There’s a question we see often on The Motherload – ‘what does MOLO stand for?’, and often, the assumption (or even Google result apparently) is that it means ‘Mums of Little Ones’. While we’d never argue with Google, of course, on The Motherload, MOLO means SO much more than defining ourselves as mothers.
The conception of The Motherload was pretty much a whoops incident – a happy accident – let’s say. I’d got through fourteen months of sleep deprivation before I suddenly had a eureka moment and created a group on Facebook, with eight of my mum-mates, called The Sandpaper Eyes Club. Literally feeling mental, and looking like a bag of shit from lack of sleep, too much caffeine and a desperate need to discuss a growing crush on Ray Mears, I needed a space that would be non-judgemental, with women that ‘got me’ and understood that when I said I’d really fucking had enough and wanted to throw the baby out of the window that they didn’t need to call Social Services, but I did need a virtual hug and wine delivered to my door. Or Prosecco. Or Gin. Or just all three.
After a week or so, we had twenty members. Everyone was under the strict instruction to only invite other ‘trusted’ mums who would Get It and not start spouting sanctimonious shit all over our brilliant timeline. We wanted women who knew what it was to have a fanny-bush that Ray Mears could explore for wildebeests and who understood that sometimes, motherhood was a game of survival and we were it’s main casualties. A month later, in a final push, we rebranded and The Motherload was borne unto the world.
We went from twenty to fifty members, then a hundred, and five hundred and I remember getting perilously close to Christmas 2015 and not quite believing that we could achieve a thousand members. A THOUSAND women! All talking about motherhood, supporting each other, giggling away the day over a glass of wine and the vast majority of us had never even met in real life. “I reckon this could be something, you know” Alison messaged me one day. “If you do anything with it, I’d love to be a part of that.” The rest, as they say, is history, and we now have 44,000 brilliant, amazing and supportive women on The Motherload Group, a successful blogzine, MOLO merchandise, MOLO Mates, an entrepreneurial support network for women, and an amazing weight-loss group; Pigs to Twigs. We have 130 amazingly talented contributors on our website and in our Blogger community. We would never have dared think of all this back in 2015 as we cheered to a thousand members on New Year’s Eve over a glass of champagne.
‘MOLO’ was first uttered, true to our inception, by a knackered, fed up mother – Jessica – who had zero energy to write YET again, ‘Hey Motherloaders’ on her post. ‘MOLOs!’ she wrote, and there was a ripple of excitement on the thread. “OH MY GOD, I love it! MOLO – like MOFO!’ they wrote, and before we knew it, MOLOs were using their new moniker with pride on every post. MOLO was born.
But MOLO wasn’t just a quicker way of writing ‘motherloader’. It came with a kickass mentality, a call to arms. It meant more than just being a mum – it stood for a sisterhood, for support, a mindset of kindness and solidarity. It has become an identifier for random acts of kindness across the UK, uniting women and extending friendship between mothers.
Of course, many of us have little ones. But being a mum doesn’t define a motherloader. Our members have children of all ages. They come from all backgrounds. Some are single mums, others are married mums of teenagers. We have aunts, godmothers, sisters, grandmothers, friends and allies. We even have a handful of male MOLOs – 0.02% – gay dads, husbands of the HQ team, bloggers who contribute to the website and form a part of our community, adhering and committing to our ethos of creating and maintaining a non-judgemental, supportive and candid parenting community for women.
When we write MOLO on the group, we know that it means we are all in it together. MOLOs are a tribe, a sisterhood of brilliant women. We support each other as women, through the journey of motherhood and beyond. It’s an acknowledgement, a badge between us that says ‘I trust you, you are on my team.’ It tells each other that when you post, or meet a MOLO that this is a kindred spirit, someone who has your back, and seeks to be kind and supportive whatever your personal choice. It’s about looking out for another mother, or woman, like you who needs support and kindness.
In MOLO HQ, we want MOLO to stand for a fight against the guilt tripping and the judgement that has got worse since social media grew over recent years. You know what I mean – the stranger on the internet who castigates you from behind their keyboard and shouts you down on a forum, or Facebook. We want to stop that god awful loneliness that can befall so many of us when we become mothers, and candidly sharing our experiences – the good, the bad – so that you know you aren’t the only one feeling the way you do. We want MOLO to be the emblem that we proudly wear on our tops, lapels, mugs and bags to silently let other women and mums know that we are all in it together, and none of us are perfect. We are all winging it every day and trying to give our best to our children, partners, work and friends. Parenting is a tough ol’ lark, but a MOLO will have your back, and a large gin at the end of a tough day.
So no, my loves. MOLO doesn’t stand for ‘mums of little ones’ on The Motherload – not now, not ever. Being a MOLO is so much more than that, and while our children will grow up, and become ‘older ones’, being a MOLO never ends because once it’s in your bones, and your heart, that kindness and thoughtfulness never leaves. Share us with others; share us with another mother and let her know that she isn’t alone, that she’s not judged, and that she matters.
#BeMoreMOLO, #LoveAnotherMother and let’s change the conversation around motherhood once and for all. Because when women come together, like they do on The Motherload, amazing things happen.
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Tags: acts of kindness Being a Mum female friendships feminism MOLO mum squad mum-tribes mums of little ones new mum advice non-judgemental mums sisterhood amongst mums strength of women support as a mum