly emotionally and physically exhausted, a Mum they deserve.

Screenshot_20200426-194602_Instagram

Now, I’m not saying every time you have an outburst and scream at your child about playing the baby shark song for 1098th time that day that you need to call the doctor. There are many ways you can reach out for help.
Obviously, during these times, it’s a little different. I can’t reach out to my Mum to watch Olivia for a few hours while I get some work done or just lay down in a dark room for a while. However:

  • Talk to your partner (if you have one). I cannot imagine how I would do this whole motherhood thing, without Steven by my side. I’m so lucky because he is such a good Dad and so supportive. So I know, if I ever need to, I can talk to him about my stress and if he’s home to help, I can ask him to give me a couple of hours. He will happily take Olivia and Cody (because sometimes, he causes me more stress than my human child) out for an hour long walk and give me the house to myself. I cannot tell you how blissful that is. Even if I just need to rant or cry or a cuddle or time he will give it to me. THAT is invaluable!
  • Reach out to family. I know not everyone is on par with their family but maybe you can meet some mummy friends and they can be your family. I am fortunate that my Mum absolutely adores my little girl and would do anything for her (or me). I honestly love having her one town away and I know that if I needed her, she would be here at the drop of a hat (she has done many times before). In the early days of my new adventure into motherhood, she took a week off work to come over everyday and help me with Olivia. Nothing major. She would watch Olivia while I had a shower (absolute heaven), bring me lunch everyday (I love her) and sit with me while we watched TV and chatted (priceless). She didn’t know it but all of these things meant the world to me. Especially when she made me cups of coffee, I could have cried!
  • Mummy friends. I couldn’t cope without my mummy friend, Lisa. It is so worthwhile to have that someone who gets it. Before lock down, we would grab a take away coffee and go for a walk with the babies every week and just talk. Talk about our struggles, our stresses and what crazy stuff the babies have got up to that week and it was so therapeutic. We would then laugh together at how messy our lives have become but how beautiful it all is too. I would come home and feel refreshed (not to mention caffeinated, which always helps) and like maybe I am a good Mum because I’m not alone in this, because someone else is thinking the exact same things as me!
  • Reach out to professionals. Reach out to your GP, midwife or Health Visitor. That’s what they’re there for! They are the superheroes equipped with all the resources and connections to get you the help you need!
  • Baby Buddy App is an NHS accredited app which offers evidence-based information and self-care tools to help parents during pregnancy and early stages of parenting. Best bit is it is absolutely FREE! Download in the app store or click here for more information.
  • If you are in need of immediate help or support call 999, go to A&E or call Samaritans 116 123 (free to call and it doesn’t show up on your phone bill)

Whatever you think you’re going through, whatever you think you’re struggling with, I can guarantee there’s a Mum out there going through the exact same thing. So do the right thing, reach out and talk. If not for you, for your kids.

For a pick-me-up read my Mum-tivation post!

Lock Down Help!
Lock Down Daily Routine For Toddlers
At Home Activities For Toddlers
Best Bedside Books
My Netflix List
Movies Made For Comfort

To see more pictures like this one the regular, follow me!
Instagram: @charlotterose293


 

Advertisements

GRL PWR

Hello Readers,

This Sunday is International Women’s Day and I thought I would express my appreciation for some of the women in my life and share some of my role models.

What is International Women’s Day? It is a global day celebrating the economic, social, political and cultural successes of women. What’s the point of it? The International Women’s Day website have launched a campaign called #EachforEqual to encourage us to collectively create change for a gender equal world. What can I do? The campaign runs all year long not just on International Women’s Day and you can help spread awareness. Post a picture of you with your arms out in an ‘equal’ shape and share your #EachforEqual pledges and messages.
Visit https://www.internationalwomensday.com/ for more information.

I am a feminist. I know, I know, that’s a scary word. You probably get an image of an angry woman with hairy armpits, protesting for women’s rights and hating men. This is not true. A feminist is anyone who supports equality of the sexes. So really, we should all be feminists regardless of gender, race or religion. It’s not about women wanting to conquer men because they are the superior sex. It’s about equality for all. The best visual representation I have seen of ‘double standards’ is in the music video for ‘The Man’ by Taylor Swift.

