When I started #theunlikelymummy it wasn’t for popularity or to see how many ‘likes’ I could get. It was to help another person, another mum and to also get help myself, a little bit like self therapy. I know my situation, thoughts and feelings aren’t unique, but they are to me. I am completely aware there are thousands of other mums out there blogging for the same reasons, with 10000s of likes and I respect them. For me I am excited to be helping others and being brave enough to take that step to do so.
My journey is simple, I am the youngest of three and have two older brothers. My mum and dad had to work everyday and very hard to give us the best start in life. I remember my dad worked a lot and we spent a lot of time with mum growing up. We had a few family holidays and lots of day trips; we were very fortunate to have such a varied childhood. I had a pretty decent education, went on to university and for got a job at my local council.
Life gave me many experiences, I worked at a school before attending university and within that time I went to summer camp in America and taught tennis. With my time at university, I learnt to live independently, travel and make friends. It wasn’t till I returned home I understood the importance of family and the friends who would stand by you.
I met my husband a long time before we were to ‘date’ and than get married. We met when I was just 18 and he was 21, we didn’t start dating to much later on. Now we have been married since 2017. I was 30 and he was 33, after being been together since 2014. It’s safe to say he worked hard before I would agree to commit to him.
Looking now to our current situation, our son was born in 2018, and to say we were shocked would be an understatement. I was told it would be unlikely to fall pregnant and have a baby when I was around 18 and from than I never thought I would have a baby. Adoption and other routes were talked about before we got married. However, I guess the relaxation of honeymoon calms the body down naturally and we were incredibly lucky to fall pregnant. But nothing really prepares you. Lots of comments are said and you feel like you have to defend yourself, it is wrong that you are forced to do that. Comments such as; “You didn’t waste time!” and “Didn’t you want to enjoy married life first?” were said. I just listened and then I would go home and cry, thinking I was making a huge mistake and I wouldn’t be a good mother to my child.
From these experiences, The Unlikely Mummy was born. Born from fear and rejection from peers and other mothers in my circle of ‘friends’ but not all, don’t be mistaken I have made some incredible friends along my journey and ones I hope will stay with with me till the babies are parents themselves. But for the majority of the journey, it hasn’t been the most supportive.
My hubby and I wanted to be prepared and start family life with all the knowledge we could. So under recommendations for our friends, we signed up for NCT antenatal classes. At first it’s a little surreal, strangers in a room with only one thing in common – babies! Within the journey of parenthood, I have made inspirational friends, some of which I have regular contact with and try and see as much as I can. The rest, I felt weren’t for me. Some gave me negative feelings and if I’m honest, my mental health has improved since removing myself from a situation I didn’t like and experienced for nearly a year. But this didn’t put me off wanting to help NCT as a charity.
When I came across their #hiddenhalf campaign it spoke volumes to me. I was able to relate on a level I never knew was possible. It was like they were directly talking to only me. I was that hidden person that had the raw deal. My husband went back to work very quickly after an emergency c section and although I had my mum and friends it wasn’t quite the same. I felt lonely, scared and afraid. I started to reject motherhood and cry uncontrollably. Initially, I just put it down to hormones. Until my health visitor, I would safely say saved me! She got me the help I needed and fast forward to now it has given me the strength to talk about my my story. You can find this through NCT. It explains the opportunity given to me to speak on behalf of women and explain the importance of the 6 week check and mental health, they trusted me with such an influential cause.
Although my story is simple and isn’t unique, it is very common and a story I have heard time after time for fellow mother’s. This is the reason #TeamTum was created. So please join me to help the #hiddenhalf campaign and join me to help you.
Did you hear me on Woman’s Hour representing mums talking about the 6 week check?