The Spice Girls have come into my consciousness twice lately. I saw online that Geri Horner is pregnant, and separately, a friend posted that her stepson had asked, “Who are the Spice Girls?”.
God that’s a slap in the face, isn’t it? Not for the Spice Girls themselves, I’m sure they’re not fussed, they’ve taken their spoils and moved on. But for us, the fans, now realising we have entered that era of life where stuff that seems like it happened only yesterday (although I hear it’s been 20 years…) is unheard of by the kids of today.
It set me thinking anyway, about how lucky we were to be the little girls growing up when the Girl Power message was strong, and how we have been influenced as a generation of mothers. The wisdom is in there for the taking…
1. “If you wannabe my lover, you’ve gotta get with my friends” (Wannabe)
It’s right, right? In motherhood, we need our friends more than ever. Friends to reassure us, inspire us, comfort us, drink with us (even via FaceTime whilst we are both surrounded by kiddie carnage – no one likes drinking alone, this is true solidarity). Friendship has changed, for sure. When we were singing along to this in our crop tops, we could never have imagined a world where our friendships are largely maintained online, but it’s friendship all the same. You’ve only gotta spend a few minutes in The Motherload® Facebook group to see those very real good vibes reverberating, and with MOLO Mates getting going, friendships head back out into the real world. There is strength in numbers.
2. “But now, I’ve seen through your eyes, all that you did, was love…” (Mama)
Anyone else have this moment of realisation? Becoming a mother, being on this incessant treadmill, gives me a whole new level of love, respect and gratitude for my own mum. As I’m giving and giving and giving I’m thinking – ‘she did this for me. She is still doing this for me, 31 years in. Me and 2 siblings. Give that woman a whiskey.’
3. Too much of something is bad enough… Too much of nothing is just as tough. I need to know the way to feel to keep me satisfied. (Too Much)
Where is that magical balance that leaves us satisfied? Different for each of us, I think. There’s a wave of momentum seeking more flexible arrangements supporting parents back to work, #workthatworks by digital mums, and #flexappeal by the gorgeous Mother Pukka. (FYI I flash-danced, in the street, at lunchtime, on video for this cause. There was gin in a tin – because how the hell else? – and it was liberating.)
Who hasn’t done their sums as their mat leave draws to a close and thought, crikey, how do other people afford to go back? Childcare costs, travel costs, little logistical support from our families who are, in all likelihood, drowning in their own commitments. But what if we like working? If we don’t want to be parenting all the damn day long? It’s an easy-peasy recipe for mum guilt all round.
4. “All you need is positivity” (Spice Up Your Life)
Okay, this one is a lie. You need way more than this, but it helps in a big way. Our thought patterns affect our perceptions of the world and our experiences, our minds always seeking to prove themselves right. Start the day thinking its a crappy one and it will be. See the good, do a quick gratitude round up, and it can play out quite differently.
So there you go, our Girl Power generation had the answers all along. Put on your platforms and crack on mothers.
You can read Keri’s last blog here
Mama to Louis and Rory, wife to Nick. Northerner in lovely Leigh on Sea, Essex. Raising my boys to believe they can do anything (except when it inconveniences me, of course…). Empowering women as they transition into motherhood, via no-nonsense hypnobirthing, information sharing and stomach churning honesty.
Image credit: Flickr/Gary Bembridge