A children's book, looking at PND through a child's eyes.

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Ebook Reviews

‘From my perspective as a parent with mental health issues, this hits all the right notes.’

‘It is a great starting point to an open conversation between a mum and child who are in this situation.’

‘This reassuring book is a gentle yet moving look at depression, seen through the eyes of a bewildered child.’

‘It will be a great tool in helping to develop a child’s emotional intelligence.

Review of A Monster Ate My Mum

A delightful, endearing tale of how a young boy navigates the path of his Mum’s inner battle with postnatal depression. It speaks volumes of the loss and despair that occurs, not just from the perspective of the adult, but that of the child.

The joy and beauty of the tale is that of hope. Her smiles, laugh and spark will be returned to her and that she will get better. More importantly, that it wasn’t the child that had made her feel this way.

It would be such a gift to see this enriching tale made available to all women who experience the devastation of low mood, anxiety and depression within the perinatal period.

I for one recommend it wholeheartedly.

Claire Murphy
Group Leader – Butterflies PND Support Group

Paperback Reviews

‘I’d like to thank Jen for writing this hugely important book.’

‘This is something so truly special, something that someone has gifted I feel, to those parents who have had post natal depression.’

‘It’s a really clear and simple to understand book, which flows very easily thanks to the rhyming words Jen uses.’

‘I would love to see this book in all settings, children’s centres, schools, nurseries and in homes up and down the country.’

‘I would say this book tackles a personal and often devastating subject very well.’

‘This is a brilliant book for children who have a parent struggling with depression.’

‘It’s an amazingly therapeutic effect, drawing open a mother’s mind to see PND from the perspective of those around her – from personal experience this can be a huge motivational tool to encourage change as well as the active pursuit of help.’

‘I view A Monster Ate My Mum as a useful tool in tackling PND.’

”Little L loved the book, she continued to ask questions throughout which is always a good thing as it shows she’s listening and taking it in.

More reviews of the paperback version of the book are coming soon…they’ve been sent out to the reviewers!!


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Press Release!

Written by Jen Faulkner

A children’s book, written in rhyme, looking at Post Natal Depression from a child’s perspective.

First Edition, published on 18th October 2013

Print version: £7.49 (currently £5.99)
ebook: 99p

An important subject, and one that can be tricky to talk about, is Post Natal Depression, which affects between 10% and 15% of new mothers. To highlight this important issue and to facilitate its discussion comes the story ‘A Monster Ate my Mum’ by Jen Faulkner.

As a sufferer of Post-Natal depression herself, Jen knows how debilitating this illness can be and just how much it affects the whole family, especially siblings. Watching her older children see her suffer and finding it hard to find the right words to explain to them what was happening to their mum, Jen took to something she knows well, her love of writing.

She wrote a rhyming story talking about PND, as seen through the eyes of a child, to help her children understand what was happening to her. She hopes to help other families affected by the illness with the book. The central character, a young boy, goes on a hunt to look for the monsters that have taken different parts of his mum. He looks for her smile, her laugh, her spark.

“Excuse me but have you eaten my mum?

I want her back I want some fun.

I want to see her smile, my mum.

Is she in your big round tum?”

The boy learns that they didn’t mean to eat his mum and that in time, all of the things they have taken will be returned.

“No she’s not here I just ate her smile.

I’ll give it back after a while.

I’m sorry I was hungry you see.

I don’t know where your mum could be.”

Aimed at children across the age range from 2 right through to 12, the initial response from the first appearance of the story on her blog instinctivemum.com has been amazing, and included an invitation to read it aloud on BBC Radio Bristol during Dr Phil Hammond’s Saturday Surgery show. More information can be found on the blog: https://amonsteratemymum.wordpress.com
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Currently available through this link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/jen-faulkner/a-monster-ate-my-mum/paperback/product-21257893.html

Jen Faulkner is available to discuss her PND journey and the story it helped to create.

For further information please contact Jen Faulkner: instinctivemum@gmail.com or @MonsterAteMyMum


The Author

Jen Faulkner

Post-Natal depression affects many families; and it affected mine. I am a mum to three beautiful children (a feisty yet sensitive 12 year old daughter, a quiet and thoughtful four year old boy, and an unpredictable 18 month old son) and have suffered either pre or post-natal depression with each of them. It is a debilitating illness that affects the entire family and I was painfully aware of this after the birth of my third child when I was at my most ill. I witnessed my older children, then three and eleven, look at me with confusion when I was crying again and asked me why I was so sad. I saw them shy away from me when I was irritable and tip-toe around me when I was locked in my own anxiety ridden hell. It wasn’t their fault, it wasn’t anything yet they’d done, but it know they were affected by it. I know they were confused by what was happening to their mum who was such a confident and lively person.

