Michelle is a blogger from Milton Keynes at www.themuddledmother.co.uk, she blogs about parenting and mental illness, including her struggle with postnatal depression. Her mission with her blog is to offer advice and support while being honest about her own struggles.
Describe a typical day for you?
My days are generally pretty busy as with all mums. I work 5 days a week and have two young children, Jasmine who is six and Tristan who is three. Generally we are up early and out the door by 7:45 for school drop-offs. I go to work as a Technical Administrator for a gifting company and my job varies loads throughout the year- I even get to do some baking and recipe development. I finish work at 5:30pm, get the children and arrive home to a wonderful cooked meal by my partner Daniel. Daniel was medically discharged from the army in 2017 and in the lead up to the Invictus Games in October, he has been a great house boyfriend, making sure we all eat a delicious, nutritious home-cooked meal every day. Once the children are in bed, I try to get to the gym 3/4 times a week and I also focus on my blog.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My greatest achievement besides my wonderful children has to be my blog. I started it in 2016 after suffering with postnatal depression as a was a way to verbalise how I felt, without having to talk about it. It started as therapy but has grown becoming a platform to help others going through the same struggles. I pour my heart and soul into my blog and have always tried to be authentic in everything I write, which probably scares some brands off from working with me.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
My friends always joke that I have everything you could imagine in my handbag, and it weighs far too much. I have keys, phone, purse, an organiser and iPad (I like to work between both), sun cream, a MAC lipstick, plasters, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, a reusable bag, sunglasses, socks, spare knickers (for the youngest, not me!), a ketchup sachet, hair bands and hair clips. Told you I have everything in there!
What are your ambitions in life?
My ambition in life is to be happy with the life I’ve created for myself, which is very much a work in progress. Mentally, I have worked very hard on myself over the last 18 months and I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I want to keep learning and growing.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
I wish I was aware of my mental health problems and got help a lot sooner. I believe I had borderline personality disorder all of my adult life, but not addressing it has really held me back from reaching my full potential.
What helps you when self-doubt sets in (as it does for all of us)
I think the first thing to do is try not to compare myself to others, as we’re all so different. I also remind myself about the dark place I was in 18 months ago when I ended up in hospital. I have come so far since then, and I’ve achieved so much in such a short time, and I am able to accept that I deserve that credit.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I would like to have a bigger home, so Daniel and I can expand our family with another child (his first). I would also like to get married with a small wedding: just myself, Daniel, the kids and close friends and family, ideally on a beach. An intimate, low key celebration surrounded by love.
What advice would you give a budding blogger?
Write what you are passionate about. It soon becomes apparent if you’re writing about something you have no real interest in. Focus on the positive feedback and not the negative, and don’t try to be someone that you’re not.
What advice would you give a first-time mum?
Let other people help you and don’t be scared to ask for help. I struggled to ask for help and I really wish I had, as I ended up with postnatal depression, which lasted for two years after my youngest child was born.
Finally, happiness is…
…Waking up knowing I have two wonderful children and a partner who always supports me. I feel incredibly lucky in life.
Please consider supporting Daniel’s Go Fund Me Campaign to fund a Rugby Wheelchair so he can play in the Invictus Games in Sydney.