If you've been wondering about this resource, this is the blog for you.
I'm super excited to have this available for parents who want to read, as the tagline suggests, Parenting Truthbombs and Comforting Words.
Parenthood can be a lonely, isolating experience. It can also be so blissful that your heart may actually burst. Normalising that epic combination is what I feel so strongly about. Let's face it - things ain't bliss 24/7. And that's totally okay! The more we read about this and normalise this kind of balance, the easier it will be to cope with.
If you loved Mama, Let's Be Honest, you'll love this newly revised "version" with fresh content, new worksheets and in-depth suggestions for how to support your parenting and living journey.
I use the term revised "version" loosely. To be honest (pun unintended), it's been totally gutted and reimagined.
I also outsourced some of the design which I feel good about. It's really hard being a one-woman show. I purchased some fonts and themes. But the star of the show is the photography. Amy Rowsell Photography took some stunning images of myself and the girls. Featured on the cover is darling Asher, feeding. Throughout are lovely images of the girls playing with some of my favourite and most useful parenting quotes.
When I released my first eBook in 2018, I was very much in a stage of feeding a lot, recovering from birth, sleeping in random increments of time. And whilst I was doing this, I was writing, writing, writing.
This was also not my first rodeo. I was reflecting a lot on the differences between my two pregnancies, births, feeding and postpartum experiences.
And this kind of hurt. I was hurting. I thought that having a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) and breastfeeding on my terms (one breast because the other was mangled during a surgical procedure) was going to be the end of that pain. If anything, it amplified it. I realised that this is how it should have been to begin with. In hindsight, I was grieving. It was bittersweet. I should have felt supported during my first birth, like I was during my second. I should have been offered more breastfeeding support. I shouldn't have felt so alone. But I did. And that kind of sucked.
A lot of my words were discussing how unwell I was following my first birth. "And this is how I dealt with that using these evidence-based practices and considering x, y, z." I have scrapped that kind of theme - a theme of suffering becoming productive. I have actually changed my entire stance in that regard. If you've followed me for a while, you'll know that I believe that postnatal depression and anxiety is often a very reasonable response to this time. You're not "unwell". You're within a process of incredible transition. And this is obviously going to shine through somewhere. This is why I felt the need to write this resource in the most inclusive way that I possibly can; ensuring that the experiences of those with or without postnatal depression were included. Yet highlighting the fact that there are some crossovers between parents who experience postnatal depression and those who don't. We don't always need to pathologise these crossovers.
The experience can be quite universal. We can all benefit from the tools that I offer. We all need help.
We do parents a disservice if we only act upon inklings that postnatal depression may be present. And we do parents a disservice again if we stigmatise postnatal depression as an "illness". It's very, very serious - but it says more about our systems and practices than it does about that individual parent and their family. Shame and self-blame are already rife within parenthood. We can find the balance of normalising postpartum mental health challenges without making it yet another thing on a struggling parent's to-do list. They already know that it hurts. We don't need to tell them so. We need to do something about why they are hurting.
This is why I also ditched the "Mama" vibe (including the title and language throughout). This also was not inclusive. I just wanted to shift entirely away from myself as a "mother" and towards the postnatal period as an entire movement. Although, you can relax because the story of me throwing a picture book against a wall is totally still there.
This resource is 121 pages long and the contents page is available for you to view.
There truly is something for everyone.