Find yourself again

For those of you who don't know the Athena's Bounty origin story....

Back in December 2018, with my family all away for the holidays, I was induced due to my Obstetric Cholestasis at 37 weeks. Little Miss's actual due date of 10th Jan would have meant my family would have been there to support me and it would have been a lot less stressful to find someone to take care of Theodore whilst I was in the hospital over the Christmas period. (Much love to Uncle Mike and Aunty Linda who took that responsibility on for us!)

After not the best pregnancy, due to the constant bloods having to be taken, the funny turns that left me having to start maternity leave earlier than planned and a terrible UTI that caused me to be hospitalised, it was safe to say, bringing my final child into the world wasn't the sea parting and angels singing moment I was hoping for. Couple that with being alone with a new-born, struggling to feed, with a 4 year old who wanted constant attention and a husband that contracted severe tonsillitis straight after we left the hospital, I felt like I was the one that had to try and hold everything together and was doing a pretty shabby job at it.

Things improved when my family returned from their travels, but the feeling of complete inadequacy didn't leave me. Breastfeeding became torturous as we discovered a tongue tie that had left my nipples cracked and bleeding. I began crying every time she needed feeding and felt so utterly hopeless.  I spoke to a health visitor who referred me to my local Home-Start for help with my Post Natal depression. I did a group counselling session called 'Mums in Mind' which helped me to come to terms with why I was feeling the way that I did and gave me some ways in which to cope with the feelings, which was helped by the group support. 

Before the end of the session I had made the decision to start my own business with a friend from work, previously known as A&N Crafting Queens. This was to become a way to be creative (something I had stopped being when the kids had come along) and to be able to take time out to be Natalie again. Not mom, not 'Lover', but Natalie. As the months went on and I grew in confidence with the business I decided to branch out on my own and rebranded to Athena's Bounty. 

This was the first time I had felt so fully alive with passion for something. I finally knew what I wanted to do with my life and I enjoyed doing it too. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to explore it even more. Being let go from my temping job meant I had even more time to make a go of this little enterprise and although I'm not counting my millions yet, I love creating the poems and jewellery gifts I sell. Through the business I rediscovered who I was and what I love doing.

Now don't get me wrong, down the line I have been blinded by pressure, I have lost the sense of work/life balance that is integral to leading a healthy life and that is a challenge I am currently working on at this very moment. Could I ever give this business up as others have suggested I do because of the lack of income it brings and time it takes? I could no more give it up, than I could one of my children.

1 comment

  • Brilliant background to your journey. You should be really proud of yourself and what you’ve achieved so far xxx

    Alison Wilkinson

Leave a comment