Your Story: How Mums Matter saved my life
It was the middle of the pandemic lockdown. I was a first time mum, which is hard enough on it’s own and I had lots of additional pressures. I am told that being a Mum can be lonely, it certainly felt it to me, a single mum with only the TV and social media for company. This was not a good combination as it turns out, because I was working myself in to the ground trying to be Super Mum all the time and never reaching unrealistic expectations that I was seeing all the time. I remember I would often curl up on the floor, in the dark and just cry for hours on end. I would trawl the internet trying to find help but didn’t really know what I needed.
I come from a culture where we are discouraged from talking about anything that isn’t right in our lives. So I just used to put on my happy face because that’s how people thought I was and turn up and just carry on. Or so I thought. Until this one day that I turned up to drop my child off at nursery and just broke down and sobbed my heart out.
“Being referred to the Mums Matter Project literally saved my life and I really mean that.”
I didn’t truly realise just how low and depressed I was until I attended the first session. Listening to the other Mums describe how lonely they felt and how tired and how frustrating it felt not knowing how to help their screaming baby felt like a revelation and a true relief. I genuinely thought I was the only one and felt ashamed that I wasn’t coping, whilst everyone else was.
I was offered a range of support from the project including 1:1 support from Homestart and help from the Advice Caseworker. The people supporting me by communicating with each other meaning that I didn’t have to keep repeating myself. I finally had a safe spot to come and share, an inner circle of trust and understanding. The team took time to understand me as a person. It was all the small things and attention to detail that showed we were important people. This meant so much.
Through the course, I learnt so much and the different topics each week all seemed to make sense.
I realised how important and essential it was to care for myself as well as my child. With the kick start of freshly prepared meals from the Food for All team, I started to nurture myself with real food and preparing my own food in batches so I always have food ready. I also learnt the power of using affirmations to really help improve my confidence, believe in myself and my abilities.
“I now believe that I am a great Mum. My child is thriving and we have exciting times ahead of us.”
If a Mum asked me if they should give Mums Matter a try I would tell them a thousand percent yes.
I truly believe that all the services should be able to offer this support to all Mums because it really gives you belief and reassurance about being a Mum, especially a first time Mum.