No one ever fully, fills you in on what becoming ‘Mum’ entails. How easy it is for example, to become lost in the crowd. Or how cold and lonely it can be on the other side. Today less and less women choose to be full time Stay At Home Mums (SAHMs). A great statistic in the fight for choice or equal rights for all women. However, a drop in ‘type’ has also created a deficit in the pool or community any given parent has access to. In America suicide is the main cause of death for first time mums and research sites a lack of support as the main driving force in their declining mental health (as a demographic). No matter what your situation, becoming a mum is a full time commitment. Having a work life environment to frequent, away from home and the kids can be a life saver in irradiating that ‘lost’ mum feeling most SAHMs face. But it can also be an added (unwanted) stress. To assume the problem is as easily solved as sending us all straight back out to work is gravely naive.
This year has rushed by at full speed.
Sometimes so fast I’ve felt it’s left me behind in the dust. Fighting for breath and desperately trying to keep up. Don’t get me wrong, our little growing family is galvanising nicely into a beautifully formed unit. But to say I’m not struggling would be the biggest porker I’ve ever told. There is often a preconceived idea that staying at home to raise your kid(s) is a choice and maybe for the privileged it is. However, a lot of mums don’t have the luxury to choose. Whether it’s because they’re going it alone, child care costs are greater than their earning potential or that their children need specialist care. Whatever the reason, staying at home to raise your kids, single handily, 24/7 is not a decision anyone takes lightly.
For me? Well, yes I’ve relished the opportunity. I won’t lie I’ve enjoyed the moments I’ve been afforded; the magic that women, who have no choice but to work sadly miss out on. But, I’ve also felt lost, wiped out and irrelevant a lot of the time. My journey as a mum, tainted by the fact that me and my kids have no other option but to endure each other every second of the day. Day in, day out. And it guilts me to confess it, but it has to be said! I love my kids, yet having to be their everything all of the time, no matter how cute and wonderful they are leaves me (on occasion) disliking them immensely! Of course it’s not their fault and certainly the resentment passes, no one is perfect and there are only so many Toddler tantrums one mortal can take.
That lost in a crowd feeling is actually why I blog.
Writing and developing my own website has given me a way to escape without walking out on the kids. It’s grounded me, given me focus and opened doors to a bigger pool of like minded people; other mums in similar situations to me. Finding time for the blog and trying to fit it in around family life has been extremely hard work. Yet watching it grow and develop has been hugely satisfying. Essentially it’s empowered me and I feel blessed to have found an outlet that works (for me)! Especially when the alternative would have been quite bleak as quite frankly there really isn’t a lot out there that’s actively open to everyone. As a parent you’re expected to fit a very tight niche or for want of better words ‘Fuck off!’
New Year New Mum-me
I’ve decided this up and coming year I shall not be making any resolutions. I’m not going to pledge to becoming a better mum, an improved me or to quit myself or any part of me in any way. Instead I’m going to commit to broadening my community of parents and reach out to other mums, dads and guardians. I am going to focus on making my little voice louder and prouder in order to better represent myself and others like me. I’m going to persevere with my campaign (Don’t #keepmum) to promote the need for better postpartum support for parents. As part of this I am going to be organising various free events. From free baby first aid classes, health and nutrition master classes to mental health awareness workshops. So, if you need a hand or want to lend a hand please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. In the mean time:
Watch This Space!