I am one of 4 girls, second eldest and from a single income family. My mother was a teacher, but decided to be a stay at home mum once having children. My father was a landscaper in the sunny coastal town of Coffs Harbour. Life seamed easier back then. Go to school, jump in the car after the final bell rang and head down to the beach. The days slipped by, not entirely carefree, but compared to now most definitely.
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I was never in the “cool group”, actually I was put into the “Teeny Boppers” group, as I didn’t fit in with the brainiacts, sports nuts or geeks. I liked Backstreet Boys, Opshop clothes and X files. I was not considered to be book smart, but I rocked drama, art and modern history like a boss!
These titles or labels from such a young age stuck with me. The definition of you and your self-worth by categorisation. Now as an adult wife and mother, sometimes these words feel more of a burden than a badge of honour. “Ding, ding we have a winner folks”….what exactly is my prize?
There is such pressure on women to get married, then you do (wife). The next question is “when are you going to start a family?”, so you do (mother). And if you were like me, I was asked with in a week of having my first when I would have the next!
Like world just give me a f*cking break. I have played by your rules and you still want more of me. Am I not enough just the way I am? I created life and am sustaining life. But somehow, my needs, wants, desires are redundant, I am valued less. Why was I told that I could reach for the stars, if I was only ever meant to be a reproducer (insert alien visual), a vessel for making babies?
So here I am, 5 years into my parenting journey and it has been one hell of a rollercoaster. The only book I found slightly helpful was Kaz Cookes , “Up the duff”. The practical, no fluff, tongue in cheek guide of being pregnant and popping out a kid suited me just right.
Truth bomb, my challenges with long standing anxiety and having undiagnosed post natal depression with both my children, have meant that at times it has been unbearable. The internal confusion compounded by a lack in understanding, services and acceptance of what I was feeling. I didn’t fit into a standard box to be ticked off by the Maternal Health Nurse.
I had previously sought help from a psychologist called Deb. I have such a love for this woman, because she gave me emotional and mental homework, listened but did not pander. I wish everyone had a Deb in their life. I was in a rut that was deep, ugly and lonely. She shone a light so I could climb my way out. I have to tell you it was bloody hard work, but the view from the top of that rut was simply amazing. I still have challenges, but that rut is long gone.
So back to titles. The journey of motherhood is littered with them that serve no purpose. It feels more of a justification for your choices, a categorisation of your limitations. Stay at home mum, working mum, boss mumma, helicopter mum, I could go on.
This year I decided that enough was enough. I don’t want to play this record on repeat anymore. I wanted to shake off the BS of motherhood and get on with my life.
I thought that perhaps other women, Mummas, felt the same, trapped in their own title. So, I created Bad Mums Club! No exactly like the movie, but in essence yes. That freeing aspect of saying f*ck off to social stigma. Cheers and a high 5 to owning it, revelling in it and enjoying it (whatever IT is to you).
Life is too short not tick off your bucket list. I want to inspire other mums to do the same, enable growth, provoke conversations and provide a safe place for them to reconnect. I want them to shout from the roof tops, “I am amazing, I am worthy”, and for them to believe it.
I still have those mental health days, I still yell at the kids and still walk around with food stains (that aren’t mine). But now I know my self-worth is not dependent on my title, be it yelled at me repeatedly throughout the day. I am ME, I am FREE and by the way PRETTY F*CKEN AWESOME.
Hood: West Footscray
Children: 2 and only 2!!
Motherhood in 5 words: Rollercoaster of cluster f*@ks and fun times.
Biz: Bad Mums Club
A community built by Mummas for Mumma who want to connect with others and reconnect to themselves. We provide workshop and events that uplift, inspire and enable them to tick off their bucket list (without the kids) To speak openly and honestly about mental health and happiness.
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