I want to share my truths, as well as the struggles I faced with my mental health as a young mum and how I created MumStyleLDN, which without me realising it at the time, was my first step to healing.
I aim to be as open as possible; to spread awareness and shine a light on what loads of young mum’s seem to battle with, in secret, every day.
My pregnancy was totally unplanned, I fell pregnant at 22 in my final year of university during the COVID-19 pandemic. As my pregnancy was unexpected, I had a lot of ups and downs from the beginning.
My daughter’s dad was persistent that he was not ready for a child, as he wanted to focus on his career. He said that I should get an abortion as he had experience with it and would come with me because its ‘not that hard’. However, I was unwilling to go through with an abortion as I had previously had a horrible experience.
Us both wanting different things led to a very big argument, in public. It was very loud and there was a lot going on, so a member of the public called the police. As a result of this, I was then referred to child protection services. I had an assessment from Social Services and I ended up with a support worker. All of this led me to have problems with my family, as they were also telling me to get an abortion, because of the way he was behaving. I ended up running away from home and sofa surfing at my friend’s house for a month.
This is where my mental ill health started. I was very on edge, as social workers tend have a bad reputation in the eyes of young mothers. I kept breaking down because I thought all they wanted to do was take my child away. ‘Baby Joseph’ they called her, my poor unborn child already in the system.
This also made me more reluctant to mend ties with her dad as they deemed him dangerous due to having a few troubles with the police. I believed that this was very unfair as he is FAR from dangerous. This is the stigma portrayed onto our young black men when sometimes they are honestly troubled for no reason.
I started breaking down every day, everywhere and anywhere. I was falling behind at university due to being so caught up in my circumstances and hating myself for the fact my daughter might not know her dad. Despite being told not to contact him, I still used to send texts to see if he would like to know my daughter because every child deserves a relationship with their dad. But unfortunately, I received a lot of verbal abuse from him.
My pregnancy was hard, I was isolated, I was tired, I was studying, I was anaemic, I was breaking down every day, I was in debt, I was lonely, I was verbally abused, I was judged, and I was sick and tired of it all. Even though I had people around me I felt like I was going through this alone.
When my daughter was about 2/3 months old, I had a breakdown. I didn’t want my daughter’s dad or his family around me. It was like I had temporary amnesia and paralysis regarding how I was feeling and dealing with inside. I just wanted to please everyone around me, make sure my daughter was happy and ignore myself.
I started to realise that I didn’t recognise myself anymore, I became very hostile and angry at everyone around me. I was starting arguments and everything anyone said to me felt like an attack on my character and parenting. I was literally arguing with everyone, every day. I felt so alone and worthless, like it was only me and my child. But I could not deal with my child, every opportunity I had get a babysitter I would take, so I could go and get drunk and smoke a lot of cannabis. It got to the stage where I would drink in the day just so I felt numb and could continue with my everyday chores.
The reason, I think that me and other mums felt and continue to feel this way, is due to denial. You cannot start to improve your mental ill health if you do not first accept the fact that you have mental ill health. So, this is how MumStyleldn was created. The fact that I noticed things in me, that were also in other young mums around me.
I began to do a lot of self-learning, I ordered books, I signed up for therapy and I took a mental health course. The mental health course opened my eyes A LOT. Because as I started learning, I also started accepting and recognising my symptoms, and those of others around me with mental ill health. I started to make these links in my head, and I said to myself something must give!
I then made my platform Mumstyleldn and started making posts and writing blogs to spread awareness. At first this was mainly for me, as I’ve never been a social media person and my reputation and social bubble does not ‘fit’ into having mental ill health, as far as the picture society paints.
However, having made my page, I’ve realised that it really has helped me to heal. I believe everyone heals differently and at difference paces. But having a page there of a young mum in your social bubble, sharing her vulnerability and allowing other young mums to share their vulnerability may give the more reluctant young mums somewhere to go to for support. Because it is unreal how many people are going through exactly what you are going through, but they all believe that they are alone in experiencing it.
I just want to say no young mother is alone – we are all here to support each other. I aim to build that community of support and a platform that young mums can go to find their mum. That perfect young mum that fits them, understands them and is there to support them. Because every young mum needs support to get through this maze of motherhood.
Mumstyleldn offers both free and paid events to cater for all. I am working to build the strongest community of young mums, whilst educating them on how mental health effects them and their partner/co-parent!
We all need a voice. I am the voice for the young mums in 2022!
Connect with me -Instagram: @mumstyleldn