Author of the Happy Mum Handbook Jackie Hall with her sons Ryan, 5, and Cody, 7.
Author of the Happy Mum Handbook Jackie Hall with her sons Ryan, 5, and Cody, 7. John Mccutcheon

Handbook can help mums beat blues

A MOMENT of uncontrollable anger led Jackie Hall, of Landsborough, to find some answers to cope with the stress of motherhood.

"I threw a loaf of bread across the room and slammed a nearby bread knife on the kitchen bench so hard that it bounced off the bench and narrowly missed my son's head," Jackie said.

From that moment, she knew things had to change and she was desperately seeking answers to the feelings she was experiencing.

After endless searching, Jackie found a very limited amount of resources for her situation so she decided to write her own book on the subject.

Most literature that she came across was telling her how to control the child and not the feelings, which gave her no relief.

She was determined to put on paper the tools for other mothers to use to deal with depression, stress and anxiety stemming from motherhood.

Keeping a daily journal to document what was happening in her life and how she was feeling was the beginning of the Happy Mum Handbook.

She would analyse the journal and look at her situation from an objective view point to really understand the deeper issues.

"When someone decides to become a lawyer, they don't just walk into a court room and begin, it takes many years of study and practical experience," Jackie said.

"It's the same with motherhood.

"You can't suddenly expect to know and understand everything just like that, you have to learn it."

Although at times she certainly felt alone in her quest, she soon realised that she was not the only mother experiencing these feelings of guilt, panic and anger.

"Often we have too many expectations of what life should be like, and what we should be doing as mums but we don't always get what we want - what we do get is an experience," Jackie said.

Jackie spent a year completing her book, which led to her training as a life coach and later a course facilitator with the Anti-Depression Association of Australia.

She applied what she learned through the association to her work with motherhood stress.

The book addresses the issue of how to stay happy and positive while raising children, and provides tools for dealing with the mental and emotional challenges.

Jackie also offers a postpartum depression recovery program, which runs over 12 weeks.

The program incorporates lessons via the internet, daily inspirational emails, as well as book and video based learning, to fit in with time constraints of parenthood.

"I just want other mothers to know that they are not alone - that they are not broken," Jackie said.

The Happy Mum Handbook was written to help mums so that they didn't have to feel some of the stress, depression and anxiety that Jackie did before finally finding some answers.

Jackie firmly believes that whether you are a stressed-out new mum, or have been diagnosed with postpartum depression or anxiety, this program will provide you with the knowledge to empower yourself to enjoy motherhood and your life.

The Happy Mum Handbook and the postpartum depression recovery program are available at selfhelpformums.com.



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