• Irina Fortey

Motherhood and Mental Health

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

I met Sam and Mabel last month at one of the series pop up options with Mellow Baby, they are a sweet and adorable duo. It's been wonderful to keep up with Sam's motherhood journey on Instagram and watch the utterly beautiful Mabel transform weekly. It was even more powerful to read Sam's story on #BellLetsTalk day. I reached out to Sam and asked her permission to share her story with the series' followers. Below are Sam's words and the photo she shared.

This is one of my absolute favourite photos of Mabel and I. (photo from Instagram) No make-up, no expensive photo shoot, hair barely held together with a tie. Just she and I and love pouring from me to her. When your heart lives outside of your body in the form of a very tiny person, it has a way of stripping you down to your bare soul. In the early days with Mabel, I had never been so emotionally and physically weakened in my life. I was overcome with love, overcome by the challenges of new motherhood - of getting used to a new me. And sometimes overcome with guilty feelings because this wasn’t coming easy to me. I had the Baby Blues hard, and all that goes with it - I was often gripped with anxiety or feelings of inadequacy or sadness. I had no idea that it was possible to feel such highs and lows in the space of moments. I was lucky enough at that time to have Ben looking out for me - he eventually made me get support; and I had two wonderful women who asked how I was, but meant it and were there to listen without judgment when I was not ok. One of them brought me food visited and told me how I felt was normal. The other kept me accountable and made sure I followed up, getting support, and kept tabs on me.

Many, many people asked me how I was doing in those early days. I always said “fine” even if I was not. Because usually the question felt like it was about my physical recovery and not my mental state...and mental health isn’t easy to talk about sometimes. On Bell Let’s Talk Day, I want to highlight how important it is to dig into that answer - “fine” - if you have the time to listen. Taking extra time to find out how someone is doing mentally may be the thing that helps them keep their sanity that day. I know it’s what helped me. Let’s make it as easy to answer “how are you today” with a response about mental heath as physical health. Let’s make it ok to not be ok. #mentalhealthawarenes

Tag a fellow mom and tell her its okay to say what's on her mind.

Photos below of Sam + Mabel for the Missing Frame Series™


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