I think almost every new mum experiences the feeling of loneliness or isolation, at some point. I very much did.
But we all need friends and community. My experience with mental illness was made worse by isolation and being frightened to make connections with others.
I know myself well so I can honestly say that I don’t make friends easily. I’m not a socialite. Oh, yes, I can be friendly or social, although to be honest I absolutely hate prolonged ‘chit chat’ that has no purpose! But making real friends is something very different and something I find difficult.
You can read more about that in this post – “I have no friends: The loneliness of PND”.
That’s why I’m so passionate about what my friend Emily is doing with MummyLinks. I’m delighted to be working with her to raise awareness of maternal mental health and help to link mums into help, support and community they need and deserve.
Emily & MummyLinks
MummyLinks is the safe place to find mums for local playdates. It is invite only which to me is super important – I want to know that I’m meeting a mum invited by a mum, not just any randomer!
It’s also focused around playdates – to get you out of the house for a little fresh air and exercise (if only between car at door!) and of course the all important adult interaction! It’s not focused on finding a mum that looks or sounds just like you (the profile is minimal) – but on finding a mum who is free to meet at a time that works for you.
Likewise, whilst you can comment on a playdate to say you are running late or to change plan due to rain, it doesn’t encourage chatting through the app – so no debating parenting techniques! There is a FB group for chat, but the app crucially is focused on meeting to beat loneliness.
It’s not just for mums who have or do struggle with their mental health – but Emily’s aim with MummyLinks is to help beat mum-loneliness as it can lead to these issues.
Emily struggled with post natal depression, like me, for 2 years so she gets the importance!
If you want to download the app the first step is to be invited to the facebook community (www.bit.ly/MLFBG) or to ask to join and await approval. It can take a bit of time but this is to ensure it’s as safe as possible.
Letting all your trusted mum friends know will speed this up as as soon as someone in the community knows one of your friends, that friend can let you in!
Through MummyLinks Emily also raises awareness of PND, in particular through a hugely successful yearly campaign called #ShoutieSelfie– so do follow her on twitter and instagram (@MummyLinksApp) to support her in this!
Find our more about #ShoutieSelfie and how to join in here – www.bit.ly/