Australian podcaster + mental health advocate
Today I welcome Rebecca McMartin to the podcast, Rebecca is a podcaster and digital creator based in Sydney, Australia, but sees herself first and foremost as a storyteller and mum of a little boy, nicknamed Pudge.
Rebecca was always drawn to reading and writing as a creative and therapeutic outlet, and studied several creative writing and journalism courses in the hopes of pursuing her passion. Ultimately, she gave up this pursuit due to the fear of not being 'creative' or good enough.
Following an acute mental health crisis when her son was born, Rebecca returned to writing as a way to process her pain and grief.
It was from this experience that she decided to harness the power of storytelling and start Perinatal Stories Australia - a podcast, blog, and social media platform for Australian women to share their lived experiences with perinatal mental ill health, which she works on between motherhood moments.
Through holding space for these vulnerable conversations, Rebecca hopes to increase awareness, to advocate for maternal mental health causes, to reduce stigma, to inform listeners about the support services available, to improve mental health literacy, and to make sure no mother feels alone in her struggles.
This episode contains mentions of many mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, PTSD, panic attacks, as well as birth trauma and grief.
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If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of international resources here
Music used with permission from Alemjo my new age and ambient music trio.
When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.
Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast
I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!
Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.
Welcome to the Art of Being a mum podcast, where I Alison Newman, a singer songwriter, and Ozzy mum of two enjoys honest and inspiring conversations with artists and creators about the joys and issues they've encountered. While trying to be a mum and continue to create. You'll hear themes like the mental juggle, changes in identity, how their works been influenced by motherhood, mum guilt, cultural norms, and we also strain to territory such as the patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the show notes, along with a link to the music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our supportive and lively community on Instagram. I'll always put a trigger warning if we discuss sensitive topics on the podcast. But if at any time you're concerned about your mental health, I urge you to talk to those around you reach out to health professionals, or seek out resources online. I've compiled a list of international resources which can be accessed on the podcast landing page, Alison newman.net/podcast. The art of being a man would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and water, which this podcast is recorded on has been the Bondic people in the barren region of South Australia. I'm working on land that was never seen it. Thank you so much for tuning in. Today. It is lovely to welcome you into my studio here in Mount Gambier in South Australia. As I'm recording this today, it's a beautiful 22 degrees Celsius outside. That's about 70 and Fahrenheit. If the sun is shining, there's a light breeze, there's not a cloud in the sky. And you can probably hear the birds are singing. I thought I'd leave my window open and give you a little taste what it feels like to be in my part of the world. Today I'm welcoming Rebecca McMahon to the podcast. Rebecca is a podcaster and digital creator based in Sydney, Australia. But she sees herself first and foremost as a storyteller, and mom of a little boy nicknamed Pudge. Rebecca was always drawn to reading and writing as a creative and therapeutic outlet and studied several creative writing and journalism courses in the hopes of pursuing her passion. Ultimately, she gave up this pursuit due to the fear of not being creative, or being good enough, following an acute mental health crisis when her son was born, Rebecca returned to writing as a way to process her pain and grief. It was from this experience that she decided to harness the power of storytelling, and start perinatal stories Australia, a podcast blog and social media platform for Australian women to share their lived experiences with perinatal mental ill health, which she works on between motherhood moments. Through holding space for these vulnerable conversations. Rebecca hopes to increase awareness to advocate for maternal mental health causes to reduce stigma to inform listeners about the support services available to improve mental health literacy, and to make sure no mother feels alone in her struggles. Please be aware this episode contains mentions of many mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, as well as birth trauma and grief. Thanks again for tuning in. It really is such a pleasure to welcome me. Thank you so much for coming on. Rebecca. This is a real pleasure to meet you and to speak to you today.
Thank you. Well, thank you for having me. I think I followed your podcast for a while now. So I felt very like privileged Whitney, like sent me a message saying if I'd like to come on, and I was like, Yes, please.
It's lovely to hear. Thank you. So you're in Sydney. Yeah. What's it like up there today? Is it is it?
It's disgustingly hot. But I mean, I can't complain. It's been terrible weather all year up until about a week ago started to feel like summer finally. So I guess, you know, you get what you wish for and
like we've been the same. It's just we've had no sort of just nice average weather. It's been raining extremely cold. Yep. Or then we get 39. So it's like I said, I can't wait till it gets hot and then we can start whinging about how to exactly,
exactly. I need something new to whinge about you know? Yeah, so your mom
and Your Podcast, you've been very active on your social media, sharing your your story and your journey with your perinatal stories Australia, can you can you tell us all about that and what inspired you to start that whole experience for people?
I mean, you know, perinatal stories Australia, it's it's a platform really to share stories about perinatal mental health, you know, what we go through? I mean, yes, there's contentious arguments in the community about whether perinatal anxiety or depression are actually different from non perinatal anxiety, depression, I feel like it is. And I felt like we needed a space to talk about that to share stories about that, because going through mental illness itself is hard enough, going through it as a mom during pregnancy and or postpartum is just on another level. And that all came about, you know, I've had a history with anxiety, I've had a history with depression. And I, you know, naively thought that, you know, if this does happen to me postcard, and then you know, I've gone through it before I'll get through it again, it'll be right. But you know, as we learn, it doesn't discriminate. You can be a psychologist or social worker, you could be a doctor, you could have all this experience and personal history or knowledge of mental health or mental ill health, and it can still hit us like a ton of bricks. And that's what happened to me, I, I guess I was in denial about how anxious I was during my pregnancy. And, you know, I was so focused on postpartum and wanting to control my postpartum in order to protect myself from depression, or anxiety, or psychosis, which I'd learned about during pregnancy, and it scared the absolute shit out of me. But yeah, I was in denial about the fact that my anxiety was really there in pregnancy, and it was getting worse and worse and worse, at the start, I kind of kind of brushed it off, because, you know, I could still go to work, I was still functioning. So therefore, it was okay. You know, we tell ourselves those things, and you know, it's fine. And it'll be fine. When he you know, my baby's here, it's just hormones, you know, we go through that we dismiss ourselves. And my anxiety just got worse and worse, to the point that I wasn't leaving the house. And I know, that's such a stereotype. But I was having panic attacks every day. And I, I developed this fear of birth, which became pathological and even I was just missing myself, like, all everyone's scared of birth, and I'd taken all the classes, you know, all the calmbirth classes and wanting to be prepared, and I was originally feeling confident about birth. And then I wasn't, then I was just convinced I was going to die. And so that anxiety just took hold, I couldn't move, I couldn't go to work without bursting into tears couldn't leave the house couldn't make decisions. And it just the closer and closer it got to birth, the more and more it felt like I'm getting closer and closer to death. So that just became obviously a very horrible, horrible experience. But again, I just kept thinking, oh, when he's here, when the bus over, it will be fine. Obviously doesn't happen. You know, we I mean, mental illness in pregnancy is so under diagnosed, and so brushed off because we're so focused on postpartum. Yeah, and, you know, unfortunately, if you don't treat it in pregnancy, it actually gets us into a spot of like, you know, though, shocked to me, but I'm sure a shock to a lot of people I've spoken to a lot of mothers who said the same thing, you know, it popped up in pregnancy, but all hormones, it'll get better. And it doesn't because you're then thrown into this whole new situation with a whole new human who you have to, you know, you have to look after them so that they can survive and Yeah, unfortunately for me, I will, unfortunately but I I ended up booking a planned cesarean because I just the thought of going through labor and not panicking. I just couldn't see myself doing that. And you know, I guess the C section wasn't exactly a walk in the park I wasn't looking forward to that either. But there was a bit more certainty and a bit more control and the thought of going through labor and ending up in an emergency sixth section anyway because I wasn't able to control my anxiety. I made that decision and you know, it may have been me and you know, your coping skills you think okay, if that's something that you're scared, okay, just kind of tune it out a little bit. And so I was in the surgery and I I was in the room, my mind wasn't in the room. And you know, that led to something that I wasn't expecting, which was actually birth trauma. I did get diagnosed with postpartum PTSD and from that, I think that dissociation So yeah, that took me by surprise because in theory On paper, I had a very textbook birth, I lost minimal blood, everything was okay. Everyone was so lovely to my obstetrician, the midwives, I was even allowed my social worker in that room because everyone in that room knew how anxious I was. And they were doing everything to make sure I was comfortable and safe and okay. But I was still scared. And that anxiety in late pregnancy just obviously manifested and became crisis point within a few days of my son's birth. So I couldn't sleep. Anytime I tried to close my eyes, I would, I would have nightmares. And it would just jolt me, you know. So for days, I was having like red flashing firework scary images in front of my eyes, and I was petrified. So I was already anxious in pregnancy, this then just scared the shit. Obviously, you know, and then you've got a baby to look after. And I developed well, I learned that I had OCD my whole life, but it was very mild. It then obviously became a bit more acute. At this point in time, everything just kind of bubbled up. It was, you know, the anxiety were full crisis mode, there was the PTSD, there was rapid onset of OCD, there was a lot going on. And within a few days of my son's birth, we were admitted to a mother and baby psychiatric hospital because I was so distressed and I wasn't sleeping. And yeah, that's obviously not the story, I thought I'd tell about my own motherhood, that's not the story. You know, here I am thinking, Oh, I've had experience with mental ill health. You know, I can see my psychologist, you know, I've got skills, all of that went out the window. And I was absolutely at rock bottom. And, you know, this is someone me who is comfortable talking about my mental health who's had that experience. I can only imagine going through that. And you haven't seen a psychologist before. You haven't. I didn't even know that there was such a choice was and I especially didn't know that there were any for mothers and babies. This was all intimidating as well. So I mean, that turned out to be the best thing I've ever done in my life. Obviously, at the time, I didn't think that I was, I was terrified. Because this just felt like another thing I'd failed, or, you know, I was crazy. I was broken, I had no reason to be there. You know, there are women who are single parents, or they've gone through a very traumatic birth, or they've, you know, they're victims of domestic violence, or for whatever reason, I thought, You know what, I'm coming from a place of privilege. I shouldn't be feeling this, I must be broken. I must be crazy. You know, you, you kind of say things to yourself, like, Well, someone else has a better reason for this. It's clearly I'm just broken. No, and yeah, yeah, we look for those reasons. And when we can't find it, we then blame ourselves even more.
