I originally started the Nifty Mum’s Network (NMN) in 2010 after my second child was born. I had moved to Melbourne heavily pregnant and booked for an elective caesarean at 38 weeks due to a low lying placenta. We knew nobody in Melbourne and when my son decided to enter the world early at 37 weeks this threw all our plans out the window. I had been diagnosed with Post Natal Depression (PND) when my oldest child was two months old and was treated by my GP and given antidepressants (ADs). I thought I was cured and thought I had prepared myself enough that it wouldn’t happen with my second child.
With my second child, I sunk into depression again, he was a bad sleeper, suffered from colic and wanted to be carried all day. In desperation my husband rang my obstetrician who sent me straight to a psychiatrist who informed me I had not been given the correct ADs or dose so I had in fact never got better which accounted for a lot.
As a military wife I am never posted to a location with family support and after this isolating experience I wondered how many other mums must be feeling alone with questions about motherhood and lacking support. So I decided to create NMN for a few of my friends where we could ask questions and share nifty tips about mothering etc. My small group of friends started growing and before I knew it I had 1,000 likers. I started working with Stay at Home Mums (SAHMs) with small businesses creating hampers for celebrities to get them exposure and raising money for flood victims etc. Through Facebook networking I managed to grow NMN close to 10,000 likers in just under three years which is still amazes me!
I recently closed NMN on Facebook for a number of reasons. Such a large community of mums requires constant monitoring which is difficult when you have two small children, a part time job and a husband who is away a lot. With my husband being deployed overseas for most of last year, my daughter starting school and me having surgery on my hip and both feet, I realised that something had to give. I was also determined to beat my PND and get off my ADs. So I rediscovered my love of sewing using it as a kind of meditation to keep my PND at bay and started a blog, Diary Of A Nifty Mum, to write about my sewing adventures; particularly my love of all things vintage and retro and of course, cooking.
Then came the Paleo (Paleolithic) Diet! I had been introduced to the Paleo Diet through my personal trainer and the more I read the more I was convinced this was another way to tackle my PND. A number of studies had looked at the use of a high protein diet in combatting mental illness symptoms with great results.
In addition to this I read about the inflammatory response of the body to not only gluten but all grains. I started eating Paleo about 12 months ago and I have found (I have the occasional cheat but I do pay for it) my mental has dramatically improved; I have more energy, and my overall health has so much better.
My husband and kids are not on the Paleo diet however they will try everything I cook and 9 times out of 10 like it. 99% of the meals I make are Paleo and I tweak it for the rest of the family. For example, I will make a Paleo spaghetti bolognaise sauce, they will have normal pasta and I will either have it on “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) or on top of baby rocket and spinach.
Our family favourite is Thai Chicken Curry on Cauliflower Rice.
About Linda Bradfield:
Linda is a defence wife and part time sonographer (ultrasound). She created the Nifty Mums Network Facebook page to help other mums and to help herself beat her Post Natal Depression. She recently closed her NMN Facebook page but continues to blog about her sewing, love of all things vintage, cooking with her Thermomix and experimenting with Paleo recipes.
Read more about Linda at her blog, The Diary of a Nifty Mum, here.