When we first decided to start Ooh Mama, one of our main aims was to find experts to give our lovely mums advice, in all areas of the mysterious parenting world!
I first met Angharad when I attended a toddler group with my eldest, and I instantly liked her. She had that warmth and inviting presence that was so important to me when I first became a mummy - I wanted to meet like minded mums and people I could eventually call my friends (and then eventually share a bottle of wine with etc etc - you get the jist!)
I learnt that Angharad was a Wellbeing Coach and I was intrigued. I'm not afraid to say that I have had my fair share of insecurities in the past, leading to anxiety amongst other things. I have tried out a number of different 'therapies' to gain knowledge and tips and whilst they have had their positives, they weren't for me. I HAD to find out about what a Wellbeing Coach could offer me and let me just say, it was one of the BEST things I have ever done for myself.
(Yes to selfcare!)
Sally and I have both been seeing Angharad and it has been transformative. That warmth I first felt when I met her, shines through her sessions and she has honestly done so much for us. We are so lucky that she has offered to share some of her experiences with us below, so keep on reading and if anything strikes a chord with you get in touch with her, we are SO glad we did.
Angharad Hughes Wellbeing Coach
How I overcame the 'baby blues'.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”. Teddy Roosevelt I definitely got a case of the deep, dark, blues shortly after giving birth to our first child. A large dollop of vomit-reeking, sickly yellow-poo-smelling, post-natal-depression. I think, in contrast to the hell some women go through (and some men! there is a largely unrecognised adjustment period for men after they become fathers, too), I didn’t fare too badly. The worst thing for me was the comparison to others. Each baby/ toddler group I went to seemed to be filled with shrieking mothers exclaiming how “Bobby had rolled over”, “Martha slept through” or - worst of all - “We left her with my parents and we had a glorious weekend to ourselves!”. Wtaf? This was not my life. Mine was a foggy mess of utter sleep-deprivation, my child waking every hour and if I managed to make it out of the house with shoes on the right feet it was a miracle. How did these other mothers do it? Their houses seemed immaculate, their babies appeared to be in IRONED baby clothes, and their nappy bags were organised with military precision. My child was in odd socks, a baby gro covered in vomit that had hastily been rubbed off with a wet wipe, and my ‘nappy bag’ was my pre-baby handbag which was bursting at the seams with nappies, tampons, car keys and mouldy breadsticks. My house was a mess, my car was a mess, my head was a mess. My life was a mess. And all the time one word plagued me: “Should”. “My house should look like that”. “My baby should sleep through the night by now”. “I should have that brand of buggy”. This carried on for a long while. I felt inadequate. I felt embarrassed. I felt shabby. I felt just plain exhausted - with life. Until one day, a friend told me of a life coach who was offering free sessions. I jumped at the chance; if anyone could haul me out of this murky chaos that resembled my life then this lady surely could. It honestly did change my life. I went to my amazing coach for over a year and emerged transformed. The remarkable thing was that nothing externally had changed. But inside, everything had. As one friend said to me, “Yes you do seem different, you’re no more organised but it’s like you just don’t care anymore!” Yes. Spot on!! I had learned to stop the “shoulds”. My life shouldn’tresemble anybody’s but my own. My house, baby, life,should be exactly how I want it to be, with nobody to be accountable to apart from myself! I stopped apologising, stopped worrying about what my life shouldlook like and started owning my own truth – no more shying away from or trying to hide my own reality. If my fridge was empty apart from a carton of gone off milk and some left over takeaway, I shrugged and reached for the Tesco delivery app. If my sink was full of dirty dishes when guests came over I laughed it off assuming they had ‘those days’ too. If my grey hairs were showing I would proudly parade them to the other mums. I started owning my reality; with a little humour, but with a quiet, casual pride. I had nothing to be ashamed of. I had nothing to hide. Every single mother I knew had their own ‘messy’ scenario going on. If they didn’t, they were lying. I decided I didn’t want to be around anyone who judged me. My true friends embraced me and loved for all my quirks, and that is all that mattered to me. For anyone relating to this I would give the following pieces of advice. 1) The most important thing for self-care is ‘don’t compare’. 2) Remove the word “should” entirely from your life. Do it. Today! 3) Own your current reality with fierce pride; it’s no-one else’s but yours. Wear it well and don’t be ashamed of it. For anyone experiencing 'baby blues', don't suffer in silence, get in touch.