Mother leads the way in forging connections
"THE first three weeks were fine" - it was the next 12 months that the then 19-year-old and first-time mum Bianca Fitch began to struggle.
"I was just waiting for my turn to hand her back," she said.
The Southern Downs Young Leader and PAMPA (Parents and Munchkins Playing Altogether) mum last week organised the last meeting of the year, a morning tea for local young mums.
"I wanted to give back to mums because a lot of young mums in particular don't have time to enjoy the simple things," she said.
"It's a chance to get out of the house and socialise."
Two years ago Bianca gave birth to her daughter Isabel.
One year later Bianca was diagnosed with postnatal depression.
"Even though you might be a brilliant mum they (young mothers) still get noses turned up at them," Bianca said.
"I experienced it a lot when Isabel was young because she was so unsettled and cried a lot. It's not so bad now. I feel like I've grown with her."
Bianca said she knew something was awry when, despite having a supportive family, "nothing they did was enough".
"I had multiple trips to hospital just to try to stop her crying. I knew something was wrong," she said.
So at the beginning of last year Bianca took herself to Warwick headspace and set about sorting herself out.
"They gave me tools and steps to deal with low self-esteem, the relationships in my life and parenting tools," she said.
"Stuff like dealing with the way I handled advice. I was a little bit inundated.
"And learning to acknowledge the problem and stop it before it grows into telling yourself you're hopeless.
"It's about separating your thoughts from your feelings."
Bianca said being a stay-at-home mother while her partner worked a lot of the time could be isolating.
Which is why, when her sister suggested heading along to PAMPA in May this year, Bianca quickly agreed.
"I find it hard to make friends so the group has been good for that," she said.
"Sometimes you become so involved with your children and you can't do the things other people my age are doing."
And so for her 2014 project the 21-year-old made it her mission to engage with young mums, to get them to join her in doing something social.
"I always enjoy coming. The ladies are always friendly," she said.
"It's a way to link with other parents and hear their stories."
Friday's meeting was the last PAMPA meeting for the year. For more information contact Cathy Payne at headspace on 4661 1999.