More often than not, I get told “I don’t look like a Mum” (whatever that means – I often get questioned in Biology lectures late in the semester when I am giving my 2 cents about Birth, ok I am an over sharer.. maybe it is a full dollars worth, or when I am out socially with friend - I am one of the first in my group) and that I guess was the absolute inspiration of this blog. It got me thinking of stereotyping, roles in general we play and the overall view of Motherhood. Now this is my blog, so my opinion, but I have never been fond of the label Motherhood, awesome if that is you though. Yes, I use it in Hashtags and believe that it is the experiencing of raising a child; however, I don’t believe it fits a specific image nor should have a guideline. It is funny because we are so quick to judge what people look like and I prefer the term “Mum-ing” because that is what I do and puts me in the now.
I am a Mother but also play other different roles. Trust me I would use up all my hashtags on Instagram quickly if I tried to definite myself e.g. #yogalife, #studentlife but this does not make me any less of a Mother. I do Co-parent but don’t believe this role is any less challenging than being a “full time Mum”. My sincere respect goes out to parents that do this single handedly. Wow. Mabel’s Dad and I do a clean 50/50 so half of the time I dedicate to my education, career and well, I’m trying out the “fun” side lately that I missed in my early years when time permits. When I am with Mabel though, it is game on…similar to Jumanji actually, and try my best to be attentive to her around work and study. But it is just me during that time and can be rise to the challenge sometimes when you want to pass the ball but keep going. I have found it harder recently with the passing of Bec as she would just turn up and Mum with me on the weekends. We would also be sussing out the single Dads for her on the playground due to her love of kids and many times found us checking out the hosts on ABC kids like an hour after Mabel had fallen asleep.
So what is a Mum meant to look like? I keep a pretty balanced lifestyle, I have had to work really hard to find this but well, that is what I am always aiming for. I Yoga, Full time Study, Work 3 jobs, Mum, exercise, enjoy a social drink these days (Bec would be excited), write, spend a lot of time outside and always researching life in one way or another to move to the next and to keep bettering myself, and honestly I need a lot of time alone hence why Co-Parenting works well for my circumstance. I probably don’t answers texts or Facebook messages as much or as quickly as others especially for the amount of time as I find myself on Instagram and sometimes I put my bum on there, but this is me and yes I am a Mum, but first mostly, I am me. I don’t believe we have to change ourselves to fit into a role, we take it on as we are. Becoming a Mum does brings huge changes but not from an identity perspective. Perhaps we spend more time in this role because we all have different takes, different ideas and different beliefs around it, as we all know it is huge – One of the biggest thing I will ever do. I also believe what I do now, models to my daughter that yet it fact, go for everything your heart desires.
Is there a perception that once you have kids that is it? From personal experience becoming a Mum made me stronger both mentally and physically. I am a real advocate to Mothers’ to be that your body isn’t ruined after pregnancy – besides the body is a temple regardless as females we home children, store emotions and are a complete power house. Prior to, during pregnancy and even now I have been a dedicated daily Yoga Practitioner. I just wanted to put it out there with Hyperemesis it wasn’t pretty on the Yoga mat everyday during pregnancy. I remember being in India practicing Yoga in the First Trimester and literally running from a led class of 400 people to try and make it to the toilets to throw up and this set a trend for the next 8 months.
On a hormonal level, strength and rebalancing of the system I am sure Yoga did incredible things in the lead up to pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Besides making you feel incredible, there is a whole lot of happenings going on their at a cellular level which indeed allowed the body to not just return to pre pregnancy but to keep getting stronger. I am doing a more strength wise I could prior to even thinking about having a baby. Yoga may not of been your thing, perhaps there was something else but there need not to be a worry that because you are having a baby this is the end. For some it may take longer than others but it is not race, it is a journey sometimes acceptance can take a long time, it may take physical measures to show us this. Hey it took me a full 25 years to learn this years, mostly through the Eating Disorder. I like to think I am 29 and in my prime – key points in the sentence “I like to think” ha ha.
Becoming a Mum that life before physically and mentally does not end, it only starts. I admit life is busy and I wouldn’t have it any other way, I take after my Mama and I am a do-er, but when others ask how do you do it, it is about finding that balance, what works for you and go for it. Yes you will reach points of chaos and it will take you to the edge but I have found so much strength from doing so and equilibrium always returns. It may not always be conventional but happiness is of the essence – Happy Mum, Happy Bub, keeping Mum-ing.
Lexi x - Song "Comfortable" by LANKS