For any Beyoncé fans that got lost and ended up here, I’m sorry…but don’t rush off; there could still be something here for you if you A) have children and are also winging it. B) like reading long posts that probably pose more questions than they answer.
(Me the day of my baby shower)
So I’m Kayleigh, Mum to Elwood, Fiancé to Phil and Friend to (hopefully) many.
I have created this space to share my haphazard journey through motherhood so far and the positive and negative effects it has had on my mental health.
Using this platform I hope to reach as many people as possible and do my bit to reduce the stigma that STILL exists around mental health.
I didn’t realise how important mental health was until I was in serious trouble and if I could help just one other person then this blog will have fulfilled its purpose.
I would like to start by telling you how I got here, not my actual conception because that would be weird and we have only just met, but let’s start with how I came upon starting this blog…
I gave birth a week overdue, via the sunroof, on the 11/09/2015 at 16:47pm to a baby boy weighing a whopping 9lb 6ozs. His name had already been picked, Elwood Gavin Kenneth Hawkshaw (bit of a mouthful, sorry bubs), both middle names were inherited from his Granddads and Phil loved the name Elwood ever since watching The Blues Brothers growing up.
He had the most beautiful round little face that was already so full of character.
I blogged his first 6 months at http://www.elwoodhawkshaw.co.uk
So we went home and it was just crazy, we hadn’t slept in days and we’re just in this haze of bottles, attempted burping and making sure the baby was still breathing!
When the baby blues I’d read about came and didn’t leave I knew I needed help.
I know some new mums don’t reach out through fear of judgement but strangely for me I didn’t hold back because I knew that I wasn’t well, something had shifted and I was desperate to feel what I was promised, by every mother who had said the words “you wait, you will feel a love like no other” or “it will be the happiest day of your life”
Erm where was my sudden rush of love? Why was I on cloud 9?!
So it turns out I was suffering from a mixed bag of post natal mood disorders: depression, anxiety and OCD – yay for me!
It’s been nearly 2 years and I can honestly say it is only now that I feel like I am becoming a mum, my world no longer feels like it is falling apart and I better understand the part that self compassion, care and love need to play in my everyday life.
I promised myself that if I ever recovered that I would do this, I would write it all down and share it so that if there was another mum that needed to believe that there was something to hold on for that she could read my story.
Things that have helped my recovery:
Self help books, including The Mind Workout by Mark Freeman
http://www.theocdstories.co.uk – is a fantastic podcast ran by Stuart Ralph. For anyone with OCD or anyone looking to learn more I’d recommend you check it out!
A village of people who helped me find myself again including my wonderfully supportive fiancé, Phil.
The worlds best Parents, Polly and Gavla, who let me move back home when I needed looking after.
My 2 amazing sisters who didn’t always tell me what I wanted to hear but always what I needed, and a handful of darling friends who I will cherish always.
I feel very fortunate to now have the time to create this blog, writing is something I’ve always had a passion for and I hope you will let me know what you think.
We are going to do some ‘help mummy with the cleaning’ this afternoon because the weather is shocking and it’s never too early to get them house trained for their future wives!