An open letter to Adele

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Hello Adele

I’m writing to you because you’ve stepped into the light. I don’t mean the celebrity spotlight or the here’s my new album media limelight. But the light at the end of the tunnel of postnatal depression. You’ve taken that huge decision in your recovery journey to be open about how becoming a mum made you feel.

I remember the first time I told my close friends, I couldn’t even tell them face to face, I did it by email. I can remember the feeling I felt after writing it all down. “This is why I’ve been avoiding you lately… I’ve been to see the doctor and I have postnatal depression.” Their responses were amazing, and I feel totally blessed to have such a fantastic network of supporters and friends and family.

Once I told people I saw on a regular basis I felt instant relief. I felt I could be honest and be myself. I also would not feel I had to explain myself either. Having postnatal depression is not all about sitting in a corner feeling down, it can be just getting through your day, sometimes with a smile on your face sometimes not. If you do smile and seem outwardly happy then that’s ok too. Pnd can be different things to different people, there are good days and awful days. There are moments when you feel great and Instagram that cute picture of your baby sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine and the next minute feeling like you’ve jumped from a skyscraper and are lying splat on the floor. That was my feelings anyway.

Admitting to yourself that you don’t feel how you think you should do after having a baby is the first step in your recovery, the next is telling someone else, seeing your health care professional and finding outside support, talking to others and sharing your story. Finally being open and honest and passing on the kindness you have received from others to new mamas going through the same thing you did is a huge step in becoming a well mummy.

Using your fame as a platform for this is immense. I’m not sure you even realise how much it has meant to other mums to hear and read about your motherhood journey. Yesterday my social media news feed was pinging with retweets, shares, bloggers and perinatal mental health campaigners and friends all sharing your words and theirs telling other mummies that it’s important to talk. And it really is.

My #pndfamily is so important to me. They are speaking up about the importance of perinatal mental health because they know what it is like to experience that awful feeling of knowing we should be enjoying being a mummy but aren’t. As a result of this they have been inspired to set up their own support groups, Twitter chats, campaigns, local charities and generally being amazing advocates. It’s is finally getting talked about more openly yet many mamas and dads too don’t feel confident to speak up about their own struggles through parenthood.

So thank you Adele. Thank you for being so honest and telling the world.

You can read the full article here.

http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2016/10/adele-cover-story

 

Look to your heart

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My public and private mummy face is totally different. I’m sure yours is too. I often find I parent better when I am in front of friends. Somehow I emit this calm persona when I’m with others, to the point that they even comment that I’m so calm. Even though I might be fighting those feelings of frustration or trying not to listen to the “you’re such a bad mum, everyone is looking at you and humming that too” script that goes round in my head.

When I was on maternity leave (7yrs ago) and at home more, we had a neighbour who had 3 young children, I saw her to say hello to but generally only ever saw her coming in or out of her house to get the children in or out of the car. A lot of the time she would be shouting at one or all three of the children. I nicknamed her “shouty mum”. I couldn’t understand why as soon as she was in public that she would be raising her tone of voice and crating such a negative atmosphere……

However since having children I can totally relate to how my neighbour was reacting. I have often found myself getting out of the house still cross at the girls and the getting ready for school routine. Then I feel terribly guilty for my reaction and hate the fact that I am sending the girls off to school upset because I’ve shouted at them.

I came across this short article by Dirt and Boogers

How to Stop Yelling At Your Kids – One Simple Tip

One, she admits that she yells at her kids, for which I admire that admission greatly and two, she had found a way that enables her to take a breath in that moment of pre-shouting that means she can take stock and focus on calming herself down. Leaving hearts all over the house means she can see them, stop reacting and breath.

I’ve got another week of half term left, perhaps I should try this idea……