Finding You In The Midst of Motherhood
When a woman becomes a mother it is common for her objectives, inspirations and priorities to shift and change. In fact they may alter when she decides is ready to start a family with her partner. So even before a baby has been conceived her mind may already be in a buzz, planning, preparing and imaging how life will be with a little person (or people) in it.
I say may because some may hold the misconception that life is not going to change at all after the arrival of a little person. Once a friend told me she had such a huge shock after her first child was born because she honestly thought that just a few days after the birth she would be able to travel abroad for a friend’s wedding. She soon realised she would not be able to go. This friend in question was a highly educated and qualified person. She was not wrong or silly to think she could not go to the wedding, after all she had a successful career, and thought, surely if she could manage that, she could manage anything life threw at her, especially a newborn baby.
When one has a new baby they certainly realise quite soon after, maybe even as soon as the precious little bundle is placed into their arms that their life is never going to be the same ever again. Ideas, thoughts, plans will suddenly shift, and those £500 shoes that you so adored a year ago may have lost their appeal slightly!
One example of a change in mind-set a new mother often will face is the question of going back to “work” after a baby is born. Maybe you thought you would always want to work or perhaps after having a child you surprised yourself and could not bear the thought of leaving your little one for a moment.
Personally I have to say that anyone who is a full time mother will be aware that looking after little people is a job in itself. It is not like being on holiday. Yes, of course there are huge upsides, you get the opportunity to watch all the special moments and to have the odd quiet cup of tea with your feet up, and walks in the park on a sunny day. But with this you also get to experience the constant tantrums, food clearing up after every mealtime, endless toy tidying, and the juggle of trying to find you underneath this new mummy role. Or maybe that was just how I felt / feel!
Many people that I have met who have went back to the job they had before they had their children will agree that after the initial settling in period which is of course an emotional, physical and logistical challenge, that actually going to work gives them a break. I mean who would ever have thought that true?! But believe me, it is.
Everyone’s circumstances after having children are different and unique and decisions about whether to go back to work outside of the home are made based on so many factors and are not limited to just financial ones.
Becoming a mother can mean that one can lose their identity as suddenly you don’t feel like you any longer. In the initial stages mothers are all consumed with feeding, changing, sleeping and routines. This is normal but then suddenly one day you may realise that you need something more, and this is not because you do not love your little person any less than you did before.
It takes real confidence and a great network of friends and family surrounding you to help you make the transition into motherhood and finding you in the midst of it all. Mothers can and do feel guilty about everything (even if you work at home as a mother, or in an office!) so it is wonderful to have a strong support network around sharing experiences, stories and the highs and lows.
One such amazing network I personally have recently discovered is Mothers Meeting. Mothers Meeting was founded just over four years ago by one very cool, trendy mum called Jenny Scott. Before Jenny’s first child was born she was working in London as a creative and graphic designer for number of cutting edge fashion designers and well-known brands. Like me, and I am sure many others, Jenny had no idea of the realities of motherhood. After some time of being a new mum Jenny felt trapped and decided to search out a social network of other mums, just like her, who were embracing motherhood as an exciting new chapter in their lives. The more she looked the more she realised that nothing of the sort existed. So tad dah, she created Mothers Meeting.
What an incredible job Jenny has done. It is remarkable that she has grown Mothers Meeting organically from organising an exhibition visit for her and two other mums and babies to a network of amazing inspirational and motivational events which include a Business Club, Book Club, Networking as well as others relating to fashion, beauty and wellbeing. I mean how refreshing is it to see events on mental health for mums? Jenny has also written a fabulous book, ‘How to Be a Hip Mama without Losing Your Cool’ which gives advice on giving birth, getting fit, organising your life after little people and much more. Mothers Meeting allows mums to be mums but to still embrace the things that interest them. They provide a network for mums to meet, exchange ideas, knowledge and help, not judge, one another. The wonderful thing about Mothers Meetings is that by their very nature they encourage mums to meet up, face to face, and talk openly about motherhood, life, and the challenges it brings. Whilst you cannot undermine the value of social media you cannot beat meeting a person in real life. Tea, cake and a good chat can solve anything!