Meet Jamie @mamabearofone
When I announced this series you guys all recommended accounts you would love to hear from, and Jamie was the number one hit. It seems this mum, fellow Cotswold dweller had a happy vibe about her that so many of you were keen to know more about. Since you guys introduced me to Jamie, we’ve collaborated on a kindness challenge #kindactsofinstagram and it was such a pleasure to see you all get involved in sharing a little love to all around. Thank you for introducing me to such a gem. Here is her happy…
Life In A Snapshot
I grew up in the UK in Hertfordshire with my mum and brother, but my dad and sister lived in the USA so I spent a lot of time there. I am a lover of dogs; I have two, including one goofy rescue. I work part time as a Psychological Researcher and LOVE my job. I suffer from endometriosis and was unsure I would able to conceive or carry a baby, but I gave birth to my rainbow baby in 2016 with the help of hypnobirthing. I suffered from PND. I now blog about my motherhood experience, and make a general prat out of myself on Insta stories.
What makes you the happiest?
It’s cliché, but the little moments with my family. My daughter giving me an unprovoked kiss, a sweet text from my husband, taking my dogs for a walk. I do have to remind myself sometimes, but I am incredibly blessed. Saying that, I am also pretty happy when I am tucking into a burger and a glass of prosecco 😉
Who is your happy person?
My stepmum. She just never seems to let people get to her. I’ve known her since I was five, and I can’t ever remember seeing her actually angry. She is always smiley and fun, and plans the best days out. I can remember once her coming to conflict with someone over the phone and as they yelled at her she just calmly replied “I am going to hang up now as nothing productive is coming from this conversation, we can talk later” – I had so much admiration from it. She is one of my role models in so many areas in my life, and she is Harper’s God mother too.
How do you reset on a bad day?
By taking some time to just stop and take it all in. Maybe going for a walk, watching some trashy TV, having a bath, or calling a friend or my husband – whatever I have the capacity for really. Sometimes I need to vent, but sometimes I need to just have some time out and remind myself that it is okay and that I am doing my best. I love the quote “I wish I could see myself through my daughter’s eyes”, and it is so true for all of us as parents – we are so hard on ourselves, and yet we are their heroes.
When it is time to stop and take check?
I think we all get stuck in a rutt sometimes. One day I feel like I am totally winning at life and motherhood, but it’s amazing how quickly I can fall from that post and feel like a total failure. I know its time to stop and take check when I feel my anxiety brimming, and fear and loneliness creep in. It is a horrible feeling and can quickly consume you.
How do you nourish your mind and body?
What does ‘nourishment’ mean to you?
I think the stereotypical idea behind nourishment is a good diet and exercise, and whilst I see great value in these I also think it goes beyond them. We need to take care of our mental health as much as we do our physical as they go hand in hand. For me it extends to self-care and doing the little things that make us feel good about ourselves and give us that much needed boost; taking a bubble bath, having coffee with a friend, reading a book, getting that haircut, or even sitting somewhere peaceful and just ‘being’.
Reflecting on the hardest time in your own life, what practical steps
did you take to get you back on a happier pathway?
Stop giving myself such a hard time. Take time out to breathe and realise you cannot please everyone. Writing definitely helps me to process my feelings, and being honest with people close to me about how I’m feeling. Like a lot of people, I bottle things up and it’s not always healthy; it’s okay to admit that you’re not okay.
Seven months post-partum was my worst time, and I had an emergency visit from a health visitor who was worried about me and my mental health. It is all a bit of a blur now, but this was the moment that I realized something needed to change – that I was so blessed to have a daughter and I deserved to enjoy motherhood. I spoke to my husband honestly about how low I had gotten, and he began to help more. I stopped doing so much as I had gone a little over the top in trying to make the most of maternity leave and had enrolled on what felt like every mother and baby course in Gloucestershire. I stopped filling my days so much and started walking more. I began to care for myself, and take up offers of help that I had previously refused; my anxiety had reached a point whereby I thought something bad would happen to my daughter unless I was there to control every moment of it. Rationalising my feelings by talking them out with my husband really helped, and so did writing – it was the reason I started blogging in the first place. By my daughter’s first birthday I was feeling a lot more in control and the haze was lifting. She had also started to sleep better and that was definitely a massive factor in my mental health improving.
What is ‘happiness’ defined by you?
The psychologist within me pops out here and starts thinking about the hippocampus and neurotransmitters, but I guess to me happiness is contentment. It is the little moments when I can look around and just feel so blessed and peaceful. It really is the little things combined with the big things. Sometimes I will just be sat reading with my daughter after an uneventful day and in the moment I just realise how happy I feel.
Mantra you live by
“Have Courage and Be Kind” ~Cinderella
Favourite place in the world– my grandparents garden. It’s so beautiful, and even as they approach 80 it’s so gorgeously kept with so many beautiful flowers and a pond.
Instagrammer who makes you feel good– @mutha.hood, I cannot help but giggle when watching her stories. I also do love a bit of Kelly and her realness in my day!
If you could have any super power? Speed!! Imagine how much easier life would be if you could tidy your whole house in a matter of moments?
Biggest addiction? Definitely chocolate! I also don’t think I could go a day with coffee.
Biggest strength? It made me sad how long this one took me to come up with answer. I am going to go with thoughtfulness.
Biggest weakness? Worrying too much what people think of me.
Nicknames? My mum calls me Poppet, and my stepdad calls me Pumpkin.
Guilty pleasure? Junky reality TV, like The Real Housewives.
Current favourite song? You’re welcome from Moana.