There are lots of things I have to wrestle with about being a mum. The most relevant one, for this site, is being a mum in a space we’ve specifically created for people without children. It doesn’t always sit easy, but I was so excited by Mandy’s idea for this community and wanted to help her make it a reality.
Maybe the idea for Mumsnot really clicked for me because I’ve never felt that much like a proper mum. I’ve never felt as ‘mum’ as the other mums at the school gates. Is it that I’ve never felt as organised and sensible, I’ve never owned a stripey Breton top, or is it that I struggled so much with fertility that I’ve never felt worthy of the the ‘mum’ label?
It’s probably the third one.
I have been so jealous of the mums that can pop out a couple of kids so easily, that have the ‘normal’ family size and hahaha #mumlife #itsamadhouse #wineoclock persona (although I am a big fan of wine o’clock). It’s a wrench when people ask you if you’re having any more, and you have to explain that it was so hard the first time round (well, if you were honest you’d say that it was so hard the first time round, and then after the first time round, it was hard for another three years) that you decided that you’re happy as a three.
It’s something that came up when I was going through hypnotherapy for anxiety, that I never felt enough. If your insides don’t work properly, you don’t feel enough. Something that wasn’t your choice, that you tried so hard to overcome, years of trying and treatment and dead ends… but you don’t feel enough. That is why I felt so much for what Mandy was trying to achieve. You can feel left out and unworthy even when you have a child, due to this weird obsession with whatever normality is deemed to be – how hard is it for people who have had unsuccessful struggles, that never found the right person, or who never wanted kids in the first place? All those things need recognising, and they are often forgotten as society tramples straight over to those with more traditional lives.
Obviously I’ve learnt now that I am enough. I might not always remember it but the knowledge is there deep down. Other people are always surprised when I tell them how un-‘mum’ I feel. People are even a little jealous of the one-kid lifestyle, and every day I know how lucky I am to have my son. I think I’m a pretty good mum. I could be better, but then I wouldn’t be as much fun.
But we are all enough. No matter where you are, or how you’ve got to this point, you are enough. I will never tire of reading our interesting Mumsnot blogs from interesting contributors, and being overwhelmed by their stories or just how frankly incredible they are as people. I am so privileged that Mandy wanted to share this with me, and if you think you’d like to write a blog for us then, please, get in contact.
by Jenni Flo