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Maternal Mental Health

This week is all about Maternal Mental Health with people sharing their stories and places of support.

My story as a new mum is my own, and I thought I would share how I supported my mental health over the past few years.

We never planned on having children, and when I found out I was pregnant (and then got over the shock of this discovery;) I was very pragmatic in my approach to the impending arrival.

I was going to take 6 months off, the other half would take the last 3 months and baby would just fit into our lives.

(Oh how wrong could I be)

I never nested (my best friend did that for me!)

Once our boy finally arrived (on valentines no less) I fundamentally changed as a human being.

The first few weeks were a blur and if I had my time again, I would say ‘no’ a lot more often. 

I felt like I had to please everyone around me when I just wanted to sit on the sofa and have another cuddle (and biscuit).

I had never been in hospital as a patient: ended up with an emergency C-section.

During my labour, I lost myself. I didn’t question what was going on and I trusted every person around me.

I was treated with respect the entire time.

But

Because I was so consumed by what was happening I never spoke up

I never got to see my boy as a freshly arrived wrinkly naked baby

I never had skin to skin

It remains one of my biggest regrets

Then we took him home

I had never changed a nappy

I didn’t even have bottles in the house (the midwife went ape at me upon that discovery at our first home visit!)

I was completely and utterly consumed by motherhood for all 10 months of my maternity leave.

Yup, I took 10 months

When I went back to work I took on a new managerial role thinking I was ready for a change.

Small went into full-time nursery

We were stuck in a hard place between not eligible for any government support and not earning enough to cover all our costs.

We just kept going

10 months into being back at work.

I quit

A toxic combination of not having the scope to perform my role along with the crushing realisation of missing my child’s formative years was too much for me.

I struck lucky.

My employer offered me a part-time role, where I was only responsible for myself

And from there everything fell into place for our family

Once I dropped to part-time, I suddenly noticed that I hadn’t stopped and taken anytime for myself for nearly 2 years!

Through meeting some wonderful humans at a networking event, I was encouraged to jot down my thoughts

And from this?

I found time to be me.

I found a community of loveliness both online and in real life.

Not all are parents.

In fact. Most are not.

Doesn’t matter

Being a new mum in the digital world is a whole new experience.

Just being a good human in a digital world can be tough some days

I have been fortunate enough to not suffer from PND or any other mental health diagnoses, but I did stop looking after (and acknowledging) my own sense of self.

We cannot solely function for others. It is not good for our physical or mental wellbeing.

For me, blogging (albeit infrequently) has given me something which is all mine. It got me out of the family bubble and made me realise how important it is to be ‘me’ again.

I am back to dressing like it’s 1999 (and I have no shame in being a 38 year old in dungarees)

Both myself and the other half make time to do things for ourselves (and occasionally spend time together!)

And as we hit the 4-year mark of parenthood, I have realised how important it is to take a moment and acknowledge those times where it all feels like I’m getting lost.


If you ever need to seek advice please do contact Maternal Health Awareness Alliance where you can find information on groups within your area. 



AndSoWeSaw// Paulos Circus

What do you do after you have all consumed your body weight in Easter chocolate?

Of course, you get out of the house for a couple of hours and head to the circus. Paulos Circus has been in Coleshill for a couple of weeks and we grabbed one of their last shows before they move up to York.

We headed over to Melbicks (which lucky for us was a mere 10mins away) and upon arrival couldn't help but spot the Big Top; from that second the Small kept asking us when the show would be starting.

Once we had collected our tickets, found some seats and settled in we were ready for the off. 

And what a way to start the show with the Wheel of Death! I don't think anyone blinked for the entire act in case we missed something. Whilst the Small was already wanting to jump on in and have a go, I must admit it made me feel a bit wobbly! Also extra bonus points from me for their Día de Muertos Makeup along with the flannel shirts and ripped jeans (for I will always be a grunge girl!)    




In between each act, we had Mr.N to entertain us, and with some traditional comedy and a little audience participation, it kept everyone engaged for the duration.

From knife throwing, laser wizardry and a stunning ariel performance; the show runs for 1 hour and 10mins and it flew by, with the finale having everyone gripped to the edge of their seats (literally in some cases!)

I really enjoyed the intimate size of the Big Top, it created a fab atmosphere as every seat was full of ages young and old. 

Paulos is only in our nect of the woods until tomorrow (April 2nd) and then they move onwards to York (check their Facebook for all the dates). With all tickets £7, it is most certainly value for money all around. 

We were super lucky to have been invited along by Paulos Circus to check out the show in exchange for this review. Which is, as always. entirely our own opinions (and the Small's who now wants to be a TightRope walker!)