Which is ridiculous, isn't it? Because there's we have absolutely no control, no control whatsoever on how on all of this stuff. Yeah.
And yeah, sure, you know, maybe if my anxiety had been managed, better in pregnancy, and you know, the hormones, you know, maybe there was something more we could do. But at the end of the day, it doesn't discriminate. It's in my psychopathy, or my psychology, or, you know, it just it was going to happen. And I think a lot of people had to validate that for me is that, you know, with your history, something like this was going to happen, maybe not 16, and it obviously just snowballed out of control. But, you know, and how lucky am I that I was able to go to that Mother Baby Unit, I say this a lot, but I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for that, you know, my son and I were allowed to be admitted together. That's the whole point. You know, the mother gets treated, while still prioritizing that mother baby diet, making sure you know, mom and Baba together and i My heart breaks for women who have to go to, you know, the emergency department and they're separated from their Bob for days or weeks. And you know, they're in a place where they can't have visitors. And I mean, this was in the middle of COVID lockdown in Sydney as well. So I was lucky my husband was able to stay as well because you know, they prioritize that family unit. We were locked in this little hospital. But again, being a mum in a general, you know, a public hospital or whatever with an emergency department in that psych unit not being allowed visitors your phone's taken off, you kind of thing I just My heart breaks and like I said, I am so lucky, so fortunate that I was able to attend the only one in New South Wales at that time.
Know, I guess that's to answer your question. That's where perinatal stories Australia came out because like I said, this wasn't the story of motherhood. I was excited acting. And despite my knowledge and my experience, this all took me by surprise. And there was so much that I learned about mental health, specifically maternal mental health. And I just thought we don't talk about this. You know, it wasn't until I started talking to, you know, family extended friends, that people were like, Yeah, my sister's been there, or you're my auntie went to that hospital. People knew about it, but we don't talk. And what a disservice we're doing to mothers, by not talking openly about this by maybe, you know, they will then feel ashamed. Like, I'm clearly broken, I had to go to a psychiatric hospital, I'll never talk about this in my life. And I thought, I don't, I don't want that I don't want this to just be a bad memory, I want to do something with it. I want to tell these stories, my own and other women's so that there are mums out there potentially going through this who don't think they're broken, they don't think they're alone, and that they can potentially learn about some of the options available. You know, when you're in that moment, or that moment that, you know, crisis point, you feel like there is no help hope there is no help. There is nothing that will save you. And to know that, you know, it's not just necessarily going to a counselor, it could be antidepressants, it could be a psychiatric hospital, it could be seeing a social worker, it could be there's an occupational therapist, there are so many different pathways to receiving help are a combination of all of these, you know, whether you go down the line of potentially doing therapy like the eye movement, desensitization reprocessing, so EMDR whether you do that, or whether you go down the line of TMS, so the transcranial magnetic? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I don't, I don't know the acronym at the top of my head. But there's so many options, and they sound scary. But then when you actually talk to women and hear their experience of it, it becomes less and less foreign. And you start to feel a little bit more of that hope. So that was my goal. That was my goal with the podcast. And it took me it's taken me a year now to actually release the episodes. I only released my first episode six weeks ago, but I've been thinking about it and working on the social media stuff, and just trying to, I guess, build that community, but also feel a little bit more confident, because I have no idea I'm doing, let's be honest, I'm not a podcast, I still don't see myself as that. I don't see myself as a creative. So that in itself is something I'm still trying to negotiate with myself. So yeah, me being me, I want to be great at what I do. So I didn't want to release an episode. Like, you know, I had to build it up and had to learn and I had to teach myself because I didn't want to get too excited. I wanted to make sure I did it. Right. Yeah, I worked on the social media stuff just as a little as a starting point. So that was a space. And it still is, you know, for advocacy for raising awareness for education for sharing some parts of my story, some of those personal bits and pieces. And now obviously, that the podcasts been released, I'm sharing the stories of those moms who've gone through that, which is phenomenal. And I'm so grateful that they've been open and honest about those experiences, because the amount of women who have messaged saying, you know, I didn't know that this was an option I or I've gone and booked in to see my doctor, I'm actually going to ask for help now. Yeah, sorry. I just get shivers that
it's yes, I can totally resonate with that. I think that's just the way I sort of see it is like not everybody is capable of sharing. And that's fine. So it's, it's totally okay. The people that are I sort of feel like it's it's your I don't know what the word is. You're not obliged to do it. But if you know how to do it, do it because it just helps so many people and you have no idea like you said until people talk about it you don't know who in your life you already know or I've met that has had experiences similar or can learn from your experiences like you were saying about people go oh Jeepers, that's raise something in May. I'm going to do something about it. It's so powerful and I just think like Good on you because it's it is vulnerable to share. What is the definition of the perinatal
time period so perinatal is pregnancy to a year postpartum technically that is the medical definition, I'm of the opinion and with some other people I've met on Instagram, but you know, it could also be preconception, you know, if you're going through infertility or loss, that doesn't discount, it's not that you shouldn't be included because you don't technically meet that pregnancy and postpartum one definition, I still include it. But I mean, on a technicality, it is that time period between pregnancy and one year postpartum. And that's when you are most vulnerable to a mental illness as a woman, you are never more vulnerable than in that time period in your life
yes. When you talked about having been able to go to the hospital to admit yourself and your baby, I didn't know those plates existed either. When I went through my experience with my second child, I was offered to be admitted to hospital, but it would have meant that it was only for me and not baby. So I chose not to. Because I felt that it was more important for me to be with my child, because I actually had this feeling that he was going to help me heal. I just had this really, I don't know what it was a feeling that I had to keep him close to me. And I think that's what deep helped me get through it. Whereas with my first child, I was always pushing him away and pushing him away. And that's the thing too, I think, even though we do have these, these mental health issues, it can be so different with the each child that you have. Exactly. Which is was my experience. Yeah, it's it's a weird, weird thing, the brain and the way our bodies work.
So when I want to go back to when you were pregnant? Yeah. And you talked about having your you said it was your social worker, I think, yeah. So you had support during your pregnancy.
And so me being me and wanting to be in control and prepare for postpartum, I did go through a very informal postpartum planning, it was my way of being in control. And really, it was just a symptom of my anxiety. But it worked out well in the sense that I had, I had reached out to Gidget foundation, so digit house, they have their free talk therapy, during pregnancy and postpartum. So I reached out and I got on the waitlist for that. And I was able to speak to a psychologist throughout my pregnancy and postpartum one who was obviously well versed in maternal mental health. And through my obstetrician, she was phenomenal. I know so many people have not so great experiences I had, I had a wonderful one who was constantly checking in on my mental health and, okay, so at the hospital, I gave birth, she referred me to the social worker. So it's an obstetric social worker who's part of the hospital, my OB referred me through there, just just to make sure that I had like a safety net, just in case. And so I went to speak to that social worker just once give her a rundown of my history. It wasn't until we got closer to birth, that I was scared of the birth that my OB coordinated with her to be present at the time of the birth. And then obviously, she became such a key part in my postpartum my early postpartum while I was in hospital having that acute episode, she was the one who got me into the mother and baby unit, which I didn't even know existed. So I'm, I had that safety net in a way, which, you know, again, I cannot imagine where I would be. I know where I'd be. I don't want to imagine it. If it weren't for her, or even my OB to actually put me in contact with her, someone who knows maternal mental health and knows the services and support systems that are available to catch you when you fall.
So, yeah, it's when I was saying before, I'm from Gambia, we're a small town. They say we're, we're the second largest city, and I say city in inverted commas. Because we're not a city. We're we're a large country. 10 second largest outside of Adelaide, like in Australia, which is quite scary. I mean, it is. Yeah. Got it. You can't compare the City of South Australia today via the capital city. Which is kind of nice to do. But yeah, I had no idea what's Ever since we had or didn't have, I just presumed we really didn't have anything down here. And it wasn't until that I needed them that all of a sudden you discover all this stuff. And I sort of I didn't have when, when my first child, I was sort of diagnosed after the fact, a few years later of having personnel depression, because I basically slipped through the cracks, because I wasn't giving them the answers that they needed for the takeoff checklist. Basically, I didn't fit the criteria. And unfortunately, there was wasn't the, you know, the services or the right people at the right time to ask questions, always really struggling. And it's not just because basically, I was trying to justify it. I was like, Oh, I'm just having a bad day. You know, I just haven't had a lot of sleep. I was in complete denial, and was my husband that said to me, I think you've got that thing that they talked about it. Any NATO class, I'm like, No, I don't I've just, you know, it's just a crap day. But it wasn't just a crap day. And it was really funny A Few Years Later. Not funny, but, you know, ironic using my gynecologist who was I kept saying, you know, between my babies, because I was having my Rainer, and then having that removed and all that and, and he said, Oh, yeah, sounds like you had some postnatal depression, or that's something that could have been solved with one, one tablet a day. And I just went off for God's sake. Just the other night, it was not that he was belittling, it was basically saying we could have fixed that we could have. Actually, nobody realized, you know? Yeah, and so then it was really good. When I had my second child. Like you were saying about having things in place, mine was a little different. Because I don't know, it was seven years between my children. And I had this idea that I was going to be fine. Yeah, it's like denial again. And when I was pregnant, because I don't know, my pregnancy hormones kept me right up here. I was cracking along, everything was great. I was journaling about all the things I do differently, and everything was gonna be different. And when I got into the hospital, they, they've sort of red flag to my file. You know, watch out for this one, sort of, which was the best thing they ever do. Yeah, it's good. Yeah. When it happened, things moved really quickly. And really, in the right, you know, everyone knew what had to be done. Because it did happen to have even made it to three days after I heard you, it just went back. And I, I also had a very traumatic birth and, and got diagnosed with PTSD from the birth. But the whole birth trauma thing was a new thing. Because it wasn't two years after that, I actually realized that that's what it was. And that was just through social media, following particular people and just went, Oh, I think that's what happened to me. And then I'd been vaccine was my counselor. Like for therapy and stuff, and I talked to her about it. And when I was really telling her my birth story, and she said, Oh, yeah, I don't want to diagnose you with something else. But yeah, you've got PTSD. And that's birth trauma and understood a lot. Like, oh, wow, just add it to
the list. Just another thing to add Yeah.
