#MoreThanAMutha is all about celebrating the things that women are, as well as being amazing mothers. In a world where many women feel like they lose their identity when they become a mum, it is important to celebrate and shout that we might be mums, but we are not only that and we are still a force to be reckoned with.
What makes you more than a mother?
It’s not just me, all us mothers are women who just happen to be mothers. I am so proud to be a Mum but it’s not the sum of my parts – I am also a presenter, a journalist and now an author with my debut Confessions of a Single Mum coming out in July! When you become a Mum, your identity doesn’t dissolve around you – rather motherhood is just another thread you add to the fabric that is you.
Are people surprised when they realise you are more than a mum? Does that bother you?
People are surprised when they hear that I am more than ‘just a Mum’. Being not only a young Mum but a single Mum, people expect that you probably won’t do much. One of the first things, I was handed in hospital after giving birth was a leaflet on what benefits I would now be eligible for. Certainly, when I found out I was expecting – all VERY unplanned – I imagined this would be a fast track to destination poverty and unemployment. But I now know that a mother can do ANYTHING she wants if she sets her mind to it. It might take us a little bit longer, involve a few more babysitting logistics, perhaps a bit more creativity and multitasking, but we’re just as capable and just as talented as our former childfree selves. Plus, now we are doing it all for someone other than just ourselves and that really is special. I want to make myself proud, but also now my son.
It does bother me – mostly because I used to believe as much. Hence why when I found out I was pregnant when I least expected it I was absolutely terrified. I was terrified and I really needn’t have been. You don’t morph into someone else the second they cut the chord – you just learn to adapt your life to fit around motherhood – or rather fit motherhood around your life. With a good support network, this is totally achievable.
What challenges do you face when you’re juggling motherhood and being more than a mum?
Juggling is all part of being a Mum – in fact, that sums up how we are ALL more than mothers – we are incredible jugglers and any circus would be lucky to have us because despite all that life has to throw at us – we manage to keep those balls in the air. The main challenge is time and there just never being enough of it. Also, the price of childcare – the second highest in the world after Switzerland (where they make A LOT more money on average anyway) -that definitely makes things hella tricky.
How long did it take you to remember you were more than a mother after you had your child(ren)?
I didn’t hang around and ten days after giving birth I’d grabbed my microphone back and was lactating WAY too near Simon Cowell on the red carpet at the Pride of Britain awards. The evidence is definitely still on YouTube somewhere. Journalism can be really tough and you can be really replaceable if you aren’t flexible so I wasn’t taking any chances!
Who, or what, helps you to make time for yourself? What do you do to escape the stresses of motherhood?
Exercise! After I had my son, I think I sweat out any potential stresses. I forked out and joined a gym with a crèche and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. It helped me get back into shape not only physically but also mentally. When I’m working out I feel suspended from the world and can put my worries on hold for that hour or so.
What advice would you offer a mum who might not be feeling like they are more than someones mum right now?
Remember who you were prior to landing yourself in a pile of Pampers. But also remember your worth as a Mum. Parenting is the hardest challenge I’ve ever taken on. It’s a 24/7 unrelenting job that we do totally for FREE. And that should never be underestimated.
Any advice for someone who is going through the same things as you are right now in their quest to be #MoreThanAMutha?
To any single Mums – remember that just because your family isn’t traditional doesn’t mean that it’s incomplete. You are more than enough for your children.
Who would you like to see featured next in the #MoreThanAMutha series?
Are you #MoreThanAMutha? Get in touch to share your story.