If you’d asked me ten years ago if I ever wanted to be a Mother, the answer would have been an instant and decisive ‘NO’. It just wasn’t my thing, it wasn’t on my radar – I had bigger fish to fry. I had a belt of GCSE’s behind me and was half way through my A-Levels, I was going to do something actually important.
I’d go as far as to say that I was an ‘Anti-Mum’, you know the kind I mean. The ones who are too cool, too busy for all that nonsense. The kind that dismiss you in their minds, at a single glance just because at that exact moment you happen to have a screaming toddler on your hip and baked beans on your boob. Never mind anything else about you, never mind you’ve travelled the world, can speak fluent Hungarian and have a degree in Metaphysics. Never mind all that, to them you are just another ‘Mum’ and they are far too intelligent for all that Mumsy stuff.
I don’t think that perception has changed much in a decade. It’s weird how being a Mum is really uncool. Like you suddenly got dumb, tedious and completely un-fuckable, just because you had a baby. Like whatever you were doing in the ‘before time’ has to end or stop and you must transcend seamlessly into your new Mumsy self. Put on your pinny and start baking cheese scones. It’s the hangover from generations past. It’s also women of today not fully understanding their value and the power they can wield. Not appreciating the importance of the role of the Mother and that you can successfully be both, or one or the other.
Trouble is, we need to catch up because this perception of Motherhood is rapidly evolving. There are Mothers out there doing incredible things, their own things, running businesses and building empires. Breast pumping in the City and in the toilets between lectures – balancing family and work life like fucking juggling masters. Proving Monday after Monday that if you want to, you can do both – you can be both.
Then there are the Mothers who stay at home and spend every day, all day with their children, but they aren’t fucking Mumsy either. They are great educators, masters of diplomacy and gurus of tolerance. Ninja’s, if you will. You can’t raise kind, thoughtful, spirited kids if you aren’t any of these things yourself. It’s bloody hard work being everything for someone else, it takes an iron will and the patience of a Saint. It’s not easy, it’s not necessarily the easier choice.
Belonging to the Motherhood is not what I perceived it to be when I was younger. It’s not all cupcakes and finger painting and endlessly debating sleep patterns. It’s not all play groups and coffee and obsessing about baby poo. That’s just a stereotype, a snap judgement made by people who don’t know. It’s actually something really amazing, something really challenging that has to be worked at and fought on everyday. Its something that will bring out the best in you and teach you things about yourself that you never knew. Look around you at the Mothers that you actually know, is that really all they are doing? Have they really abandoned the women they were before, have they suddenly changed and become all Mumsy?
No. No they haven’t.