It's the weirdest thing. You just, some people just, you know, breeze through it, everything's great. Everything's fine. And you sort of think, like, I don't know, did you have an experience where you talked about not having the ideal birth? And do you ever feel like you've missed out? Did you ever feel completely, like almost jealous of other people that have got to have certain things, I went through
a grieving process. And that grieving process actually lasted longer than that acute episode, I was in hospital. So I was in hospital until my son was six weeks old. That's when we were discharged the day after he turned six weeks old. And obviously, things weren't great, but I wasn't in that acute crisis state. I was back to maybe mild, moderate. And then, you know, once you're out of that distressed state, you can then work on therapy and all the skills that you had, that then starts to kick in. But then the grief hit until maybe my son was about six months old. And you know, I would my one of my friends had her baby boy. So I have a son. So she had a baby boy about three months after I did. And, you know, she had the vaginal birth she had the breastfeeding journey that I didn't. And yes, that's not to dismiss how hard motherhood is, but she had that newborn bubble. And I, I cried it. To put it bluntly, it felt like my heart broke into a million and pieces, because I just thought how much mental illness took away. You know, not just what I wanted, but it took away that newborn bubble, that breastfeeding experience, you know, the bonding that we're told, breastfeeding provides us it took away moments that I would never ever get back those first six weeks of my son's life, I would never get those back. And it took up until he was six months old for me to reconcile with that, and to Yeah, come to a place where I, you know, no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn't change what had happened. So in that up until he was six months old, that grieving process, I then reached stuck. I then wanted to reestablish breastfeeding and try re lactating. So I tried so hard at that I, you know, had the approval of, you know, the community nurse, and my psychologists, psychiatrists, because they said, Okay, you're in a different headspace, but I was still grieving. And in my head, reestablishing breastfeeding was my way of wanting to get back the time that I had lost, because if I just clung to breastfeeding as the answer to my problems, and it didn't work, which I knew it wouldn't work, probably for a few. I was, you know, you have to pump like seven times a day, 10 minutes each. So you know, it is just not happening when you've got a an infant and you're speeding, you know, playing, changing body, all of this, you know, and you need to eat yourself. And so it just wasn't happening, but I clung to it. And it wasn't until six months postpartum, that I just realized that even if it did work, even if I was able to reestablish breastfeeding, there was nothing that would change what had happened, there was nothing I could do to get that time back, even if it magically worked. And I was breastfeeding and we could enjoy this current time in this sense through breastfeeding. Those six weeks weren't coming back. And I needed to make peace with that and that grief was that like I said, it lasted a lot longer than even the acute episode and it was consuming it did a grief made me you know, suffer more than I already was. But yeah, there was that jealousy and there was that just I mean, I call it grief because it just I wanted so badly what they had not that I wanted to take it away from them, but I just wish I got Yeah. And no, I mean it's still even with me. One of my other friends had her beautiful baby girl about six weeks ago and you know, I didn't cry for a solid two months straight this time. I cried for a couple of hours but that just yeah, it it still hits you and you still think what did I miss out? You know, the last bit of my pregnancy that you know, you convince yourself you're not capable or you can't function and your anxiety is just in control. And you know, you just wish you was strong enough I guess I'm gonna use that in quotes to overcome your anxiety and be brave you know all that positivity. So you know, you wish you could just think it think your way out of it and have some positive affirmation. And it doesn't but you still hold on to that you know, you still think God I wish I could have just I wish I wasn't controlled by my anxiety or I wish I wasn't controlled by my mental health and because of that I missed out on some of the experience I wanted and it's not my fault it is an illness. But it still hurts it hurts like hell. And yeah, like I said I didn't like with my friend who had her boy at three months when I was three months postpartum I cried every single day for hours and hours and hours a day for maybe two three months. This time it was only a few hours but you know it that grief is mental illness takes away a lot from us you know and especially as a mom you miss out on on so much and your kids grow so quickly and in that six weeks I wasn't getting that time back you know and that's still something that eats away and sits with you and I don't know if I deliver not eat away at me but yeah, you know and that's okay. That's okay. I'm allowed to grieve that you know it's getting easier but yeah
absolutely. You said how mental illness take so much away is that what's makes you really passionate about sharing your story. It's like you can, you can take this thing that's been so destroying and turn it into something. I don't want to say positive because it sounds cliche, but you know me like to sort of say, okay, so this has happened, this has been really shit really, really bad. But the silver lining is that maybe I can help someone else. Maybe I can, you know, has that been a factor in
think so. But I think this was also my way of processing the grief and owning my story. You know, this was a strict like I said, I this is not the story, I want to be telling you about motherhood, I wish I had a very different story to be sharing. I wish I had the stories that my friends were sharing about their births and their newborn bubbles. And, yeah, I wish I had that. But this is my way of owning it. This is my way of acknowledging that I can't change those six weeks. And that's in it's hard. But I'm owning it. And by doing this by sharing my story, it's actually my way of processing my own bullshit. Processing my own grief and actually acknowledging, well this did happen. And I can, you know, try to sweep it under the rug, and, you know, pretend it didn't happen and just have it eat up my worth for the rest of my life, or I can own it. I can own that this was my experience, acknowledge that it wasn't what I wanted. And I can potentially do something with it that hopefully make someone else feel less alone so that they don't have to sit there in silence. Yes, they don't have to share their story with the world. But they can sit there and know that they aren't alone. And that this is shit, but that it does get better. Like I promise it gets better.
Yeah. Yeah. That's, I think that's what kept me going with my second child is because I had that perspective of having one already and going. I know they grow. I know, it changes. I know, this isn't forever. That was a pretty important thing for me being stuck in that. Because the first time it was just like, oh my god, is this ever going to end? This is? Assuming Yeah, yeah. So hearing that is pretty important, I think to know that it's not always going to feel and you're not always going to have these emotions. You're not always.
And it's okay. Like, even if you don't have mental ill health, it is okay to acknowledge that motherhood and especially that newborn stage can be shaped Yes, it can be awesome. It can also be really, really hot. And I think it's so important that we talk about that because there are mothers out there who feel alone, like yes, they might not have a mental illness, but they still feel like they're suffering on their own. We don't want anyone to feel like that.
And that whole sort of pressure that society has on us that it's like we've touched on, it's got to be a certain way, mothers should be able to do it. And if you ever complain about how hard it is, oh, well, you wanted to have children, you know, this way that society just shuts
lately completely, like, oh, but you wanted to have a job? Why are you complaining about your job? Like, it's the same bullshit, but we don't say that to someone who got a nine to five and is complaining in nine to five, you know, we, it is ridiculous, but I mean, that experience Yes, it you know, was a way to process my own stuff, but it also motherhood and the experience I went through helped me I guess, figure out my own values or the values will already there, but it was the way I it was kind of pushing me that I had to start to actually live by my values, which obviously influenced the work that I'm doing.
Yes, I am doing podcasting now, but I've always been a writer. Yeah, I've always been into creative writing and storytelling, and, you know, I always wanted to write a book, but on no way that doesn't pay the bills. I need a nine to five. So you know, it's this third podcasting. It's actually my way of sharing stories like that journalism, that storytelling that interviewee you know, that's coming back to those values. And yes, you know, we don't want to sit here and say, Oh, you've gone through should experience Um, here's the silver lining, but my silver lining is that, you know, going through what I went through, I realize just how important it is to. Yeah, not to shut ourselves down and to just go through. Yeah, to prioritize what we feel is important. And yes, it doesn't bring in the bills. But it's still important that that doesn't make it any less important. Hmm, but mental health advocacy is something I've always wanted to do long before I became a mom. Yeah, storytelling was something I always wanted to do. So this platform has allowed me to do both. And that that's why I don't feel like I'm working like I mean, I can't even call it a job. Like I said, I don't get paid. But it feels it's work. But it doesn't feel like work to me. I wake up in the morning, and I want to do it, and go to sleep at night thinking about it again. And it feels important, and so I wouldn't. Yeah, the experience of what I went through, made me realize just yeah, that that direct show that purpose, that meaningfulness I guess, came through all of the shitty stuff. Yeah.
