First of all, yes – this is an extremely lame reference to the ‘Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’ book series. I am (or was, in my previous non-child life) an avid reader, and would devour books at a solid pace if I were given the time. This included the ‘Sisterhood’ books. The basic premise (it’s okay I won’t bore you with ALL the details) – girls from vastly different backgrounds become BFFs over a pair of jeans that magically fit ALL of them despite being different shapes, sizes, etc. They are united, and ultimately bonded by, a common interest.
Last week I went for a walk with little Starfish up to the local shops, since it had been a few weeks since we had gone for a walk (my bad – starting up the blog and a small business meant that I wanted to spend a lot of time setting things up at home). He was an angel during the whole trip, wide awake and alert despite it being bed time. We entered several shops where he stared gorgeously at enamoured shop keepers, who all commented on what a cute baby he was, etc etc. Notably, all these shopkeepers were women.
Rewinding another week, I went to the local grocery shop by myself (because hubby had taken Starfish on a boys trip to bunnings), where I had a glorious chat with a mother of two primary-aged children. We chatted, laughed about motherhood, and all left with big smiles on their faces. I wonder if I smelt like a mum (Poo? Boob milk? Both??) since we so easily struck up a conversation – which rarely happened before the little man came along.
As I was walking home from the local shops with Starfish (finally!) asleep in the pram, I was thinking about writing this blog post. I was reflecting on how many people – mostly other mums or grandmas – want to stop to look at our little man, or comment on motherhood. I realised that there is a solidarity amongst mothers, a sense that we have accomplished something great, that we have SURVIVED something epic, and that we all keep plugging along no matter the challenge.
Of course, we have also had men (mostly granddads) comment on the cuteness of our boy, offer assistance or encouragement to us. However I have found that there is something that connects mums on a deep level – whether it is the late night feeds, the marathon event of childbirth, or the fact that they are quite often (although not always) the stay at home parent.
Since becoming a mum, I have reconnected with numerous women on Facebook who I have not spoken to in a very long time (or hardly at all), because we are mothers. We share gorgeous photos of our children, and ‘Oooo’ and ‘Ahhh’ over them. We attend mother’s groups to help us realise that there is actually an outside world and that we can once again rejoin civilisation (sometimes….). We have Facebook groups where we laugh or cry over our current situations (or quite often, both at the same time). There is this legion of mothers who unite over a common interest – a love for their children, and a desire to be the best mum they can be. This has been one of my favourite things about becoming a mother and starting this blog – getting to connect with other mums and to share our stories – our triumphs and our struggles, our blessings and our pain. I think it is through this unity that we strive to be better parents.
I read an article yesterday from another mummy blogger who spoke to the opposite of this. She discussed her pain and hurt over other mums degrading her on Facebook pages. She said she felt like she couldn’t open up to other mums due to fear of backlash. I find this incredibly sad. Despite writing a post last week about ‘mum guilt’, in my personal experience I have found that the other mums I have spoken with – both on Facebook and in real life – have been only encouraging and supportive.
Whoever is reading this post – if you are a new mum, a mum of older children, a dad, an aunty or uncle, a friend of a mum – please support the other mums in your life. Be apart of the motherhood, and let’s help each other on this journey so we can become the best mums we can be.