A problem shared…
There is undoubtedly comfort to be found in solidarity. Shared experiences can bring us peace, knowing that we aren’t the only one going through something.
With that in mind, we are creating an online library of YOUR stories. Tales of pregnancy and birth, settling down or upping sticks, giving up the 9-5 or struggling with the work/life juggle. If you have a story to tell, we would love to hear it. It can be about absolutely anything related to motherhood or womanhood.
Hopefully the collection will grow and grow with tales of hope and strength to create a library of solidarity that you can search to find the support you need.
Emma Cottam, is a speaker, writer and founder of Isabella and Us. She is the editor of the Positive Wellbeing Zine for Mums, an independent magazine for mums, and the host of the Positive Wellbeing Podcast for Mums. She is also passionate about supporting mums on their journey to find their magic and has recently launched one to one and group sessions for mums to help them gain clarity, purpose and direction. Read her story of struggle and strength in motherhood.
Libby Arthurs is a healthcare professional and first time mum based in Bristol who shares her honest account of motherhood and mental wellness on her instagram account @truthful_mum
Amy Brumby is a young English teacher who unexpectedly fell pregnant whilst planning her wedding. Being thrust into family life was the most wonderful surprise. Inspired by Hollie McNish (her collection ‘Nobody Told Me’ is both real and outstanding), she scribbled these words on her phone during the many night feeds of the fourth trimester and she hopes that it encompasses how the journey is both difficult and beautiful. She feels privileged to have breastfed her son for a year now.
Read her beautiful poem, You.
“Even before my baby arrived, I’d decided that I was definitely going to breastfeed. I knew that lots of women gave up but I wasn’t going to. I was going to breastfeed my baby. It was natural. It would be easy. Right?”
Read about one mum’s struggles with breastfeeding, tongue-ties and an unsupportive midwife.
Surprise, admiration, perplexity – just some of the reactions Sarah and Dan experienced when explaining their Shared Parental Leave (SPL) plans with friends and collegues last year. Together the couple decided that Sarah would do the first six months, the newborn stage, and then Dan would take over for the next few months until their allowance expired. So, how is it going?
“March is cerebral palsy awareness month. I remember the first mention of cerebral palsy in an appointment with my daughter, Evie, and the image it immediately conjured up in my head. It’s for that reason I want to share our journey so that people can understand the wide range in which CP presents itself.”
We are so grateful to Louise for sharing her experience and and thrilled to help spread awareness of CP through this post. We have learnt so much already!
Check out her out on Instagram for an amazing insight into their beautiful family life.
While sitting in her parked car outside her son’s pre-school late one afternoon in March 2020, Sarah’s eyes pricked with tears as the severity of the situation hit her – we were in a global pandemic and she had just found out that she was pregnant.
Thank you so much to Sarah for sharing her story. We know that there are so many mums who have had similar experiences. Continuing to go to work whilst pregnant, being alone at scan appointments and worrying that your birth partner may not be able to be present for you labour. Sending lots of love to all newborn mums – we can’t wait to welcome you for coffee and cake as soon as we’re able!
Thank you so much to Louise for sharing how and why she came to get an ADHD diagnosis at the age of 37. She has already received an “overwhelming avalanche” of messages, comments and questions from other women who recognised themselves in her story.
Hi, I’m Louise, mum of 2, an 8 year old boy and a 10 year old girl. I live in Cheltenham with kids, my husband Dave, Hendrix the dog and Lenny the rescue cat.
Passionate about talking about difficult subjects, I have openly discussed my severe postnatal depression, my anxiety, how hard motherhood can be and more recently my adult ADHD diagnosis. (Something I now realise is likely to be connected to all the anxiety, the PND and the depression that’s haunted me for years!) As well as more hard hitting topics my blog also covers family travel, fun days out and festivals.
When I’m not writing, I love crafting, baking, focusing on my fitness and taking long walks with Hendrix. I also run my new business Top Blog Coaching, helping others to achieve success with blogs and write the eco column for The Local Answer magazine.
One in Four
“I’m a talker. I need to get my feelings off my chest and have a good rant or a cry with friends. I just cannot imagine trying to deal with this on my own.” We are so grateful to Katie for sharing her story. So many of us find ourselves in similar positions, 1 in 4 in fact. Hopefully this will be some comfort to other families experiencing loss. Trigger warning: please be aware that this post discusses pregnancy loss.
You are a bad parent
“I go to bed every single night worrying that because the kids’ rooms are the first you come to at the top of the stairs, they will either be attacked by an invader first or fall down the stairs and break every bone in their bodies, so hence I sleep very lightly.” Victoria shares her honest account of dealing with anxiety as a Mother.
“Recently, I found myself reading an absolutely nauseating account of childbirth by a popular blogger, which apparently had its readers dabbing the tears away as they cooed over staged photos of a freshly post-birth mother with shiny, perfectly styled hair and a face full of makeup…My experience was neither glorious nor traumatic (for me) and my birth story is far from exceptional.”
Read this full time feminist and first time mum’s honest and heartfelt account of birth.