Sport Relief #MumTalk

Today, it’s time for #MumTalk . Sports Relief has started a hashtag, teaming up the the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and other related Charities and Organisations, to get a conversation started. A conversation about Mental Health – and one that needs to be had.

Across Twitter, people are using the hashtag #MumTalk to share stories about Maternal Mental Health. So I’m getting involved.

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How do I run?

More often than not, what I do on a day to day basis is defined by my children. The things we do, where they are, what plans and appointments we make. Toddlers with both – or one at nursery and one with me , or play dates and play parks and what we’re doing that weekend.

So I guess it’s not surprising that I’ve been asked, more than once, how I ‘run’ with two toddlers. My partner works full time, and I don’t drive, so it’s not a simple ‘drop them off and go’ kind of thing. So how do I do it?

  

The answer is simple – I miss things. 

For starters, I miss them; on a weekend long run, I’ll sacrifice sleepy toddler cuddles and Thomas the Tank for wet leaves, hill climbs, and hoping my knee doesn’t give out. Sometimes I miss a ‘normal’ morning routine; getting up before everyone else to climb out of bed, get my run in, and shower while the house is still stirring. Or I’ll miss a quiet evening meal; lacing up my trainers the second the boys are in bed and getting out before the chill really sets in. I miss my family, I miss my sleep. I miss my book!

There’s things I don’t miss, though. I don’t miss the feeling of struggling to breathe climbing the stairs. I don’t miss my legs chafing on long walks. I don’t miss wearing maternity jeans long past the ‘acceptable’ stage because nothing else fits. I don’t miss sweating for no reason, I don’t miss dreading long walks, I don’t miss feeling self conscious.

And there’s things that I, quite literally, don’t miss. I don’t miss buses anymore; I run for them all. I don’t miss sunrises; I’m right there with them. I don’t miss the rain because I feel it on my skin (because I also don’t miss a run just because it’s wet out!).

So I miss my babies sometimes – but no more than any mum who does ‘something else’. And yes, I miss my bed – but so what? I gain my health, I gain my freedom, I gain a few more years at the end to spend with my family because I’m looking after myself. The things I lose are not really a loss, not when counted against the whole. 

And when my eldest son, with his beautiful grin full of mischief, sees me lacing up my trainers and asks “You runnin’ Mummy? Shall I run too?” – that’s worth it. That’s how I run. And, I suppose, that’s why.
  

Share your Stories – ‘Closer’ Feature

So!

Today, my Post Natal Depression story has been featured in Closer Magazine. If you haven’t got a copy, you can read some of my story on Closer Online. It’s also been featured on their Facebook Page, on MY Facebook Page, on my Twitter… I’m sharing it a lot, basically!

closer FB

It’s super weird to see my face sometimes! (I hope Roman’s cheeky grin distracts from it a little?) In any case, it was lovely to do. I was very nervous last night hoping it didn’t get a negative reaction, but so far so good?

I won’t go into my story again – it’s not unique, I’m not the first, and I sadly won’t be the last. What I will say is this. If you’re unhappy, or anxious, or feeling scared, and you know deep down it isn’t ‘right’ – talk to someone. Whether you’re a parent or not, whatever your personal struggle or Mental Health issue you feel you’re dealing with – It can’t get better unless you ask for help. And I know I don’t speak for everyone – but I got better. Much better. I am happy, healthy, and loved.

If you’re going through with Perinatal Mental Illness- that means Pre or Postnatal Depression, Anxiety, Post Natal PTSD/Birth Trauma, Perinatal OCD, Psychosis… Whatever you’re dealing with, you need to know that you are not alone, even it it feels like it. And if you’re a survivor – tell people! If people are too frightened to talk about the battles they’ve won, how can they give strength to the people still fighting?

Talk. Fight the Stigma. Share your stories.

AmyRoman

Visit www.pandasfoundation.org.uk for more information on Perinatal Mental Illness. If you need to talk, their Helpline is 0843 28 98 401.