I often wonder what I’d be doing with my time if I’d never suffered from PND and begun this blog. Would I have found another hobby to fill my time and help me establish my post-baby identity? Would I have switched my line of work? Would I have started a blog anyway, on some other topic, or explored my writing in other ways? Would I simply be a mum and a part-time PA and be perfectly content with that?
It’s impossible to know and difficult for me to even imagine as almost five years ago my life changed forever; by becoming a parent, yes, but also because I experienced the devastation of mental illness first hand and, through this blog, allowed it to become a bigger part of my life – even after recovery.
I once read that the vast majority of blogs don’t make it to the two year point so I feel really proud to have made it to three years. I believe this is because The Butterfly Mother is not just a blog. It’s a community. It’s an outlet. It’s a support system (mostly for me but often for others too). It’s an extension of me that has become a huge part of my life. When my son is at school and I’m not at my day job I write, I take photos, I advocate for better mental health, I chat with my #PNDFamily and my parent blogger family. It’s more than a blog and that’s why I struggle to imagine how my life would have been without it.
With every month and year that passes I learn more and more – about mental health and anxiety management, about being a parent, about blogging and about people. I’ve learnt more in the last five years that I had in the previous 15 and I couldn’t be happier about that. I enjoy reflection and three years after my first blog post feels like a good time to reflect some more.
My Mental Health
It’s been over a year since my most recent Anxiety relapse and, as I said, almost five years since my very first experience of mental illness. I feel strong and safe. I feel positive and optimistic. I’m aware that Anxiety could always creep up on me and I’m vigilant but I’m also confident about managing it quickly and effectively. I’m always learning more about my mind and I always will be.
It’s hard to believe that my little man will turn five at the end of this month. He continues to be my inspiration and my source of happiness. Our relationship is better than I ever could have imagined, especially during those early days of motherhood where my mind was consumed with terror about this journey and my supposed lack of parenting skills.
He is incredibly funny, kind, inquisitive and happy. This is by far my favourite stage yet and if I could stop time for a while I would. When I think back to the way I was feeling five years ago I can’t believe I’m the same parent, or even the same person.
Some things have changed and some things haven’t. My regular cooking and book review features are no longer a big part of the blog (but that doesn’t mean I wont be writing about those topics in the future). My two guest series (Creative Kids & My Mountain) are still going strong and I love collaborating with other bloggers on this.
My main focus though continues to be on anxiety, mental health, emotional wellbeing and self-care for parents as I feel so passionately about everyone working on improving this for themselves.
Most Popular Posts From The Last Year
Intrusive Thoughts: Horror Movies In My Mind – this is one of the earliest posts I ever wrote and yet it still gets read and shared regularly. This is so flattering and so important as the intrusive thoughts caused by Anxiety & OCD that some parents experience definitely need more exposure.
There’s Always Something New To Learn About Anxiety – I wrote this post mainly for me after my setback last year but I’m really happy that others have also found it useful too.
Ten Ridiculous Things I Said Before Kids – this post continues to mean something to people and I think it’s because many of us can so easily relate to the vast difference between our expectations and our reality of parenting.
Positivity: Five Quick Tips For Turning Your Mood Around – again, something I wrote to help my own mental wellbeing but I’m really proud of the info I shared. Changing your thought processes can have a monumental effect on your mental health.
Posts I’d love more people to read and share
- 10 Affirmations For Anxiety Sufferers (Plus Free Printable)
- A Bonding Update – Five Years After PND
- What Nobody Tells You About Miscarriage
The last year has been all about video for me. As someone who used to despise watching myself on camera I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying Facebook Live and You Tube now. If you haven’t watched either my Anxiety Toolkit Live series or the current Good Enough Mum Guide series I would love you to check them out – comment, like, share etc. Likewise, I started a joint You Tube channel with Lotus Petal Family Support this year and it’s been great fun and hopefully really helpful to people.
I’m currently working on my first e-book too – an Anxiety management guide and journal. Please watch this space for more details on this, I hope to release it in the Summer. And make sure you’re following me on Instagram as this is where I often share sneak peeks from the book.
And lastly, I now have a lovely group of email subscribers. Social media platforms sometimes make it really difficult to get your voice out to the people who may need to hear it so I’m focusing on building a bigger email community now which I’d love you to join (sign up here).
As always, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to anyone who has read, commented or shared anything I’ve written during the last three years and to my friends and family for being so encouraging and supportive. I hope I continue to make content that helps people (and helps me too!).
Thank you <3