Reaching out for help can be hard. But a Tauranga mum who was brave enough to refer her whānau, says the Bellyful meals were a huge help.
Aimee* lives in Tauranga with her husband, their boys aged four and two, and their little dog.
“I kept getting really sick from just mild colds that the boys would bring home from daycare. Each time they brought home another sickness I would get hit really hard with it and be bedridden for a number of days.
This was not normal for Aimee and she knew she had to figure out what was going on.
“While lying in bed one day feeling horribly guilty I wasn’t able to be the parent I wanted to be because I was so sick, I thought to myself, what can I practically do to help my family? I had heard about Bellyful through a friend who had recently received the meals and I decided to fill out the application form to see if I would qualify.”
Aimee says she felt a little bit bad about referring herself. “I didn’t want to take the spot of someone else more in need for the lovely meals. But I was really struggling.”
Originally from Europe, Aimee was feeling isolated with none of her family being close by. “The meals helped enormously, it takes the pressure off knowing that you have a healthy and nutritious meal for your family. I am honestly so grateful!”
Since then, she has looked into postnatal depletion and is confident that’s what her body was struggling with.
“I had my two boys close together in age and since our second was born I do not think I have ever fully recovered in terms of nutrients. Added in some recent high stress situations and my body just wasn’t able to cope with the common cold, and this was where the meals were such a huge help. To take that added stress off our family and know that a delicious meal was ready to go was just so amazing.”
She says others should “100%” reach out for help. “Equally, referring people could be one of the best gifts you can give a struggling mumma or dad!”
Aimee is now doing much better.
“We have got back on our feet again, I have got on top of my nutrient health and I am feeling more like my old self again. I am now building up some homemade meals in the freezer at home for when we are having a bad day or for friends that may be having a hard time with it. It feels so nice to be able to help them by giving them a home cooked meal.”
She adds, “thank you Bellyful this is a wonderful charity and we are lucky to have it available to us.”
Bellyful meals are for all whānau, with babies or young children, who are doing it tough. Our main criteria are simply that the whānau we support don’t have others available to do what we do – cook and deliver free meals. You can refer yourself or a whānau here: https://bellyful.org.nz/bellyful-branches/
*Name changed for privacy