Tell me about your writing. So,
like I said, I only started to kind of see myself as a creative person recently. I've always been a creative child, though, like the witch. Yeah, I, I guess I forgot about that. You know, I was always doing drawing or cross writing. I'm always trying to make something. I mean, it would could be terrible, but I was doing it anyway. Yeah, you know. But then, you know, as you get older, and me being who I am, you need that praise that validation. And so you lose touch with that creativity, because it doesn't get you got a pluses or the ticks or the, you know, you don't get a job out of it, really. And so that led me down the path of, you know, wanting to pursue things that did get me that praise that did get me that a plus and that validation. So you think that you're not good at creativity, because you're not getting that. That to me, being me, I'm a perfectionist as well. But in my spare time I wrote, I wrote a lot. So outside of school or doing homework, that was my outlet to understand the world or whatever I was going through. But again, I never got that success. I can remember, like, as one of our school English teachers, she was an actual author. And she'd set up a book club at school. And I was so excited because I thought I just want to be part of this. And I'd written a novel when I was like, 13, or something. And so I submitted it to her. And she said, Rick, I'm not going to read it, because that wouldn't be fair. And I'm glad she did it. In hindsight, because it was absolute trash. I, you know, it kind of broke my heart a little because I saw I wanted her to read it. And I'd be famous author. And anyway, so she said, Why don't you submit a smaller piece of work? And you know, if it's good, we'll go into the book club, because I think you'll be great in the book club. So I submitted this piece of work to her and I didn't get into the book. So you know, it just, I guess all of that either. Just reinforces that I wasn't very good. You know, you don't get that praise, you don't get the you think you're not good at it. So you don't want to pursue it. Right. Like it's very discouraging. So yeah, I spent those teenage years telling myself I was so creative, I wasn't good at that. So I needed to be I needed to do things I was good at. I was good at I was actually very good at writing essays, probably the story writing helped with that. But, you know, I was excellent at writing essays, I'll toot my own horn there. Even at uni, I would get the high distinctions and things. So I pursued those lines of study and work because that's what got me the, the tick of approval, like, then that you know, if other people are telling me I'm good at it, then that's what I have to pursue. So I would always come back to writing though, you know, after school, I'd take little short courses or creative writing courses, certificates, or whatever. And I did so many of them because I just loved telling stories. And I thought the more courses I do, the better I'll get at it. You know, you want to be the best at it. You don't want to do it. Unless you're good at it. Yeah, yeah. It's that whole, I guess that's a societal thing. But yeah, that need for a job would just come and swallow up any creativity. So I shifted the focus from maybe writing to becoming a book editor, because that in my mind would be the closest I'd get to being in that field. And, you know, potentially could hypothetically do some writing around the nine to five kind of thing I even did. My university degree was in English Literature writing, linguistics, journalism edit, you know, I did all of that. And I loved it. Don't get me wrong, but of course, it was the essays and the, you know, the linguistics that got me. You know, the top of the class and the high distinctions but not the creative stuff. This is horrible. story. I did a writing work At university, it was the one creative writing unit I did. And I never did another one, we had to write a short story, bring it to class, and the class would workshop, the story with you, you know, provide feedback, potentially structure or character development. Anyway, I wrote a story about my own experience with mental illness. So in my early 20s, right. And it was received very simply. So, you know, I got told by one person that I was perpetuating the stereotypes of depression, because the character I had in the story was sobbing all day, and couldn't get up and work and go to, you know, what, couldn't get up and go to work. But at the time, that's what I was experiencing. In my early 20s, there was a point where my husband who was, who was my boyfriend at the time, he would have to help me leave the bed carrying me while I was sobbing to the shower, because I couldn't physically get up and go to work, you know, he would be there, he would help me wash my hair, he would dry my hair with the hairdryer because I just, I couldn't function, you know, and that was my experience. And so I thought I'd write about that. And that would be my, that was me processing my experience. And yeah, I I know, it's a cliche. And I know, that's not depression for everyone. Believe me, I've had the opposite end of depression, where you're just so numb, that there's no tears believe that I've had. But that was my experience. And I wanted to write about that short period of my life. And you know, I had the lecturer and tutor tell me, well, I shouldn't write about things I don't know about clearly, I didn't know what I was writing about. Obviously, this is just reinforcing that I shouldn't be a writer, I shouldn't be, you know, creative, I shouldn't be doing anything that I'm not good at, quote, unquote. I shouldn't write about things I clearly don't know anything. It was, it was my own personal. I mean, obviously, it wasn't very good. Clearly, everyone was telling me it wasn't very good, which is fine. But you know, as to maybe they weren't very good. Meeting me, I just, you know, unless I was getting that recognition that what I was doing was good and worthwhile and helping someone else or whatever, I didn't want to do it. So that then, you know, reinforced that I shouldn't be doing writing or anything creative. So that really pushed me into the editing and publishing. And I didn't do any more creative writing units, because I just thought, I'm not good at it. I'm, yeah, this isn't for me, I thought I want to do it. But if I'm not getting that feedback, then not this isn't for me, I'm not good at it, I'll do something I'm good at, which is the things that get you the a plus and the tickets. And you know, and I did don't get me wrong, I love editing, and publishing, I did a few courses around that as well. I have this fascination with the English language or with language in general. So I ended up getting a job at my university. I'm on Matt Lee from an hour, but I was an English language specialist. And I would edit documents and write glossary definitions. And I'd work in the data team and analyze data from that language point of view, rather than number seven. It was meaningful and fulfilling. And that was as close to creativity as I was gonna get. But it was still a real job in quote, marks, and I was enjoying it, potentially, because I was being praised for it, because I was good at it. And then obviously, becoming a mom, you know, your whole world and identity and opinion of yourself and values change. And, you know, I'm sitting here and it's like, yes, I would love that nine to five, but I want to do something that makes me excited to wake up in the morning that I'm doing something meaningful that I'm living to my values. So and again, I still don't see myself as a podcaster. Deep down my little my, my inner self still says sees myself Oh wants to see myself as a writer. Because that's how I've always wanted to see myself. Yeah. So you know, telling stories is a big part of what I do on Instagram, not just others, but my own and just little snippets here and there. And that that provides me the most. It's cathartic in a way for me, but yeah, that provides me the most meaningful and purposeful, you know, activity anyway, that's like I said, it's the I still don't see myself as a podcaster because I'm still figuring out but yeah, I guess now I I'm learning that I don't have to be great at something to enjoy doing it. And that's taking what don't get me wrong. I'm not 100% there yet, they'll still be a part of me that wants to be the best at everything and wants to know what I'm doing before actually do it. I don't want to learn by doing it because I don't want to be you know, it's that mentality that takes a while to get out of to break out. Oh, so like I said, I spent the last year just trying to figure out how to actually podcast and I would do so much and I do so much on the back end. So that actually now that I'm starting to podcast, it's coming easy, because I invested so much time into the back end But there was no way I was going to do it. At the start, at this time last year was actually when I set up my ABN and stuff. And anyway, but yeah, it. Yeah, it sounds ridiculous. But that's
no. That's the thing that you're conscious of things that you want to improve or change. You know, that's, you know, a step ahead of most people, I think a lot of people go through life just oblivious to their behaviors or the way their behaviors affect others or things that they could, you know, change in their lives that would make life better for them. So, you know, good on Yeah,
I know where I need to improve. Am I getting there slowly? Well, I get there, 100%, maybe not, I'm still, you know, those perfectionist tendencies that, you know that you hold on to that criticism, slowly unlearning that, but you know, and that's okay. I don't have to be perfect at not being.
Yeah, a lot of what you're saying I can really resonate with. I mean, I think I'm a little bit older than you, I'm in my 40s. And I've got to a place now where I just don't give a shit of what people think anymore. And that is so different to the person I was growing up. I was so with what people thought that feedback was so important to me. You know, I, like you've said about situations where people have given you feedback that, you know, it wasn't what you wanted to hear, and it stopped you from doing things I've done that. And at this point in my life, I just think if I want to do something, I'll do it. And I don't care. So yeah, it's possible. It's possible
and it's so freeing when you start caring what other people think
it's a wonderful feeling it like you're just living your life the way you want to live it and, like, God, I would be, I'd be walking down the street as a teenager. And I would, I would tell myself, the stories in my head that are that person that just drove past in that car, they were judging my genes that they weren't the right. Like I would create all these things in my head. And then yeah, as you grew up, we just go, no, that didn't happen because people don't give a shit. Everyone's worried about themselves. Everyone's
even if they were judging my genes. That's their problem. Yeah, exactly. Good. Yeah. No, it is.
It's an amazing feeling. And you just think, My God, why couldn't I be like this when I was young?
How much suffering did we have to go? To learn what we've learned? Now? You know that? Yeah.
But the good side is that, you know, it's gonna be, you know, God willing, I live that long, but it's gonna be good next half of my life.
Totally. And what a good example to set for your kids. Really? Oh, yes. Yeah, teaching them that it's okay to not actually care that other people will let you have to bend yourself over backwards to accommodate other people's. Whatever. Yeah, I think that that's a huge thing that we're unlearning and that we get to teach our children. Hmm. Yeah, I'm, I'm excited, I guess, for the future to see and hope that our kids don't carry that bullshit with them until they're in their 30s or 40s. Or whatever, that they can maybe live a little without that fear of judgment, or fear of upsetting someone else. Dramatic, you know, just by being themselves.
Yeah, exactly. And making no apologies for how, how they want to dress and what music they want to listen to me. Ah, yeah. You're listening to the art of being a mom with my mom, Alison Newman. I talk to all my moms about this, this topic of mom guilt. And I find it really interesting. It's something that I'm, I don't know why I'm so interested in it. Because I hate it so much. And I wish you're allowed to be you just but yeah, what's your take on it?
I mean, I do believe mom guilt is real. I haven't quite decided if it's based on you know, the way we compare ourselves or our unrealistic expectations that we have of motherhood, although unrealistic expectations society gives us about another. I don't know if it's that or if there is some intrinsic component to mom guilt, but it's definitely real and it does. rear its ugly head, I guess, in so many contexts. You know, there's so many shorts, you should be doing this, you should be doing that. And I, I'm guilty of it. I'm guilty of Mongo, I still feel like I should be doing more or spending more time with my son and you know, potentially if I wasn't working a little bit on the podcast, and maybe I could cook a better meal for him more, you know, whatever it is, but I'm also Learning. And again, this is a slow process, I'm learning to be self compassionate Sure, I could push myself beyond my, you know, human limits him to be better. But what would that wouldn't actually make the guilt go away or just make it appear in another way or in another form? Yeah, the context, there's no winning, you know, there's always going to be something better. There's always something going to be more you could be doing and then there's more sacrifices you make on yourself, and what's the cost? So I'm trying to learn to just, it's there, and it sucks. But I'm trying to keep it as background noise and trying not to let it control me because I don't think it would benefit myself or my son, or myself to be a mother who sacrifices 100% of my own wants and needs to be better, right? I don't think it's benefiting either of us. Really? Yeah. Yeah. So in one go, it's there and it sucks. But yeah, it's just learning to, I don't know, I don't like I said, I don't know where it comes from, or if it can ever go away, but I'm learning that if it's there, it can stay there, but I'm just gonna not try to feed into it or let it control my motherhood or my human experience, really,
ya know, that it's so true. It's like when you say, you know, if you did do something, then something else would suffer. And then you feel guilty about that. And then if you do, then you feel guilty about that. It's like, it's just this constant juggling thing, you
know, especially in motherhood, we talk about this work life balance, and I don't know if it actually exists, I think we're all just struggling to find that balance, or that ideal balance and really just doesn't exist, because you could be at work, you're feeling guilty, you're not at home, you're at home, you're feeling guilty, you're not working and there is or I could be exercise, or I should be doing this, I should be doing that. And there is no winning, there is no balance, because to have that balance, you've made that piece. And you know that you're doing 100% Yeah, do that. Is it possible? Yeah, it's impossible. So I'm, yeah, it's there. And it sucks. And I'm learning just to let it sit there and to just sit in that discomfort that it will exist, and I'm doing my best. And it will tell me, I could be doing more or I could be doing better, or that there is a different definition of best. Just trying to Yeah, let it just be let it lets myself sit with it and just do what I'm doing anyway.
