Today host opens up on her struggle as first-time mum
Today Show co-host Allison Langdon has opened up on her own personal struggle with motherhood for R U OK? Day, saying one friend's kindness in reaching out "changed everything."
Now, she is encouraging others to do the same, saying "we all have the power to save lives" by asking a simple question.
The news presenter has been an R U OK? ambassador since the organisation was founded in 2009, but it wasn't until recently that the question touched her personally.
Looking back on the months following the birth of her first child Mac in 2017, the 41-year-old presenter thought she was doing just fine. But deep down, she wasn't feeling herself.
Just two weeks after Mac was born, the 41-year-old drove into Nine News' Willoughby headquarters, baby in tow, to craft some scripts for the news bulletin.
To her colleagues, she was "superwoman," but inside, she was feeling "overwhelmed" and struggling to cope with the "stress and fear" associated with being a new mum.
While she never experienced postnatal depression, she knew something wasn't quite right emotionally.
"I was in the office because I was not okay and I struggled with the baby at home. In my mind, I had a plan for how to care for the baby, but sometimes there's not a solution with a newborn.
"It took a mate a couple of months in to say 'I don't think you're doing as great as you think,' for me to realise. And I said, 'Yeah, I'm not doing great at all."
Her friend's simple gesture in reaching out helped Ms Langdon to realise that she needed to take action.
"In the office I don't think anyone thought I was struggling and I probably didn't think I was. But I was going about working as if there wasn't a baby on the way. That conversation had a lot of power, it changed everything and I realised I needed to cut myself some slack."
Today, on R U OK? Day, Ms Langdon is urging others to start similar conversations. In the wake of the bushfires and the pandemic, Ms Langdon says it couldn't be more important to check in on those we love.
"We all have the power to save someone's life and change someone's life with a conversation this year," she said. "It's never been more important to reach out."
"A lot of people are hurting, scared and uncertain of what's to come. There hasn't been one household that's cruised through the pandemic."
The theme of R U OK? Day in 2020 is that there's more to the question "are you okay?." Ms Langdon says it is not just about asking someone how they're doing, but listening, and encouraging them to take action.
"A lot of people are anxious that if they ask, someone will say they are not okay. But you don't need to be an expert. Often all someone needs is for you to just listen.
"Then you can encourage them to take action. There are different levels of this, such as 'maybe you need to talk to someone, a doctor or psychologist.'
"Encouraging action can also be asking about something the person loves doing, such as going for a walk on the beach and then making a meeting with them next week for a walk."
Not everyone shows signs that they are struggling, she says, so it's important to reach out to those you love even if they seem fine.
"I love asking my mates how they are, just to know that they're okay. It's not just about asking people if they're having a tough time, but letting other people know you care."
If you are struggling, reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Originally published as Today host opens up on her struggle as first-time mum