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Lindsey Gurk on getting her pink back, pink presents, and parental mental health

Words by Abi Scaife

“I don't want this to sound like my mental health suffered because of my kids, because they are the ones that pulled me out but … I got really low.” 

The mental wellness of a parent is so often overlooked - according to a poll from 2022 by UNICEF, 59% of parents in Britain said they were struggling with their mental health.

We caught up with Lindsey Gurk: a mother, internet personality and entrepreneur, as well as a mental health advocate. You may have seen her skits of her imitating her childrencovering hit songs, or opening up about her mental health as a parent - but what her heart is really for, is helping others.

The story starts on a girl’s trip to Nashville.

“I was very much in the throes of motherhood - just in the trenches,” explains Lindsey. “Looking back I wasn't leaving the house all that often. I was very filled with anxiety and fear - really going into a depressive state.”

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She was invited on the trip by fellow influencer Just Classically Cassidy - and it was there that she heard the factoid that would become her driving force. 

Flamingos can lose their pink colouring when they become parents - but, crucially, they get it back.

“I came home and made a video about it because it touched me so deeply,” says Lindsey. “Just saying: ‘If you feel this way, we will get our pink back and we're doing it all for our chicks - and it's okay to feel that way. Because if flamingos can get it back then we sure can too.’

It was then that she started her brand and business, ‘Get Your Pink Back’, inspired by this awesome piece of nature and its implications for human parenthood. It’s draining, and exhausting, and sometimes you feel like you’re giving everything until there’s nothing left - but it’s not forever. You will find yourself again.

“People are feeling as bad as I felt. I don't want that and if we can help in any way - not just the message but financially assist those who are really in need … let’s help.”

Lindsey set up an email address, made an announcement and asked people to get in touch nominating themselves or somebody they know who needs financial assistance. Within 40 minutes, she had 600 emails - and Pink Presents was born.

“People were pouring their hearts out,” admits Lindsey. “Now every month we give Pink Presents. Some months we give more - some months … we just do what we can. I do believe that it's just the start.”

“This is my heart's work. And it's something I think I was always always meant to do. I'm happy that we're in the position where we can now help people.”

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Lindsey shared some of the stories of Pink Present recipients with Smiley News. These are people who were in need, and Lindsey was able to use some of the profits from Get Your Pink Back to help ease their burdens, whether through financial assistance or special requests. We have shared two of those stories below.

‘A mother asked for help as her 4-year-old daughter finishes treatment for kidney cancer. She was diagnosed at 2.5 years old and this mother said she’s struggling because she was in survival mode and is now having to re-enter normal life with a drained bank account and mental state. She’s doing everything she can, but doesn’t know “how to go up.”’

‘A mother of two asks for help as her son (age 4) is dealing with a severe heart condition. He’s had three open heart surgeries, but his cardiac surgeon is in Boston, and they live in Kansas City. They have to travel to Boston every year for his surgeries and procedures. Her response email after receiving the Pink Present let us know that because of the donation, they were able to get their son the medical treatment he needed. With a significant part of the financial burden being lifted, she was able to completely focus her energy on mentally supporting her family and herself instead of trying to calculate how much overtime she would need to work to make ends meet.’

The community that Lindsey has built around the Get Your Pink Back message, and her Pink Presents, has grown past anything she thought it could. It has become a safe space for many, where people will provide for and support each other in the comments before Lindsey even has a chance to herself.

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“Because of the way that it happened, ‘Get Your Pink Back’ never really felt like mine. It's my business, but the message never belonged to me in the first place,” explains Lindsey. “So when I decided to do the Pink Presents, [I just hoped] it would help some people.”

Despite being in a better place now than before, Lindsey remembers clearly what it felt like for her when she was struggling just after having her children. It is her goal with Get Your Pink Back and Pink Presents to alleviate some of that pain for others.

“I was in this pit of darkness and I was trying my hardest to claw my way out. … that is why I do it,” admits Lindsey. “I don't want people to be in that pain, and if I can do or say anything to help them - to be a small light that helps guide them out … I have to do it. It's not that I just want to - I feel it in my soul that I have to.”

If you want to nominate yourself or someone you know for financial assistance via Lindsey’s Pink Presents, send an email to [email protected]. For more information on what to include in your email, follow this link.

To learn more about Lindsey and Get Your Pink Back, visit her website here.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article. 

Gingerbread. Gingerbread is a charity for single-parent families. They provide expert advice and practical support for single mums and dads in England and Wales. Find out more here.

Home-Start UK. This local community network of trained volunteers and experts helps families with young children through their challenging times. Support them here.

Family Action. Family Action is an award-winning national charity working from the heart of local communities across England and Wales. Learn more here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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