Yeah. Now, that's really good advice. I think that thing of being kind to ourselves, and not making ourselves feel guilty for feeling guilty, you know, just, you know, had an eye as long as you you'd like someone to put a post up the other day. And I just thought this is the epitome of life, you know, if you can take your child into bed, who's fed and loved. And, you know, I just think that we've made it you know, if your child wakes up in the morning with a smile on his face, and I don't know, I
agree, because like you said, there are so many shoulds. And so social media just feeds into that or you should be bottle feeding or co sleeping or not put you shouldn't use a dummy you shouldn't use you shouldn't that and you get so caught up in doing it right and feeling like you're doing it wrong. But as you said, if your kids alive, if they're happy, you've got a roof over your head, you're doing everything bloody right? There is no wrong in that situation. And I wish we could say that more, we get so caught up on what we should or shouldn't be doing. And everyone's got a different opinion. And really, as you said, or as that quote said, I think I saw it yesterday on your stories, but you kids fed, they're happy there's a roof over your head, they're in a warm bed. You're the best mother for them, you're doing everything right, drown out everything else, because it's not doing any favors. Really. Hmm.
Absolutely. And you also touched on that, that sort of context that that idea of martyrdom about giving up everything of yourself, that it's just like you just think I'd be crazy than what I am. To do. Every single moment of my time to my children. I just think, I don't know, a lot of people I talk to through the podcast, you know, creative women who weren't doing something before they had a child. And just because they happen to have a child doesn't mean that that creativity and that need to create and the outlet and the release and the regulation that they get from creating just dissipates you know, it's it's it's such a i don't i It's a ridiculous notion.
For some women. Being a mother 100% of the time actually is fulfilling and meaningful to them and hats off to them. For other women. That's not the case. And we need to make space for both. There's no right or wrong, that you know, if you are 100% fulfilled in motherhood and you know, meeting the needs of your children, then go for it. No one is stopping you for other months. I know for me, I'm I don't know, if it's an only child thing, I'm an only child, I need my space. I don't care if it's to do nothing, I need my space from other people. And that includes my son, I love the kid, I love being able to see him smile and try new foods or play with him. Love him. I need my space.
Yeah, one of your questions on the page was in terms of identity. And yes, I mean, I don't know if it's necessarily important for me to see myself as being more than just a mother. There's nothing wrong with being just a mother. But I always wanted to be a mother. But I think it's important for me to be someone who lives according to her values. And someone who acknowledges that I do have my own needs and my own wants, and that's okay. That's actually okay. I'd never really wanted to be a crew person. But I also didn't want to be a stay at home mom, I guess. And trying to find that balance between the two extremes was important, I guess. And I'm still trying to figure that out. I want to work but I also want to raise my son, but I also want to meet my own needs and live by my values and explore my own interests. And whether those changes, I just want to be able to do that. I don't know if I'll ever find that balance. But it's important to me that, you know, I meet my own needs. And it's important that my son can see that I am my own person. And, you know, if one day I want to be just a mother, or I'll devote 100% My time to them, I'll go with that, if that's intrinsically what I want to be doing. But I guess for me, it's important that I'm doing what intrinsically feels right. And just trying to balance being a mum, figuring out my own sheep, you know, healing and pursuing my own interests and giving myself the opportunity to do that without labeling it as good or bad. Without being able to judge myself or say, Well, I'm not good at it, I shouldn't do it, or it's not bringing in, you know, it's not paying the bills, therefore, I shouldn't even try, you know, it's just trying to fit it in, around all the other shit. You know, and I guess that probably goes to your other question about day to day. Creativity, like, how does that work? I mean, there is no structure to my day, it just whatever feels right. Like, if I feel like playing with my son, I'm gonna play with him. Or if I feel like doing podcast stuff, I'll work around his schedule. So for some background information here, my my husband's in the military. So up until two weeks ago, he was deployed for the whole year. So when my son, yeah, sorry, when my son was six months old, my husband got deployed out of Sydney. So he was still in Australia. But he was in intensive training, he was allowed to come home every blue moon for 24 hours. But then he had to go back. So yeah, I was solo parenting my son for a whole year up until two weeks ago. And I mean, I didn't go back to a, you know, my office job because with, I mean, I've been sick as well. I've had glandular fever for the last six months. So you know, everything that could happen could go wrong. This has but insane that I'm surprised myself with I guess, growing up, I always had that narrative in my head that I was not capable. I'm not capable of coping. I'm not an independent person. I need to rely on other people. I'm not an adult, you know, you tell yourself that stuff. And then you're thrown into the deep end and you're like, oh, shit, I can actually cope. Well, yes, we're not in Thrive mode. We're definitely in survival mode this year. But I did it. I actually did it. And I raised my son and not just that, I also got to work on something I was really, really passionate about. Yeah, in the background. Yeah. So in terms of day to day stuff with me and my son, it was just when he was having a nap, I would quickly try to do some podcasting stuff or when he'd go to bed at night. I'm I'm such a night owl. I get so much done. Night. But that was my me time I could, you know, sit down and figure out okay, what podcasting platform do I want to use or what's my calendar system that people can book through and I'll do my website. You know, I was just working on it piece by piece by piece and it's hard when you're in that moment because you think I'm not getting anywhere. But when you look back and it's like it she'd look at all this stuff that I've done, like, look, oh my god, it's actually I actually did all of that. And it was just little moments, little moments that I could just slowly build. And again, I wasn't getting feedback from that this was me doing something that felt right. And that was all the feedback or motivation that I needed is that it just felt purposeful. It felt meaningful. But yeah, I mean, that's not to say it was easy. My son, at eight months old, decided he didn't like sleeping in the car anymore. This was a kid who slept in a car. From the moment he was born, he was such a chill, calm, baby, all of a sudden, he wants to co sleep. So you know, there I am. Nine o'clock at night rocking him to sleep in my house, because he wouldn't sleep in the car, he wouldn't sleep alone, he had to be on me or near me. And then I was finally going to eat dinner once I was able to feel confident enough to you know, roll him off me. Then I could go be a human, have a shower, have dinner, and then I could go potty. And that's hard. It's hard solo parenting. And I'm so you know, lucky, my husband, I didn't have to go back to a nine to five job because you don't we could financially afford for me to be at home with our son, you know, working on my mental health, my physical health looking after my son who brought home every day care illness. He was there three days a week. And I swear this year, he was home more than he was actually at daycare because he'd been so sick. And then I'd catch whatever he caught. And it was just, we're definitely surviving. But just any moment that I could just do something for myself on top of, you know, having a shower or brushing my teeth and eating. Like, it was a hard game. It's a very hard.
I've got so much respect for you seriously. Because what are my Lord days is my nightmare. Seriously, I just, I just I feel I always feel so incapable. When I when I had my first, like, real episode, I suppose. After my son was born, the thought in my head was, I can't do this. I can't do this. I don't know what to do. Which was ridiculous. Because I worked in childcare for years before I had him. So I knew how to look after children. You know, but it was just this irrational. I can't do this. And it took me a long, long time to even after I was, you know, medicated and things were honestly getting back to normal. Yeah, I was like, Ah, I can't know what I'm doing what's, you know, just this doubt, serious self doubt. And similar thing when my husband got COVID, earlier in the year, and so we're really trying to isolate him away from the rest of us. And my first thought was, oh, shit, I'm gonna say, How am I going to do it all myself, but then I actually did do it. And I was actually fine. And I think because, because I knew that there was no other option. It was like, I just had to do it. And so I actually didn't struggle that much. Because I was really accepting of the situation I was in and was like, okay, not saying, you know, it wasn't hard. And everything was wonderful. But I didn't let myself get to those extremes where I'd get to a complete meltdown. Because I knew that there was no saving me like, there was nothing. I mean, you know, and I
think as well, we tell ourselves these stories that we can't do it. And yet when we're actually in a situation, yes, it's hard. But we've hate hearing I am like, what actually surviving and it's that build up? You know, I think a big part of my episode was, obviously I was in the hospital and all I could keep thinking was, how the fuck am I going to do this? When my husband's away next year? You know, this last? How the hell am I going to get through this? How am I going to cope? I can't even look after myself. How the hell am I going to look after the sun? I'm in this hospital. There's mothercraft nurses and pediatricians and psychologists around me all day was great. Am I gonna do this? Yeah, but I did. Yeah, I did. And we just figured it out. And it was hard. But we did it. But it's that build up and mental illnesses is mean, it is so mean to us. It tells us we can't do anything. It tells us we can't cope. It tells us we're incompetent. And that, you know, then you play into the other kids deserve better and Oh, but other people can cope. Why can't I? Yeah. And it's a bully. And really, the reality is we can actually do hard things and it sucks. Do not get me wrong. It sucks. But we can do it. And when you're in those moments, you just do it. There's no doubting yourself because you are actually doing it.
Yeah, yeah, that was that was one of the words that I tell myself to help myself out of things when I'd get this. I can't do it. And I'd say no, but I am actually doing it right now. When I am doing it, you know, just to tell myself a different story and to trick my brain.
Yes, we have to trick our brain because it's tricking us. Yes,
yes. Yeah, it is. It's it is tricking us. And I know I, with my music I've, I've given my list posole depression, this persona of the wolf, I call it I've written I'm working on an album at the moment where the whole the whole album is about, it's called Wolf. And it's about the whole journey. And it's each song is a is a tiny little time frame of how I felt at different times. And it literally, that's how it felt it was consuming me it was this thing that wasn't me. Even though it was existing within me, and it was attacking me it was taking all the good things away, and it was making me scared and vulnerable. Sorry, I'm getting goose bumps. It's like, it's just this thing that inhabits you, you know, like people called the, the, you know, the black dog, you know, it's just, it's just this thing. And yeah, we can we can tell a different story. You know, it's, I mean, I don't That sounds so simplistic, but when you're in like you said before, when you're in the wind, it's really happening when you're in these episodes, you can't do anything, there is no, there is no rational thought there's no way of controlling but when you start to come out in the help of, you know, professionals and what have you, and then you can start to sort of rewire and, and what do they call that cognitive behavioral therapy, whatever it is, like telling yourself a different story, taking out the shirts, oh, we should do this, we should do. You know, that was one of the things someone said to me at one stage, take out the shirts, there's no shirt, it's you might do this or you might think about doing this or you know, just change the way around things simple things like that can make a massive difference.
