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“I wasn’t sure how well this would go. I didn’t have any goals yet and I didn’t want to go back to work or TAFE yet so I didn’t think it was going work.”
But her mentor, Danni helped her uncover some goals she ‘didn’t think she had’.
Now she is a mum to four-month-old Hudson and is working through birth trauma, separation anxiety and medical issues – all with the practical and emotional support of her mentor.
“We have a really good relationship; she has brought me out of my shell in a good way.”
A big key to Hayley’s achievements is the physical, mental and social benefits of joining a local young parents walking group started by her mentor.
“One of my goals is to get out of the house and I didn’t think that would be a goal when I was pregnant. I thought I had things sorted but after I had Hudson, things didn’t go well. I had a traumatic birth and so I just stayed at home.”
“But Danni has gotten me out of the house. Every Wednesday, even if the day before was bad, I still get up and go walking. It makes you meet other mums and find new friends you can relate to.”
After her traumatic birth with Hudson, she has severe separation anxiety and her physical health also suffered with complications from a contraception device.
“I had been trying to get into the hospital for so long so Danni asked for my permission to advocate for me. She got me an appointment that week and within 30 days, I am getting surgery, instead of waiting months. She has been amazing advocating for me through the public health system.”
Hayley is nearing the end of her 12 months in the program and is starting to look at what comes next.
“My birth trauma has made it really hard to leave him. I have never left Hudson before, so I am slowly building up. Danni has shown me that it is OK but I am still going to work on it. By the time my 12 months is up, I am going to be able to leave him with his dad to go to the shops or do something on my own.”
“I will also keep going with the walking group and the parenting group on my own. But the big thing will be to advocate for myself, especially with the medical stuff. She is teaching me to stand up for myself and advocate for myself. I am getting better and I will do it.”
Hayley said any young parent should know that you don’t have to have goals right away.
“When you come into this, you might feel like you have to have goals but you don’t have to. She helps you find goals you didn’t think about. It is safe and comfortable and any young mum will be welcomed.”