Interview - Ross @isabloguk - Men's Mental Health Matters.

Thank you for the bravery and honesty shown by Ross @isabloguk surrounding mental health. 
Name: Ross Hunt
Age: 27
Location: Newport (or close enough), South Wales
Child’s name: Isabelle
Child’s age: Two
The hardest thing about becoming a Father:The hardest thing about becoming a father was the shear helplessness I often felt. Throughout the entire birth I had the sense that there was nothing I could do, and then when we finally brought Isabelle home I didn’t realise how much she would want to feed. Since my wife breastfed I would inevitably have to wake her to allow Isabelle to feed. Also, trying to form a bond with my own daughter was extremely hard too. I didn’t realise it would take so long.
The thing that surprised you the most:
The thing that surprised me the most was the fact that I really didn’t feel much for Isabelle when she was first born. I was expecting this huge rush of emotions that you often hear about in the media, but nothing came. Instead I just had nothing. And that lack o…

Interview - Karl @ wearehummingbird - Men's Mental Health Matters

Thank you to so much to Karl from @wearehummingbird project for all that you do to help break the stigma. 
Name: Karl Age: 32 Location: Lancashire

Child’s name: Norah

Child’s age: 16 months

The hardest thing about becoming a Father:

The adjustment to a ‘new life’ and remembering that you have this new one to care for and look after. (In the early days, sometimes I genuinely forgot that I have a small child until I heard her on the baby monitor).

The thing that surprised you the most:

How fast a child can learn things. You can be going about your business one day and realise that your child has learnt how to get on to the couch, out of the blue. And it’s like ‘woah, that’s just opened up a new world of pain’!!

How has becoming parents changed your relationship? 

I don’t think much has changed. I think we make a conscious effort to argue less and resolve things in a calmer fashion and just try to create a more loving environment. Especially as children can pick up on these things quite easy.


Famous Five Self - Care Tips

‘I wouldn't change being a mum with my own business for the world. But I may change the world’s view on it…’ 

‘Mum guilt’ is a phrase used so flippantly lately that, at times, the true essence of the phrase can be overlooked and forgotten: to feel mum guilt is to feel selfish; it's to feel uncertainty and it's to feel a failure. You're none of these things.
A common misconception when you are your own boss is the freedom; or ironically, what can sometimes feel, is the lack of. Yes, we can be more flexible and yes, it can be a great positive; however, there can be more pressure on those in this position. You have to be so strict with yourself and prioritise consistently. You're deemed to be available if you work from home or if you work for yourself more so than if you were employed 9-5.   
Even the best of friends and family can, at times, seem 'put out’ if you can't make plans or aren't available – ‘but you work for yourself, surely you can meet for a …

Snakes and Ladders.

'These days won't last forever' Well, let's hope not because right now - it's really hard. I've had very little sleep this week so that has a lot to do with how I'm feeling and in the danger of sounding repetitive, being a parent is tough.I worry when I'm not enjoying it all, when I'm not cherishing every second. People so often say, we should be enjoying parenthood, cherishing it as they aren't little for long and while I agree - they're totally right, it doesn't make it any less hard. It's a game of snakes and ladders. One quick roll and you're moving your counter up swiftly and smuggly: you think you've cracked it; it's beginning to get that little bit easier: a good night's sleep, a day without tantrums, a relatively calm teatime and a straightforward bedtime: you're winning at life.You have this nailed.And then you hit a snake.And down you go. Sliding down that slippery surface, landing you further back than …

The Mothers UK interview


Name: Kate Age: 34Children: Hattie, 3 Alice, 1Expectations of motherhood: Autumnal walks in the woods. Cosy cuddles on the couch. Breastfeeding my baby in costa while chatting with friends. This is how I would spend motherhood. The baby would fit right in, we wouldn't change, she would simply fit in with our routine. Right?Reality of motherhood: Oh, the naivety. Where to start? Breastfeeding, I thought it would be simple, all babies latch on easily enough don't they? Tongue tie? Never heard of it. Silent reflux? Never heard of it? It's safe to say that depsite having a close network of family and friends who had children, I had no idea of how overwhelmingly terrifying motherhood would be. Depsite this, we did it. Then did it again. Taking your baby home: After spending 8 days in hospital after a slightly (very) traumatic labour and recovery, we were desperate to take our beautiful daughter, Hattie, home. Once home, the realisation t…

A letter to my first.

Growing up, I'd been fortunate enough to be blessed with siblings and, because of this, I hoped I would be able to have another after Hattie. I wanted her to experience what I had as a child and as an adult: the closeness, the bond, the togetherness.

I spent most of my pregnancy feeling terrified that I was 'pushing my luck' having another when I'd already been blessed with one healthy little girl.

I prepared for the sleepless nights; I'd experienced a reflux baby and knew how hard that could be. What I hadn't prepared myself for was the guilt surrounding Hattie -  my little Hattie, who suddenly seemed like a giant. There was a new baby, a new focus, a new responsibility and just like that: my time, my attention, my patience was halved.

And I found that so hard...

I've written about my experiences with Alice and how I suffered with PND, but never really touched on the feelings surrounding my first.

I wrote this when Alice was 3 months old and if I'm com…

Man up.

Man up? What does this mean? Be tough?  Get it together? Hold it in?
For some, this can be used as a flippant term and in no way meant insulting or damaging. But when you look behind the words, how can it not be? You're telling someone to stop feeling and insinuating that, because of their gender, they should be tough. How can than this be anything other than damaging, for individuals and society.
I was a little apprehensive about writing this, maybe because I'm a woman and a mum and not a man or a dad that I feel somewhat unqualified to talk about it, not wanting to offend, presume, or insult anyone. But, more of me says post than discard. And here's why:
Men suffer; men cry; men worry; men panic; men weep; men feel; men hold it in; men try to keep it together; men get lonely; men feel isolated; men get anxious; men get deprssed; men get sad and men take their own lives too. When I think back to when our first was born, I want to kick myself for not asking how Harry …