We live in a world, where at the moment, everyone seems so keen to tear each other down. You only have to click on a video of a toddler doing something cute on Facebook and there follows a ton of comments criticising the parents of that toddler, for some reason or other. Everybody parents differently and what works for one parent will not always work for another. Different personalities and family dynamics make way for different parenting styles. And to be honest, it’s really starting to grate on me lately, how unsupportive some mums are, of their peers.
In the ten years I’ve been a mum, I’ve come across so many different types of parents and I try my hardest never to judge. A mum of one might be struggling, when a mum of five is singlehandedly acing motherhood, but the thing is, you don’t know what other shite that mum might be dealing with at that time. You don’t know other peoples stories or struggles, without living their lives. With all this in mind, I wanted to write a post, where instead of bringing other mums down, I wanted to write about a few of the mums I know, and big them up. Ordinary mums who may or may not know, that they are awesome. Inspiring mums, at their best and their worst. So here’s a shoutout to just a few of them (and hopefully they will know who they are!).
To the mum who is fostering other children, from babies to teenagers, whilst being a mum to your own children too. You really inspire me. What you are doing, bringing love and stability to children who have had a difficult start in life… it’s life changing. It’s wonderful and you are showing your own children how to be kind and selfless and loving to others too.
To the mum who has left everything and everyone she knows, to flee domestic violence. I think of you often. I cannot begin to imagine the isolation you feel or the weight upon your shoulders. Yet you have shown such immense courage in order to protect yourself and your children. You might not realise it, but you are an amazing mum and a hero too and it WILL get easier in time, I promise you.
To the mums with lots of children (this is aimed at a few of my friends), who suffer regular criticism for having a large family, from complete strangers, who have no clue how hard you and your partner work to support them. You sometimes wonder if your children are too loud or too raucous, or if your lounge is too untidy and what people must think of you. Well guess what, those loud, raucous, messy children are insanely happy, well fed and thriving because of you. They have friends and protectors for life in their siblings and actually, many other mums, are in awe of you for bringing them up so well and still having time to do your makeup.
To the mum who homeschools. The organisation, the passion, the dedication you have for educating your children is admirable. You are strong and fierce and courageous because you regularly stand up against an army of people who don’t understand home ed and you stood up against a flawed system. Not only that, but your children are the most gentle, polite and well mannered children I have ever met. And my God are they happy. Their happiness radiates from them, whilst you sit there doubting yourself and you need to stop it, because you made those children amazing. You did!
To the army of twin mums, triplet mums and even a few quad mums, who I regularly chat to on Facebook… You lot are a lifeline to each other. When one mum is struggling or looking for advice, you’re all there in your hundreds, to big each other up. Some of you with gentle advice and others with no-holds-barred humour. People without multiples, cannot begin to understand what it is like raising twins or multiples. Some of you feel isolated, some of you struggle to make it out the house. Some of you have it all in hand. You all have to smile and nod through a barrage of comments from strangers from the irritating to the downright rude and insensitive. You have to fight to find parking spaces and shopping trolleys big enough to get basic tasks down. You have to buy everything in multiples and do everything in multiples and on half the sleep, spending double the money, taking twice as long. But WOW… we are blessed with so much love in return. Double the smiles, double the hugs, double the “I love you’s” and don’t ever forget that. Being a mum of multiples is incredible and it takes a special kind of mum to pull it off. Yet so many of you in the group berate yourself and question yourself and you need to stop… because you are rocking this motherhood thing.
To the mum who campaigns tooth and nail for what you believe in. Words evade me when it comes to you. You are the kindest, most down to earth lady I have ever had the privilege to meet. I wonder if you’ve ever said anything nasty to anyone? I feel honoured to know you and I admire your fierce passion and drive to make the world a better and more inclusive place. You are changing peoples perceptions of disabilities. You’ve gone from a writing a blog, to being the lady that goes to downing street to try and promote change. You write books, you vlog, you make TV appearances, you fundraise, you petition and you are quite literally changing the world. All of that whilst being a full time (and incredible) mum to your children (who I imagine are extremely proud of you).
To the mum who works so hard you wonder if you are going to damage your daughter by not being around more. Your daughter idolises you. Your job gives her so many opportunities that she wouldn’t otherwise have and you are leading by example, showing her a strong work ethic. She knows you would go to the ends of the earth for her, so stop feeling so guilty about working so hard. Do you know what else she can probably see? That you inspire thousands of other mums, who would love to run their own business and be an epic mum at the same time.
To the mum who suffers chronic pain. I identify with you so much – not with the pain or the disability, or even with the types of things you’ve had to overcome, but simply for the fact you have overcome adversity after adversity. Life has kicked you down so many times and every time, you get back up again. You suffer chronic pain and all those other personal battles and still… still… that little boy of yours is the centre of your world. And he is a gorgeous, cheeky, happy little chap, because you are above everything, a devoted mum.
I feel like I need to stop this post here, because otherwise I will go on and on and on, until I’ve written about every single one of my friends. Because I think Mum’s just don’t big each other up enough. As a mum myself, I know we don’t look for validation or compliments. A sticky, sloppy kiss on the cheek and a pair of sweaty little arms around our necks are all the validation we ever need. But nevertheless, I know how much it can mean, when someone does tell you that actually… you’re amazing.
So if you’re reading this and you know some inspiring mums – let them know. Or drop a comment below and tell us why you think they are amazing.
If there are any other bloggers, who feel like they want to #bigupthemums in a blog post, I will happily link to your post about inspiring mums – just drop me a message! (Dad’s are welcome too if you want to write about inspiring dads).