This brings me onto my first role model, Taylor Swift. Most of you reading this will probably be thinking “Really? A pop star?” and yes, she is a ‘pop star’ but through her art she raises awareness. In her most recent music video, ‘The Man’, she portrays many gender inequalities. Swift herself is ‘the man’ and we can see ‘Tyler’ getting praised for: doing the bare minimum of parenting, manspreading on public transport, urinating on ‘women’s work’ on a brick wall, throwing a hissy fit when he loses at tennis and doing the ‘walk of celebration’ after sex as opposed to the ‘walk of shame’ women experience. It was really eye-opening to see the parallels but also it felt reassuring and that, finally, someone gets it! She raises awareness through her music while also being an amazing girl boss herself. She fights for the right to own her music and create things that are completely hers, which is something I can only aspire to do. Not to mention, I love her music and think she’s absolutely gorgeous in everything she does (totally girl crushing).

Tay

Role Model #2 is Zoe Sugg. I know “first a pop star now a YouTuber, ugh, grow up”. No. I have watched her videos for 8 years (wow!) and just admire what she has made for herself. She started with a blog, then did YouTube videos and now runs her own brand, has written fiction and non fiction books, released multiple beauty and life style ranges, worked with companies I can only dream of and even went on celebrity bake off! Through it all, she has the best smiley, positive attitude and kind-hearted approach to things. I just find her creativity inspirational and makes me want to continue doing things that I love. She also (like me) struggles with anxiety so I love the fact she’s so honest with her audience about anxiety and can still pick herself up and have a good mood. She encourages me to do the same.

zoe

Role Model #3 is Melissa McCarthy. I have watched films with Melissa McCarthy in ever since I went to see Bridesmaids in the cinema with my Mum. I swear this woman has a direct line to my funny bone. Through her comedic roles, my Mum and I bonded in my teenage years and I will never forget watching Bridesmaids and Spy with her. Especially the moment my Mum (who is quite an introvert) forgot where she was and shouted “THERE’S A MOUSE ON HER TITS!” in the middle of a full cinema. I’m not even joking when I say, I nearly wet myself laughing. Not only are her movie roles genius but I love hearing her talk about her home life. The way I have heard her talk about her two daughters and two dogs on Ellen has me in stitches and I just love her outlook on life, even the everyday things. I like to remind myself to look at things through ‘McCarthy eyes’ sometimes and see the funny side of things.

Mel

Role Model #4 is a personal one. It’s my Aunty Sandra. Since becoming a Mum myself, she has become a sort of ‘baby guru’ to me. My Aunty Sandra has had 4 children and since having her first, she has been a stay at home Mum and a great one at that. I guess she’s a role model of mine because she is always on the go and always doing things for others. Everywhere she goes, she’s a Mum (in a good way). I recently went to lunch with her and in the restaurant she was asking the waitress how she was, getting her life story and offering advice and someone to cuddle. When I was struggling being a first time Mum, she came to see me and helped me with my mood and struggles with breastfeeding. She was always at the other end of the phone when I was having a meltdown with Olivia (even while she’s getting her hair done). Every time I see her, she reassures me that I’m a good Mum and I’m doing the right thing which means the world because as a Mum you never know if you’re doing what’s best for your little ones. She also never lets me forget that this time with Olivia goes so quick and reminds me to soak up every moment. She’s just constantly putting her kids first and I seriously don’t know how she juggles everything and holds it altogether. I can only hope I can pull off motherhood like she does!

FB_IMG_1583514026389

Now that I’ve snotted everywhere, I hope you all take part in the #EachforEqual campaign or even just reach out to a loved one this Sunday and let them know you appreciate them.


Thanks for reading!

Some pictures were taken from Google Images.

Follow me on:
Instagram: @charlotterose293
Twitter: @Cook2903