Friday, 12 October 2012


To celebrate Mental Health Day yesterday I went out with my kids. We didn't go far. They're mental.

I find the biggest challenge living with a mental illness is living with a mental illness. 

I was diagnosed with severe postnatal depression when Campbell was born 12 years ago and with postpartum psychosis, much like schizophrenia, when Ella was born a year and a half later. It will surprise you to learn that when the twins arrived I was the sanest I've ever been. At least while they couldn't walk and talk. Now that they can walk fast and talk back, and I have my new little gummy bear permanently attached to my left hip, the world has again become mental.

I joined a mother's group when Cam was but a wee ball of butter and was told to put on a smile, get over it and don't go telling people I had a problem. These were mums who loved being a mum, thought breast feeding was the only way you'd bond with your baby and who swore they would never give their child dairy, gluten, egg, artificial colours, sugar and flavour. I hated being a mum, bottle fed my baby and gave him his first Happy Meal at 10 months of age (don't judge me, he was a hungry baby). Campbell loves his mummy.

Feeling under stress and overwhelmed with the whole mother deal lately, I booked the hotel where all seven of us will be staying on our Queensland holiday in a few weeks time. Each year, when my husband takes a couple of weeks off work, we head off on a family holiday to unwind, recharge and make some wonderful family memories. A few years ago, when the Wonder Twins were 15 months old, we loaded up the Grand Carnival and headed off on the three day trek across the Nullabor to visit family in Perth.

We stopped for a much needed brew in Glenelg, SA.
Lily wasn't driving.
A couple of thousand kilometres later, and after a brilliant time spent with my aunt, uncle and cousins, we set off home to Melbourne vowing we would never speak of the holiday again.

Traveling to Perth
Traveling from Perth

But now, in the hazy memory of that long, long, long drive across Australia with young kids, we've decided to play in the enormous theme park that is Queensland. I can't wait to walk around them with Scarlett and overtired overstimulated twins for 4 days. 

Unwound and recharged? Pffft. 

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