Going back to identity, not just motherhood, but mental illness, it feels like a part of you, it feels like who you are, it feels like your identity. So being able to separate yourself from those thoughts from that experiences is very hard to do. As you said, coming out of that you're able to look at it as something different, you're able to look at it as a wolf or whatever personification you give it. Because you're able to see that it's happening to you, but it's not you. And that's very, very powerful. And for me, that was where storytelling came in. The more I wrote about it, the more I tried to be poetic about my experience, or to just even just journal it I started to see it as not me, not my identity. And that's when your that's when you're healing. I know firsthand how easy it is to feel like this is who you are, and therefore it's you that's broken or it's it's never gonna get better because you're not getting better. You know, you you tell yourself these things that yeah, in terms of identity it Yeah, it's all consuming.
Yeah. And that's the thing. There was no way when I was in the throes of the real depths. There was no way I was separating it out. I was there it was me you know, and it was the same gynecologist that I you know made the off the cuff comment Well, you could have just fixed it with one pill a day yes I pragmatic. He's he's an awesome bike and I have a great relationship with Him any he said he said you know, it's it's a chemical imbalance in your brain. That's what it is. It's a chemical imbalance in your brain. Yeah, and it was like right there you go. It's not me it's no it's I night and that really gave me the power to say I am not in control of this. I physically cannot. So I had this horrible experience between I had between having my two children where am I safe a friend I put the quotes because I don't see this person anymore or associated with it because of this next told me that that mental illness and depression don't exist because you should be able to keep yourself well by affirmations positive affirmations like that before. And I just You have no idea you have not experienced what I've experienced like and that was even before I had the big episode. The second child it's like Sure. I'm not dismissing the fact that you know if you're a generally well person, if you don't have massive chemical imbalances in your brain, sure keeping yourself you know, mentally well through positive thinking and eating well and exercising that that's great, but when you actually are so unwell severely unwell It's no amount of putting positive affirmations, it's good to save it. Like, it's not even on the radar
night. And I think like you said, it's not to just dismiss the importance of that stuff eating well exercising, it is important. And it's very useful. Potentially, when you are in that mild category, you know, or if you had a bad experience, you know, and we're not even talking trauma, we're just talking something negative has happened in your life, going and doing those things. Even just a little talk therapy affirmation, they're so helpful, there's no doubting it. But there is a difference between, you know, feeling a little depressed, or a little anxious or depressed or a little anxious versus having the illness, there's a big difference. And again, it's not to invalidate those feelings, but the illness is something entirely different. And I'm, I'm with you, I see a lot of that on social media, I see a lot of all mental illness isn't real, or it's just a societal problem. And if we fix society would don't get me wrong. There are societal factors that do impact our mental health. It is an illness, like for God's sake, we need to stop invalidating it. Because this is the reason people don't get help. This is the reason stigma exists. There's so much so much misinformation about it. And sadly, this is the reason some people die.
You're made to feel like it's your fault, you're
positive. If you didn't do enough to prevent it, you didn't do enough to think positively, you didn't do enough to exercise. I was exercising four or five times a week during my pregnancy, I was eating well, pregnancy was physically the healthiest time in my entire life. I was also the most mentally unwell I ever was in my entire life. You know, we can throw these things out. And so you could just join I was journaling like we can do. I was seeing a psychologist, I was doing everything right, ticking all the boxes. It doesn't matter. It does not discriminate. And it is an illness. You know, give yourself some grace for that. Like it. Like I said before, I blamed myself a lot. I thought I'm doing everything right. I should have prevented this. It doesn't work like that. Yeah. How much more suffering Do we go through? Because we think of it they fought their way out of it all, but they just exercised and felt better. They went for a walk. Why isn't that fixing me? We suffer so much more because of this misinformation because of I don't know people, people aren't like this with physical illness. It's not like I'm gonna yell at my kidney for not producing enough insulin if I had diabetes. But we we dismiss anything in our mind because we think we have control over it. Really, we're only cognizant of what 10% Of our brain like it just does my head in that we still have these attitudes. It's 2022. Like, come on. But yeah, you still see it on social media, if you just take these vitamins, if you just work on your, you know, oh, you're clearly deficient in this might joke at me. Yes, having a balanced diet, having our, you know, vitamins and nutrients all important, but that is not the cure. Like we need to stop pushing it as the cure. Because it's not.
Yeah, and yeah, I whenever I say stuff like that, I just think they that person who's wearing it, they have no idea. They actually have no idea. And they're seeing life in this fanciful sort of rose colored glasses sort of way. They've never suffered. No one ever struggled in that from actual mental illness, you know, and I just, I get so mad. I just have to unfollow people or block people. I just think there's no, there's no debating with people like that. They've got their heart ingrained views, they're not gonna listen to, you know, make writing a comment. But I do think sometimes when there's a big backlash to something in the media, like a celebrity said something, and everyone jumps on him. They're the times when people with these, you know, perhaps don't understand, have this glimpse into maybe understanding I don't know, like, I remember years ago, this has gone back ages Belkin was one of our killers, friends passed away through suicide. And he wrote this big thing on his Facebook. I'm sorry, you couldn't hold on for us. I'm sorry. It's like this had nothing to do with you. It had nothing to do with anybody else. And people jumped on him. And he and he was writing it from a point of view that he'd experienced seeing someone with depression. Right. And so people were saying, you obviously have never experienced this yourself. And it was a real big thing. And he kept turned around and said, I'm really sorry, didn't say, you know, and so moments like that, I sort of hold on to hope that other people will see that and go Oh, actually, maybe I don't understand this. Yeah, but yeah, in everyday stuff you There's no, there's no debating with these people that that's what they believe. And you're never going to change them. But I just hope, yeah, society. Yet it really pisses me off like it's done someone with a broken leg, you're not going to go along and kick their crutches away and say, Come on, you can control yourself fix your leg, you know? Yeah, I feel like sometimes going around with a T shirt. Like, I haven't been to where it's like, okay, so like,
do I need a sign saying like, Be nicer to me? Like, I don't know, it just it shouldn't be that way. Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I wouldn't wish it on those people. Because unfortunately, sometimes the only way you know is if you have gone through it personally. Yeah. But I mean, I wouldn't wish on them to know it. But yeah, unfortunately, there is still so much misinformation about mental health and so much bullshit, really so much that people don't know well, that they think they know.
Yes, they think they know because they might have seen it, or they've had it or they felt
a little bit depressed about something. One point in time, but it's very different from the illness, like very different. And I wish Yeah, I wish we didn't have to justify the illness. No one with diabetes has to I mean, sometimes people, you know, they weighed shame or whatever, oh, it's your own fault. It's not your fault. Like for God's sake, whether it's a physical illness or mental illness, we need to stop this shaming of people who aren't 100% Well, all the time, you know, it's not their own fault. It has is it something like gestational diabetes as well during pregnancy? There's so much blame and this mis misinformation that you caused it yourself. You weren't eating right enough. You weren't, you know, exercising, and it's nothing to do with that for God's sake.
In terms of your support network, what does that look like for you?
I mean, one of the best support networks if I can be honest, is the fact my son went to daycare like three days. That helped. You know, my mom and my dad have been an enormous help like practically, especially with my husband being away so they come help look after Pejic sorry, for my son punchy is what it is. nickname. Well, when I was pregnant, my bump we called it my punch. So it just the poor kid the name has just stuck. And even all my friends and family has punched doing my budget like the politics of tour. It stuck with him. But yeah, they all come over look after pajetta Yeah, I'm all look after some of the practical stuff around the house, especially when I was in the real real pits of glandular and I couldn't move, I was sleeping all day. And no matter how much I slept, I was still tired. You know, I was lucky my parents, they yesterday like an hour away in traffic, but they were still able to come over every now and then and help out and stay. And especially with both of us, me and being sick. Like, that was such a big help. I still have a psychologist. I still say my psychiatrist through the mother and baby unit Hospital, which is phenomenal. And yeah, obviously I had my husband via FaceTime and stuff, which I get a you know, it's not the same, but thank God for technology. Yeah, thank God, we have that stuff. So yeah, in a way I was. I was supported in that aspect. Maybe more. So for the practical stuff and the mental health stuff in terms of the artistic work creative stuff. And I still don't quite see myself as that just yet. We're working on that. I really don't think I had anyone to draw on. I don't have friends who really I don't know anyone who has their own business or who, you know, made a living out of something creative. So this is like I said, it's all very, very new to me, I'm still figuring this out. As I go. I'm teaching myself I'm learning. I mean, social media has been good in that sense that you create that community and you then are in touch with a lot of other women who are trying to be creative or they're trying to make a business out of something that they're passionate about. And so you do have that solidarity. Um, I guess none of us have it completely figured out but yeah, just doing the best we can and learning as we go. I like I said the support I've had has been very good I don't know, I've been very self taught. I guess I wish I wish I had someone to say how do I actually do this? So what the hell is an ABN? Like, either I'm really going from scratch.
Yeah, yeah. I like that on social media. Like if I see if I see something, I think only 61 day. One of you think is like, how did you do that? I want to do that.
Literally, my son's asleep in my arms, and I'm sitting there, whether it's two hours, however long he's having a nap, he won't move from my arms. I'll sit there on camera and just have a play, you know, and it's not perfect, but I'm just Oh, this looks good. I'm trying to do everything free, right? Like, I'm sure I could pay for extra or I could pay someone to do it for me, but I'm trying to do it all myself. I'm trying to do it as cheaply and freely as possible. So I'll just have a play. And if it looks alright, if I feel happy with it, then I'll post it. And yeah, I like I said, I wish I had someone just I just use this template or make my life a bit easier. But yeah, it's just figuring it out as I go. And if I'm playing while he's asleep, then I might learn something, or I might learn how not to do. I'm still learning either way. Really? Yeah.
