I’ve heard so many people talk about ‘the mum cliques‘ and I’ve seen first-hand the arguments that come from it. There are a hundred different types of mum. The working mum, the stay at home. The bottle feeder, the breastfeeder. The co-sleep devotee, the cry it out enthusiast. The biological mum and the one who adopted.
This is just a handful but with those stereotypes, mums naturally gravitate to those who follow a similar style to themselves. It’s only natural, it’s an innate need to ‘fit in’ that starts right from school.
It is there, it does exist and we all of us hoik up our judgy pants every now and again when someone does something we don’t agree with.
BUT, I want to draw attention to something really special. When the shit gets real, when you are lost, and clueless and need help, all those labels go out the window and only one exists in the end…’Mum’.
My first lesson in this was with my ‘NCT girls’.
We have the breastfeeders…and then there’s me.
We have those who kept their baby in their room up to six months…and then there’s me.
And the mums who are following the guidelines regarding the right time to wean…and then there’s me.
But they’ve never made me feel shit about any of my decisions and I truly don’t feel anything other than admiration towards their parenting styles. In fact it barely comes up in conversation because the one same we all share is the love we have for our little humans! AND the sheer annoyance too! Ya know, when they don’t sleep or won’t eat or they shit up their backs!
I think each of us at some point has had a wobble and all of us have rallied around to just help. Even if it’s a problem which has arisen from a parenting style we aren’t following. I know I’ve Googled so I can try and find something helpful to offer on subjects I don’t know anything about. Just because in that moment it’s not about who had a c-section and who earned their vadge badge, it’s simply about raising each other up and helping each other out.
Another shining example I’ve seen of mums in it together is on one of my Facebook groups.
I am in a wonderful group of mums who were all due in the same month. I have only met a handful of these girls face to face, but we have all been together throughout pregnancy and throughout the first six months of our babies’ lives. I feel I know them, their partners, their other kids and their styles. All very different to each other.
A couple of the babies have had hospital trips and, already in their little lives, quite significant operations. One of our mums in particular posted to say how tough she was finding it.
It wasn’t a big ‘woe is me’ post or even a cry for help, it was just mixed in with a conversation on another post, almost lost. Her little boy is very poorly and she has struggled with lack of support from her family. One of our other mums gathered the rest of us in a private message and asked if we should do something.
And there was never any question.
We all made donations, whatever we could afford, and put ideas together for a care package. This included gifts for mum and baby and for her other children, a bit of financial help in the way of vouchers, some inspirational mum stuff. We sent cards and some mums sent gifts of things that had helped them get through tough times.
I felt so enormously proud to be a part of something so wonderful. When this mum needed help we just rallied together without hesitation, I don’t even know what her preferred feeding method is, or if she’ll go back to work. I really don’t give a shit. I care that her little boy is well and that she’s coping and I check for updates on our page. It’s all that matters.
And of course, right here on The Motherload®. Another group I’m chuffed to be a part of. The random acts of kindness are incredible. Some of them are just small gestures but they mean so very much when you’re in the dark. From one mum to another.
It truly takes a village to raise these kids and whatever your style and your approach, we are all just ‘mum’ and it takes far less energy to show kindness than it does to judge. And it feels really fucking good.
But what feels even better is raising my son with that lesson in his heart.
Got into my 30s and got myself a fella, a dog and a little baby boy. Southerner living in and loving the North. My work is marketing, my passion is good grub with better people!