I was overwhelmed by all the messages and comments on my post about finally seeking help for anxiety. I have always been very open about the fact I suffer from it and so had lots of questions and messages of support from others over the past year or so… but I hope by finally seeking help I can help encourage others to do the same.
I first started feeling more anxious than normal in the year after I had Vivienne. It was more a sense of uncertainty. Like I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing day to day. Going from a full time job commuting into London and a routine of a week… to having no set plans, just a baby and a sense of freedom that we essentially could do or go wherever we wanted. A lovely freedom looking back but at the time it gave me this strange sense of uneasiness.
I got on top of it and when I started working again, and writing the blog it had all but gone.
Then after I had Margot it reared its ugly head again. So badly. We moved house when Margot was just a few months old and that certainly didn’t help either. Then Vivienne being so unwell before Christmas and our horrid scare. It had got to the point where evenings were spent practising breathing techniques and reading anxiety books instead of relaxing and enjoying time with my husband. In the day I could just be walking down the road pushing the buggy… and out of nowhere my chest would tighten and the dreaded anxiety take hold. I couldn’t put my finger on the triggers. It was so frustrating as I am the sort of person that likes to figure things out (a magicians worst nightmare at parties) and with my background in psychology I always thought I could ‘sort myself out’.
Meeting with a friend that had similar feelings and finally took herself off to the doctors was the final push I needed. I made an appointment – thought I was going to vomit in the waiting room, cried my eyes out in the doctors room and then walked away with a spring in my step. I did it, I asked for help and now I have it.
Personally I think mine is a mixture of hormones post pregnancy and from past traumatic experiences – the death of a best friend, Viviennes meningitis at 18 months old and pneumonia at Christmas, a traumatic birth with Margot and the stay in hospital afterwards… things I perhaps thought I was fine about at the time and had ‘dealt’ with but are still there, little worries in my head.
I start CBT next month and cannot wait. I want to learn how to control my anxiety and I want to get on and enjoy my life without the constant intrusive feelings of being anxious. I am always such a happy person, love my life and what I do, my children, husband and my family… and these anxious feelings are so unwelcome. I am looking forward to updating you soon on how they’re gone… and for all those who might feel the same I urge you to seek help too. You cannot regret it.
When I told my own mother I was working with BABY Born she was very excited – she reminded me that the Zapf Creation dolls were my absolute favourite as a child. She would take me to Harrods in town to treat me and I remember them so well. I love the nostalgia one toy can bring, memories that come flooding back. I had a floppy bald baby (who still lives in my childhood bedroom at home) and ‘Kay’ who had the fullest head of hair and a big blunt fringe I used to comb everyday.
Vivienne’s BABY Born is a boy doll – she wasn’t too happy about that at first. Declared he a she and informed me that what was hidden inside his nappy was in fact just a ‘bottom’ and not the ‘willy’ I had told her it was. The clothes he came in were ripped off and a frilly pink dress put on. This was not influenced by me one bit, I find her gravitation to what have always been known traditionally as girls toys – so interesting. At a birthday party this weekend us mums stood round and commented that the boys ran straight to the construction area playing with diggers and anything that has wheels – the girls were dressing up and playing shops and princesses.
Well as always I want to make sure Vivienne (and Margot) always have a choice and if they choose pink and frilly so be it. At this age it’s all about learning through play. Making sense of the world around them, gaining confidence in everyday activities. Three year old Vivienne (like most children her age) bends and invents reality – I find it fascinating to watch. The little scenarios they come up with. The things they say – oh they have me in stitches I try to capture them on camera but it’s always out of nowhere.
All her previous experiences, things she hears us say, things she watches on TV and watches out and about – they’re all used to create this little imaginative world of hers. I love it so much – just watching from the side lines and listening to her play.
She’s been babysitting BABY born today and went off to Kingston with the car seat I don’t know how many times. Scolded the he/she baby for taking its nappy off, told it how much more dinner it must eat before pudding, and given it a lesson on using scissors (after its three apparently). She told me with Margot and her new baby she was very tired ‘it’s hard work mummy – I have two babies now’. Had me in stitches – too right Vivienne its hard work!
Vivienne has the BABY born interactive doll with nine different functions that make it more real for her… she literally feeds it in a highchair at the table, changes its nappy, dresses and undresses (continuously!) and bathes it. To say she is smitten would be an understatement.
*This post was written in collaboration with BABY born. All photography, words and opinions are my own*
Ok this Girl Crush Tuesday it is all about the woman that pushed me to get the fringe chop. True I don’t wear it down all the time, (its hard work styling it and my hair has a touch of the monica-abroad about it most of the time) BUT I just love the look when I do make the effort. And if there is anyone in the world that rocks a fringe better than this girl – please point me in their direction.
I warn you that if you are on the edge and considering a fringe this might be your push… be prepared. And if you’re not in the market for a fringe – hope you can just enjoy soaking up the inspiration.
Introducing the uber stylish Julia Stegner.
Remember the Chloe campaign with the two girls walking around Paris all seventies boho chic? That was Julia back in 2015. In fact I am pretty sure she’s been in more than one of the Chloe campaigns. She is a Chloe girl through and through. Yes she is a model so of course she’s going to be genetically blessed (I had to remind myself of this when I read we were the same age – eeeeek!) but its the casual way she wears her beauty. I love the natural wave of her hair, the grown out fringe, casual mum-style, splattering of freckles and the no-makeup makeup look. She is well and truly in my locker of style inspo.
When you think of love do you think of loving your husband, your boyfriend, children, family, friends. I bet loving yourself comes right down the pecking order, if you even think of it at all. So here’s your Sunday night reminder to take a little look at the way you talk to yourself, the way you criticise yourself, put yourself down and demotivate yourself. Would you ever speak that way to your best friend? If you wouldn’t why do it yourself?
Negative self-talk is so powerful – it can take you from a low mood to a foul mood in moments. However – being your own best friend can actually do the reverse in just seconds.
It takes practice and won’t come naturally but if you can make that your priority this week and then look back next Sunday I am sure you will feel better about yourself. More positive, happy, in a lighter mood. And the more you can manage to do it – the more that self love will become unconditional.
So this Sunday evening it’s time to start the practice… think about where you feel unhappy, and start from there… nurture yourself… look after yourself. After all – to be the best mum you can be – you have to put your own gas mask on first.