Here is my story:

When I was 23 I became pregnant, and soon found out that I would be facing the journey alone. Naturally I had expectations. Of the pregnancy, of the birth, of what being a single parent would be like. And with my first, and every baby after, those expectations changed, and were either challenged, or exceeded.

That very first time I suffered with PND I, and many others, put it down to the fact that I was a single parent, sleep deprived and struggling alone. There was no counselling offered, no antidepressants, and it was never mentioned or talked about again. Until I got pregnant with my second baby. (this time planned!)

My daughter was 6, and I was living with my now husband. I was excited about having a baby. About having a baby with a man who wanted to have a baby with me. I didn’t expect all of the unresolved problems and emotions from my first pregnancy to come back with a vengeance. I became irritable, panicky, suffering so many palpitations that I eventually needed an ECG, which thankfully was normal. I became a paranoid and jealous woman. (yes I even checked my husband’s phone and emails) I would cry, a lot. I couldn’t seem to get a grip. My husband could do nothing right (don’t get me wrong, he’s not perfect by ANY stretch of the imagination, but he didn’t deserve the abuse he was getting) and my daughter didn’t understand where the mummy she knew had gone. So pre-natal depression was diagnosed. And this time I was offered counselling. There was a waiting list of course, but thankfully not too long. Counseling was hard. I regularly didn’t want to go. Didn’t want to talk about myself yet again. (which is MOST unlike me!) However, I had light-bulb moment during session four, where I realised that I was subconsciously expecting my husband to disappear like my daughter’s father had done. Thankfully counselling helped, and once my son was born I became better, and enjoyed being a mum.

Three years later I had my third (and definitely last baby!) You’d think having done it twice before I’d be well prepared. That my expectations of parenthood and being a mum would be pretty much spot on. That nothing new could throw me because I’d been there, done it all and got the t-shirt! I knew the depression might come back again, but I was confident I could survive it, and naively thought it was partly due to circumstances before, and that now all of the unresolved feelings and emotions had been dealt with I’d be ok. Oh how wrong I was. My third baby, my second son, challenged me in every way. For he didn’t sleep, at all. And I didn’t cope, at all. I couldn’t understand it at first, ‘but my babies sleep’ went round my head and out my mouth often and I felt like I was failing as a mother. He didn’t do what I’d expected, and I wasn’t coping how I’d expected, and it threw me. I spent my days unable to look at him because when I did I would have a huge panic attack. I firmly believed that I couldn’t look after him, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to stop him crying. I spent my nights desperately trying to get him to sleep, crying uncontrollably when five minutes after he’d settled he’d be crying for me again. I’d scream at my husband, whilst hitting myself, that I couldn’t do it, that he needed to take him away. The self-loathing was overwhelming. I constantly planned how I would run away, and where and when I’d go. (middle of the night, to a friend up north) I mentally wrote the note I would write and leave to tell my husband that I couldn’t be a mum to this baby, that the family was better off without me because all I did was panic and cry and shout. I’d cling to my baby son during the day and not let anyone hold him because if they did, he would wake up and the crying would start. People say I looked trapped. I certainly felt trapped. Every day was a battle, a mountain to climb. Everyone knew something was wrong. Even me deep down. But I just thought I was sleep deprived. That when I got more sleep I would feel better. Unsurprisingly I didn’t. Five weeks in and my son was only waking once in the night for a feed, yet I had developed insomnia, and would cry and have panic attacks all night, unable to sleep a wink. Thankfully my health visitor recognised that I was ill. Very ill. And one day, when I was sat in my car outside the supermarket, thinking how I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again because life was just too hard and that nothing other than permanent sleep would make it better, I recognised that I was ill too. And that I needed help. And lots of it.

I didn’t expect to get post-natal depression so badly the third time around. It was debilitating, affected the whole family and was an unbearably dark time in my life.

My children are why ‘A Monster Ate My Mum’ is so important to me, I want to be open with them about my illness. For who knows, maybe one day they may need to be open themselves. I desperately hope that the book will help many families of those who have suffered or are suffering. Please help to spread the word, and thank you for reading x

If you would like to read more of my blog posts about PND here are some links:

The original poem: http://instinctivemum.com/pnd/a-monster-ate-my-mum/
An A to Z of PND: http://instinctivemum.com/uncategorized/an-a-to-z-of-pnd/
Insomnia: http://instinctivemum.com/pnd/insomnia/
Feelings: http://instinctivemum.com/pnd/feelings/
The Last Tablet: http://instinctivemum.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/the-last-tablet/
Recovery: http://instinctivemum.com/pnd/recovery/
Irritability: http://instinctivemum.com/poetry/irritability/