No, I love that. I think that's, that's awesome. I part of my experience of not wearing what people thought, I basically just jumped in and did it, because I had all my software from singing. So and I love editing. So there's that. But then same thing, like the things that you spent time on beforehand. I literally just did it by the seat of my pants, because I'm like, I really want to do this. And I'm going to do it right now. Yeah, so it's like, it can work either way you can make it work, however, it suits your personality.
And I think for myself, I had to justify that, okay, if I want this to be real, then I have to know what I'm doing. And I have to do it. Like I have to put all the pieces together in the right order and do it slowly so that I can justify that this is going to be a valid thing. Not that I'm just I don't know, I mean, going to identity. I know this is such a stereotype. But you know, the whole the stereotype of Oh, you're just a mum, and you're working on a passion project while you're on maternity leave. I didn't want it to be just that I wanted to work against that narrative that, Oh, I get to, you know, play around with this passion project while my husband works a nine to five to financially support me so that I can work on this passion project. I really wanted to work against that narrative. And I wanted to be against that stereotype. And I wanted to be able to monetize and make it legit and real, not just something I'm slapping to get. I don't know, I wanted to be able to work against the stereotype and contribute to the family. I mean, I haven't done that yet. You know, not I haven't really challenged the stereotype, but in a way as well, sorry. You've mentioned on them the question she like the values we have as a society, on art and on creativity. And that narrative works against it. Right. Like we so I wanted to work against that stereotype. But I guess in doing so I'm just perpetuating the stereotype that creativity or women's work just doesn't matter unless it brings in money, you know? Yeah. And I think it is safe to say we just don't value art in society, which is ironic because we, we consume so much of it, whether it's art, whether it's listening to podcasts, or music, or watching movies, TV shows, even the design that goes into advertising, we consume so much of it, and yet we don't value the work behind it. Because it doesn't pay the bills. We are in a capitalist society unless they you know, we value competition, we value activities that can be monetized. But because it doesn't pay the bills, even I don't see myself as a creative person. Like I said, because I'm not really I'm not a real Podcast. I'm not a real writer, because that avenue of work is not bringing in money for me. At this point in time. As much as you know, somebody wants to sponsor me, I'll take it. Meaning to mean on the list and I'm doing it because it feels right. And I will go back to my job next month. But my nine to five job I should say, but I'm still going to be doing this and I've told my husband this is still a priority for me around mothering around my nine to five. Being able to share these stories and tell stories and advocate and educate about maternal mental health is something I hope to be doing. For the rest of my life. I will advocate for more mother and baby psychiatric hospitals. I think to the day I die because I don't think a lot unless something else happens in my life and that becomes the focus of my attention. That's my passion. You know, and I want I want to keep doing that. And I don't think if I stopped doing that, I don't think I'd be living authentically. As much as it doesn't bring in the bills. You know, I don't see it as real or important or valuable. Because it's not seen that way by other people because it's not bringing in money. And that's that's just what Yeah, so I'm yeah, I'm in this weird space of you know, not wanting to be the stereotypical mom on maternity leave just doing a passion project while hobbies at nine to five and then. But yeah, I'm, I guess in a way I'm perpetuating that because I'm because it's not bringing in money. I'm. Yeah.
Yeah, it's such a minefield. Bullshit. Yeah, it's a frustrating one, that it's something that I've gotten more and more annoyed about. More I talk to people, and I've particularly on I've told this story a million times. So I'm sorry, if you've already heard this story. The, during the lockdown. And I say that I didn't really suffer too much. I wasn't like Melbourne was like, you know, the most lockdown city in the world or something. But we, we saw the sport continue. Yeah. All these these these AFL football as we're moving around the country continuing to play sport, and then money and for all the the TV companies with the right so you know, that was really important, apparently. So they kept going. But you know, all of the art stopped all of the gigs, all of the music, all that stuff. And it really annoyed me because like you said, we consume so much art and the the result of creativity of people. We're all sitting on our asses watching Netflix. I mean, who do you think made that? You know, like, it just really annoyed me. But that's how society views art and creativity.
And like, ironically, to get through the lockdown, a lot of us turned to not necessarily creating but consuming at all. Yeah, like schools, like teachers would just say, Look, don't don't do all this maths homework, go paint a picture, go read a book, go do something creative and meaningful. And that was therapeutic. And we turned to that in those times when it was hard. And we know the value of it, we know how valuable it is on paper for our own therapy for our own meaningfulness for our own values and purpose. We know how valuable it is. But because there's not that monetary benefit, we don't value it as a society. So once locked down lifts, okay, we can all go back to normal and West, we're not going to prioritize art as therapy, or we're not going to, you know, look after our creative, you know, ourselves, there's so many different parts of ourselves that are practical self, our physical self, our creative stuff, when we're going to prioritize that part of ourselves. Because we just need to resume our, you know, nine to five activities, we need to contribute to the economy. Like, that's all that's seen as important. And I believe me, I understand why we have to go into lockdown to protect all of us, you know, I get it. It's still just, it's upsetting that there was some things that were prioritized over others. And you know, you do see society through a clear lens when you are in those situations where you see what we value. And ironically, we do value because that's what we were consuming. Yeah. That's not what society or our economy per se values. Because it's not got $1 attached to really,
yeah, really frustrates me when you were growing up your mum, what sort of sort of role modeling did you get from your mom in terms of what a mother could look like? I suppose.
I'm gonna I'm gonna bring up my grandmother here as well because I was very largely raised by my grandma. So my grandparents migrated from Italy in their 20s, I guess, they set up shop, they had kids. So in terms of mothering, from my grandmother's point of view, mothering was her whole life. Yeah. You know, you did everything for your children. You cooked for them, you cleaned for them. That was your Go. And I think as well, having that migrant background, you know, you do that for your kids so that they can go and succeed. So I guess mothering was her identity, or being a domestic worker, I guess, was the identity, that was her only role in life. But that's also a cultural thing, you know. And then, from my mother's perspective, my mother, you know, did go study and become that career woman. Because I guess, and I mean, maybe this is just my interpretation of it. But growing up with the migrant family, and that expectation that you have to do something with your life, they didn't suffer, they didn't sacrifice all of this for you to just not do it, you know, you want to succeed, you want to be good at what you're doing. And my mom was an excellent career woman. And I guess, as a mother was, I had those two extremes I had Korean woman and then I had the domestic and I'm, I guess, I don't know, where I see myself. Like I said, I'm trying to find that middle ground. That's not to say my mother wasn't mothering, or that my grandmother didn't have a job because she did have a job at some point. But in terms of the priorities, my own mother then carried the, I think, again, this is just my interpretation she carried that maybe the migrant mentality of you need to do everything for your children, my mother just did it in the sense of providing financially. Yeah, you know, it's you, she wanted me to go to a good school and to study and to work, you know, in order to do that it wasn't to stay at home, it was to go out and work and work her ass off, to be able to put me into private school or put, you know, just have that bit of life or have provide things that maybe she didn't have, you know, it's it's that cycle. And I don't know if it's a, I don't know, if it's a cultural thing, or a migrant thing, I don't know. But yeah, in terms of motherhood, I guess I had both examples of wanting to do everything for your child, but either way, whether it was through the home or through work, it was doing everything for your children, that was nice for you. And, yeah, I guess that that's something I'm trying to navigate, you know, I'm, I can genuinely say, I'm sorry, to my son, I'm not the mother, that's gonna do everything for him. You know, whether that's a good or bad thing I don't, I know that if I go down that road, that pressure will eat at me, I will not be an authentic person, and I will not be a healthy person. Because you know, even before I became a mother, you know, wanting to emulate that and have a career and push myself to my extremes. That's when the mental illness creeps in. Right? So I'm trying to find this balance between wanting to be the best mom I can for my son versus not sacrificing my sanity, or my passions, or my my soul. You know, I want to find that balance where, yes, my son is important. And I want him to feel important, and that I will do anything for him. But not at the cost of I don't know, I don't want to work until nine o'clock at night, or I don't want to just focus on the housework all day, every day. Like I want to find that balance. You're and I don't know what that looks like. I'm I'm figuring that out as I go. But yeah, yeah, I guess not. Motherhood was modeled like that. There was no creativity. There wasn't and, yeah, but that's okay. That was their experience. And that's what they did to survive. And, you know, obviously, I respect the work that they did, and how hard they worked for their children. You know, that's, that's the cultural attitude that I do want to take, I want my son to know, I worked hard so that he can have a roof of recital that, you know, we can then go out and play it, but I want also to enjoy the time with him. And not? Yeah, I don't know, I think this was probably the question that I struggled the most trying to think about. From your navigate that,
do you think also in that you're, you're in context of working hard, is that working, and I feel like this, I feel like this for myself. So you may or may not feel like working hard on your own mental wellness, so you can be there for your child and you can meet their needs, in a way that you're happy with. And that, you know, is good for your child.
I mean, that's a big priority for me. And it always has been before I became a mother, you know, with my prior experiences of mental health, I took my mental health very seriously. You know, I had been in therapy, probably since I was 16. Like just being able to work through that stuff. And I'd always said I didn't want to take it into motherhood. I didn't want my son to bear that burden. You Hmm. So I really focused on the skills and the therapy and the healing during my 20s. But I guess that kind of worked in a backwards way for me because it became that fixation. Like I said, at the start, pregnancy, I was consumed with planning for postpartum. And a big part of that was that first of all, I didn't want mental illness to get in the way of the earth or my parenting. But I also didn't want it to be something that my son inherited, I guess, by having that fixation it inevitably. Yeah, it worked against me, because I was, I was mentally ill. And I just didn't see it. I was so focused on postpartum that I just, I was really in denial about what I was going through through pregnancy. And, you know, it wasn't until I got to postpartum that I had that acute crisis episode that I was, you know, admitted to hospital that I was doing the best I could. And there's no such thing as 100% perfectly healed or recovered as much as I would like to think that or, as much as I held on to that belief that I could be cured and would never ever impact my son. I know now that healing, being imperfect, but still working on my healing is the best thing I can do for myself. It is absolutely best thing I can do for him in that working on myself acknowledging my own bullshit, being self aware, that is the best thing I can do for him not being perfect, like that perfectionism, or holding on to being perfect or cured or happy all the time would actually be more damaging to him. Then a mother who acknowledges her own shit, and is trying to work on it and apologizes. And like, that's what's gonna help him in the long run. Yeah. Yeah. And like, that's always been a priority, clearly, but now I'm approaching it from a different perspective.
