Is it just me, or have you ever felt that all the other families are managing so much better than you, that other families are happier, doing more and having more fun…? I am going behind the scenes of family life, to hear the best and worst parenting moments, the sadness and the joy, the success and the failures. Hear how Truthbook is going to help us be more connected with one another and more compassionate towards one another. Subscribe ands share now and join me on what is going to be an amazingly refreshing journey into true family lives.... A bit more about Truthbook... How was Truthbook conceived? What brought it to life? Why should you tune in? Looking back, the seedling of an idea was planted when I started to feel the impact of social media on how I perceived my family life. I remember taking a photo of the spiderman cake I had so proudly made for my son’s 5th birthday. I was about to post it on facebook when my husband commented ‘I thought you hated it when folk post pictures of their amazing cakes- it’s awesome, you don’t need lots of likes and comments! He was right. But I sneaked it in anyway!! I needed the endorsement of friends, to prove I was up there with cake making! Then there was the first time I experienced someone saying ‘wow, you are always doing cool stuff at the weekends! And I thought ‘what??’, no we’re not. We spend loads of weekends wondering how on earth to fill the time, arguing over who gets some time off… And I would be thinking everyone else was having an awesome weekend. Then, in my job as a Child Clinical Psychologist in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team, I would see family after family describing similar challenges, but all feeling isolated in their suffering, unable to tell friends and family what was really going on. I would think, if only you could meet the other families that are having the same struggles.
Parents did start to meet, when I ran a workshop. The resounding feedback was how helpful and empowering it was to hear other people’s stories, to know you are not on your own. And my training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) helped me to understand the impact of this ‘happiness trap’ we are caught up in, fuelled by social media’s constant flow of happy images of family life.
I started to think ‘we need an antidote to facebook’! I have seen it start to happen-there is the odd post that offers both sides of the happy family holiday. And they are well received with comments such as ‘thanks for being so honest’, ‘we need more posts like this’…. So the idea was sown, but it lay dormant and my inner critic remained dominant telling me it would never happen... Truthbook was brought to life from my own struggle; catapulted from the comfort of certainty, routine and family and friends, I landed in Brisbane, Australia, with my husband and kids in July 2019. My husband’s work brought us here and it was supposed to be for a year, after which we would return to said comfort and I would return to my NHS job and career. Fast forward a year, where I experienced intense homesickness and loss of professional identity, battled with being a supportive wife and mother and pursuing my own work and passions and blamed my husband for all of this! Throw in COVID 19 which amplified isolation, left room for nothing but 100% mum and took a massive slice out of the ‘cake of life’ putting me totally off balance. I had to find something I could become passionate about, that used my clinical psychology training to regain my connection with the profession and that helped others.
I hope Truthbook will give us a different perspective. When we consider what we have in common, it can promote connection and understanding rather than distance and envy. When we recognise other people’s vulnerability, we can be more com