On Saturday 17th November, we hosted the 3rd annual fundraising event during postnatal depression and anxiety awareness week in support of the Gidget Foundation Australia – a truely worthwhile charity helping families across Australia who are experiencing postnatal depression and anxiety every year.
SO WE DID WHAT WE KNOW HOW TO DO BEST – WE HAD A PARTY!
The Garden Court Restaurant at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth was packed with over 50 Sydney Mums, we raised $2,940 for the Gidget Foundation, we talked about life, love and motherhood, we ate carbs, drank champagne, and laughed until we cried. Because above all, what we need is love, support and care from each other.
Here’s a sample of how the day played out…
“She put maximum effort into everything she did, she was a giver, not a taker. She loved entertaining, she was the life of the party … she had the most fabulous laugh…”
That’s a quote from Sue Cotton. Sue was Gidget’s mum.
Gidget was the nickname of a vibrant young mother who tragically took her own life while suffering from postnatal depression. She hid her suffering even from her family and friends. Together they created the Gidget Foundation Australia determined that what happened to Gidget would not happen to others.
And those words that Sue said about her daughter could be describing a lot of girls I know who attended our event. Including me.
When I first had the idea for Out & About Baby, all I wanted to do was find a clean baby change room.
But I also didn’t really realise what was happening to me. My son was 6 weeks old, I’d had a horrific run at breastfeeding, I was freaking out about the tiny crazy things and not sleeping.
But hindsight is a wonderful thing. And since then I’ve had a shift – a moment – a sense of relief that
(a) yes I’m pretty sure that I was experiencing Postnatal Anxiety
(b) This IS a real thing and it’s not just me! And
(c) there is this amazing group of people dedicated to providing support without judgement and much needed services.
So that’s why we do what we do. And why we have decided to work with the Gidget Foundation Australia.
When I was writing my speech for this event I had this really great idea where I was going to hide under someone’s chair a little sticker. And in a true demonstration of bravery and sisterhood, that person was going to come up with me on the microphone and do a duet of the Marvin Gaye classic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.
And then at the last minute I changed my mind.
And do you know why?
Not because I’m scared of singing. In fact I’m bloody great at belting out a tune.
But because I don’t think that singing in front of strangers makes me brave.
The thing that I have realised from Gidget’s story is that it’s actually sharing how you feel that is really brave. Getting over my ego, tell my story and speaking up is what I define as bravery.
So that other mums can hopefully understand that it is OK to not be OK. And feeling this way doesn’t make you a bad mum.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re a competent, intelligent, well-educated, well-connected family … despite all of those advantages, this is a disease that affects us all. In fact, each table at our event was named after a top, a-list celebrity who has come out saying that she too has suffered from postnatal depression.
OUR SPECIAL THANKS TO….
Thank you to Sofitel Sydney Wentworth for hosting our high tea… it really is a beautiful space and the food was delicious!
Also thank you to our sponsors: Blossoming Bods, Oscars for Kids, The Jojoba Company, Designer Style List, Watson x Watson, Frankie Peach, Ginger and Me, Pixie’s Bows, Woolworths, Mama Disrupt Magazine and Indie Sky & Co!
And last but not least, thank you to Claire Aristides, my co-host for the day… you make life just that little bit more sparkly. Chris Barnes from the Gidget Foundation for the thoughtful words and generous spirit. And the Out & About Baby team – Krysia, Kate and Alarna. You put up with my crazy, panicked late night text messages at Officeworks, hustle so hard and really helped us achieve the Out & About Baby mission like never before.
Photos by Caroline McCredie.
SO NOW WHAT?
It’s important to remember that postnatal anxiety and depression is temporary and treatable. If you or your partner are struggling to understand your thoughts or feelings and it’s affecting your day-to-day activities, it’s important to seek support and understand why it is that you feel this way.
To learn more about the Gidget Foundation visit www.gidgetfoundation.org.au
Alternatively if you, or someone you know is experiencing postnatal depression or anxiety, you can call the PANDA National Helpline on 1300 726 306 or visit their website http://www.panda.org.au/
If you or your partner are at immediate risk of harm call 000 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.