Yeah, no, I think like my eldest son's 14, and has his own issues with mental health. And I think it's really important to role model as a parent, that, you know, things are really hard. But if you're, if you put in the work, and you utilize the tools around you, and the things that you have access to, then that's really it is really important to it is you can't just sweep it under the rug, and you can't think everything's going to be fine. It's like you, you have to do the work. And it's as shitty as it is. And as horrible as it is. And he's had times where he's, he's hidden particular things from me, because he was like, Oh, I know, if I told you, I would have had to go back and talk to, like his counselor, he just didn't want to have to start the whole cycle. Again, it's like, this is what it is, it'll always be this, there'll be times in your life, where it will you rise up again, and you'll have to address it. You know, and I know, I've had times where I've finally found it very difficult to hide, you know, emotions, or episodes or things that I'm going through. And I sort of feel bad for that, because I sort of think my kids shouldn't have to bear the burden of, of, of my illness. At the same time, I sort of think this is our reality. And this is what would have happened, you know, 50 6070 years ago, everything was hidden. And that's probably why we have these issues with stigma and, and not understanding because it was so hidden away. So yeah, there's a balance there that I struggle with at times, but I think it is important that people know, and your kids know, maybe not to see it in all its glory. But you know,
it's finding that balance between, you know, wanting to show, okay, this is, this is what it is, this is the reality versus making it their problem to solve, you know, we definitely don't want to do that. But we don't want to pretend that these things don't exist. But, you know, you're modeling to your son that if this does happen, you know, he knows where to turn, you are a safe place to turn to he will and He knows that you will understand. And you know, he's obviously seen you work on your mental health, so he knows, okay, I can do it too. And that, that is the best thing you can give to your kids. Honestly, it really is. And you know, it's not perfect, or it's not ideal, but you're not making it your son's problem. But you're showing him that it's okay to have mental ill health and that it's okay to talk about mental health and that we should be doing that. That's the only shot I'll ever say in my life is that we should be talking about mental health.
Yes. Should be more of it. Yes. Yeah. And I think like, teenage teenage years, you know, through Tori, ously difficult to navigate regardless of any Other issues you've got. So it's like a no just talking, keeping the communication.
Absolutely any kid will benefit from skills to help their emotional and mental health, even if they haven't, no mental illness, any of those skills are so valuable to any teenager because yeah, it's that hormonal thing. We want to sit there and say, Oh, it all has a reason. Sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's just our hormones go in flux. And that's what had happened to me as a kid. I had, you know, the, the anxiety as you know, as a child, but then when you get to your teenage years, hormones really kick in. And if he takes it to another level, you know, and it's all that's when, you know, the OCD and things really set in all those intrusive thoughts. You can't really ignore them anymore. Yeah.
And it can be such a scary time because you're dealing with physical changes to your body, and then, you know, emotional and then mental and it's like, what's going on? And who can you talk to? And all this sort of stuff comes up? It's just here. And then social media, I guess these days? Oh, yeah. I got out of AZ without having phones and technology back in the day.
I mean, I, I don't understand. I mean, this is probably going off topic. But there is such an attitude in society that what teenagers go through isn't real, or it's not important. And but you know, you'll get over it. It's, you know, and that attitude is so damaging. Yeah, I don't get it. Like we so quick to the little kid. And yes, you know, they might have their heart broken for the first time. And it's, you know, yes, it's different to, you know, something else you might go through as an adult, but that doesn't make it any less. You know, it's important for them.
And, yeah, time in their life. That is the biggest thing. That's all I can think about. To shut that down.
Yeah, I really dislike that. That attitude that a lot of people have, and you see it a lot on social media that all teenage. But anyway, that's going off topic. But yeah, that's frustrating.
Yeah. And that that will contribute to mental unwellness. So of course,
and then you get some motherboard and you're not meant to complain, because everyone's a mother and everyone does it and blah, blah, blah, like either we if we can actually support our kids when they're going through that hard stuff as kids as teenagers. Just yeah, it might not prevent a mental health episode, but it might just make it less severe. might make it easier to get through might make it quicker for them to you know, overcome. I guess it Yeah. Anyway, I'm yeah. My first degree was actually originally in early childhood. Ah, right. Yep. So yeah, that was yeah, it's always been important to me to see kids to see teenagers as people as valid. They have emotions, and that's okay. They're not Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, that's, that's
important. Yeah. And I'm sure there's a lot of moms listening that have, you know, children of different age. So, you know, it's good to share what you know, actually, speaking of this, I'm going off topic again. But my my, Alex, my 14 year old, the other day, I made a decision. That wasn't what we would have agreed with. And, and I said to my husband, we can't, we can't punish him too much for this because his brain physically hasn't evolved to the point where you can make decisions the same way we can. And I just thought, gee, we as a society, we've come a long way, because that's not how my parents would have traded. No, you should have known better. What were you thinking? Well, my frontal prefrontal cortex hasn't evolved yet. So.
Yeah, and I mean, you know, we're trying to negotiate. I mean, our parents probably did the same. You know, it's either you, you treat us as kids all throughout, no, you're just a kid, you can't make a decision. Or, on the other extreme, you know, you want to be treated like an adult, why aren't you acting like an adult? You know, those two extremes that, you know, you're either treating them like a kid or you're expecting them to behave like an adult. We need to do better at treating them, or meeting them where they're at. Yeah, and I think we are getting better. Yeah. Oh,
yeah. Yeah. But yeah, there's so much science out there. Now, that tells us this stuff. Like the reason I it's in front of front of my mind.
It's in your frontal lobe.
Pardon. I was listening to the radio last night, and there was this, this. I don't know what they were talking about to start with. But then they got on to the brain and they said that your brain evolves or matures from the back to the front. Like it's that's what we know. And it's like, Oh, my God, no wonder I made foolish decisions as a teenager. Like it just it there. The science is there to back it, you know, and you know, it's you can't argue with that. I feel like You know, we've got all these other tools in these, this information at our disposal now to be able to treat, you know, people of different ages with appropriate, you know, responses, you know?
And that's why I'm mixed. I'm excited to see the next generation grow up. Oh, yes, they'll have been parented very differently. And I'm actually looking for I'm hoping I'm hopeful for them that they don't know that things are better for them that they're easier for them. That's all you want for your kids you want. What's better for them either. Anyway?
Yeah, no, that's fair enough. Can you just give me a sec? I've just heard a knock on my door. Oh, sure.
Please. Come nice.
Hello, Dolly. I'm going really good to come say hello. Yeah. This is Rebecca. You've said a little bit.
Nice to meet you. degree. This
is my little. Oh, he's a champ. He's so funny. He often does call in and say hello to people. Yes, shut the door. He's gone yeah.
And thank you for this space, I think it's so important we talk about, you know, not just creativity, but as a mother, you know, being able to because that's, you know, that's the job being a mom, we're meant to do that. 100% of the time, and yet, where people? Yeah, so being able to talk about, you know, how we find that balance, or whether we can actually find that balance or how we do it, you know, being able to talk about that I think is so important, because there is still so much guilt, there is still so much shame. If you're, you know, I could be doing more, I should be doing more. But that person's doing that, why aren't I you know, and we beat ourselves up and at what cost? You know, so I got on you for doing this and encouraging all of us really to keep doing what feels right.
Yeah, thank you so much. Is there anything else that you'd like to mention or share and you did say about, you're heading back to work, but this isn't going to stop for you. This is a, this is your passion, and you're going to keep doing this,
which is I want to I want to get to a point obviously, where I can phase out of, you know, the nine to five, and I can work on this, I guess full time and you know, get paid two. That would be the goal. And I mean, I've got my little it's like a mini vision board. I'd say like it's got all my plans. Like I want to write a book, you know, finally, one that's not crap. I want to Yeah, I want to keep working in this field, whatever that looks like, whether it's also pumping out workbooks, like coming from my background with journaling or storytelling and being able to you know, facilitate. Yes, it's not a cure and God I would never market it as a cure but okay, he's something that we can maybe work on that might it helped me hopefully it helps you a little bit to like that's the stuff I would love to be doing doing the podcast doing the social media stuff. Yeah, just those kind of digital work you know, he's some journaling prompts was that like something like, you know, I'd love to just phase out of the nine to five and be able to focus on this because I I love sharing these stories. You know, I I was really worried when I started podcasting and interviewing people but the more I'm doing it, the more I realize. Yeah, like as much it's it's sad and it's confronting, like just hearing those stories and knowing that someone out there is actually trusting me with their story with their vulnerable experience just means the world and I don't take that lightly. Yeah, and I want to be able to do that justice and I want to be able to help them, you know, be able to facilitate the sharing of that story because I know that's not easy. But also help out The people that they're not alone. So if I can somehow figure out a way to make this work, you know, make this an actual job, so to say, then I'll do it. And hopefully one day I'll see myself as a creative. I still see myself as that organized planner, because that's, that was so indoctrinated in me. It's what I did to function in this world, I guess up until this point. Maybe I'll just have to find a balance between the two parts of myself. But yeah, one day. I'm hoping that that'll be what I can do. I can work in order to facilitate that
right. Now, good on you. I really hope you do. That would be so awesome. Yeah. Thank you so much for coming on. It's been so lovely to talk to you and to meet you. And to talk face to face.
Yeah. And I mean, I saw your story submission for my podcast. I was like, When can I message her to say she can come on my plane? I feel like I have to go on yours first. Because we've been trying to organize
it. Yeah, that'd be awesome.
I'd love to share your story too. If you're comfortable.
Absolutely. It'll be pleasure. I'd be honored to actually be Yeah, thank you.
We can we can negotiate.
That good audio. Thank you.
The music you heard featured on today's episode was from Alemjo, which is my new age ambient music trio comprised of myself, my sister, Emma Anderson, and her husband, John. If you'd like to hear more, you can find a link to us in the show notes. Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast. Please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mom