I’ve recently seen so many blog posts and articles in the media highlighting the fact that (predominantly) fitness/health bloggers have a responsibility to ensure they are conveying a realistic lifestyle; that their readers aren’t so hell-bent on achieving a similar toned physique it comes at the detriment of all else. It got me thinking – mummy bloggers, and mums, have a really huge responsibility not only to other mothers but mums to be. All too often motherhood can look a bit too perfect when only seeing someone’s instagram feed – everything has the perfect filter, the perfect sunshine, the perfect baby is happy, there’s no shit, puke or dribble to be seen on mother’s clothing (whoop to that one, huge achievement!) – this is just ONE moment out of thousands in that day! But when you’re at home, accompanied by little humans day in day out, suffering from PND, haven’t pissed in private for as long as you can remember and/or your hair needs a bloody good wash, not just to be scraped back for the third day in a row – that other mother’s “moment” can seem like their whole life and I know from experience you start to think: “shit, I’m not that great at this whole mothering thing”.
In 2006, when I had Hugo social media was yet to catch on for the masses, so reaching out to other mums meant actually getting off my arse and doing something – I was not keen on this idea and ended up isolating myself in a pool of “I must be perfect!” fueled by the only contact I had with other mothers and kids at the time – the Boden catalogue! Needless to say, this was not healthy for my self-worth and being the “perfect”, 50’s style mummy is sodding exhausting… Let’s trot on 9 years, 5+ social media accounts, 2 kids, depression and a divorce later and we’re not in Kansas anymore! There’s a world in my kitchen (on my laptop technically) of like minded, crazy, funny,creative, brutally-honest mamas who I can actually relate to. These mums continually remind me that it’s really frickin’ OK to not be perfect and that I really am being the best mummy I can be – just like them!
Being a mum isn’t a new phenomenon, women have been nailing this shit for millenia, but the way we can reach each other and come together, on-mass has changed – this IS new and tres exciting! It’s changed so much from 10 years ago, when to find someone who not only had remotely the same interests as you, who happened to be a mum and then live within a 10 mile radius was a bloody miracle – now, tap tap tap, click, click – oh, there you are tribe! And what an all inclusive tribe these mamas can be – positivity, baby-tips and high-fives in abundance. 10 years ago I was afraid to admit that I was knackered, my nips were bleeding and that breastfeeding was not for me, I was depressed, I’d worry myself sick about the house work and that the 4 tiered Victoria sponge you were tucking into wasn’t baked by yours truly! Today, mums-on-mass are in the driving seat and it’s ok to shout out: “I’m struggling can someone help please!” or even to just say “No, I didn’t conjure up that honey-cured bacon and stilton quiche – it’s from Lidl.”. The millennial mums have arrived and we’re doing it our way!
So, here’s just some of my home truths, that if I can remind at least one other mum that she’ doing a great job than I’ll be a happy gal:
- The photos on my instagram are one of at least 20 that I’ve snapped – there’s a deleted file full of eyes shut, moustache too obvious, baby looking drunk, kids picking their noses etc.
- It’s currently 13:13 on a Wednesday afternoon and i’m still in my PJs!
- My ironing pile is sooo huge, we’ve kinda given it its own room (formerly known as my office!).
- I only really get on with the washing when the kids finally run out of school shirts!
- I didn’t breastfeed any of my children (if you wanna know the full story behind this one, head HERE).
- I bribe my kids into behaving in public – a lot!
- I quite often forget to send the boys off to school with coats when it’s due to rain.
- I’ve forgotten about non-school uniform day (only once though, that was traumatic enough to not be repeated!)
- I lie to my kids on a regular basis.
- 9 times out of 10, whatever I’m doing it I’m either completely winging it or I just watched a YouTube vid on how to do it!
- My kids make me pay if they know their images will be used on instagram or blog posts! (please don’t ask the going rate – it’s extortion!).
But you know what? I’m ok with all this – cos I really am doing the best I can and my kids still think I’m pretty fab!
And if my home-truths feel like only the tip of the iceberg, check out these amazing, bad-ass, hot-as-hell mamas who are seriously rockin’ motherhood but not afraid to let you know that they’re not always as perfect as a Rise or Valencia filtered picture might have you believe… Mother Pukka, Mother of All Lists, Parry.plus1, House of White, Dress Like A Mum & LindseyCBowers, to name but a few!
Then there’s so many amazing places for mamas to hang out together and I’m not just talking about the village hall, surrounded by brightly coloured foam singing “The wheels on the bus…” for the tenth time; no, no – get your red-lippy on (even if mascara is a thing of the past, red-lippy will always look like you’ve got your shit together!), grab your sproglets, grab a cuppa(perhaps with a sprinkling of vodka?!) and haul ass to one of these hot-mama-hang outs: Mothers Meetings, The MamaHood and Crafted Sisterhood.
So, the moral of my tale – let’s all just keep it real, we’re all on the same team – love, encourage, trust and share with one another. PEACE OUT x