Authentically Imperfect. I'm a Modern Mother
This is a subject I've spoken about a few times now, and it's something I feel incredibly passionate about. In an age where every man, woman and their mother voice their opinions on life, it's so, so easy to feel like you need to fit into a certain Mama-shaped mold when you become a Mother.
Original photo by Mr Adam Robertson
But Motherhood, like every other phase in life, is a very individual journey. Each and every one of us are different. Unique. Incomparable....INCOMPARABLE! So why do we continue to compare pretty much every aspect of life?
You know, you pretty much spend all of your young life being told how to act and how you should be...by parents, school, the media, society in general. So you grow up with these views on things that have been imposed on you. And then when we grow up and we finally have the chance to say 'EFF YOU' to these ridiculous ideals. But then we get pregnant and embark on this new phase in our life that is completely new to us...and we revert back to all of the rubbish that we get taught as children - That mothers don't go to work, that Mother' are housewives, that Mother's that want to go back to work are cruel and selfish, that Mother's all have to look a certain way and act a certain way...it's all grade A bull.
Personally for me, it started off when I found out I was pregnant with my eldest, Logan, by dying my hair back to it's natural mousey brown which was a far cry away from my usual bright colours. I bought my clothes from the maternity section so I looked like every other pregnant woman. I lost my sense of self. A little while after having Logan I learnt to sew and managed to find my vibe again, and I welcomed lilac hair with much enthusiasm. Then I fell pregnant with Rori...and again I waved bye-bye to my coloured hair. This time is was much harder. But again, this was another new territory for me - a Mother of two. Back in the same old maternity clothes I wore the first time around.
I always say I didn't really enjoy being pregnant, but maybe that was because I was tying to be 'a pregnant woman' rather than trying to be my own version of a pregnant woman. I was only 21 when my journey into Motherhood started, and I guess I wasn't so sure of myself back then, too eager to 'fit in'. If I ever had another baby now, I'm sure I'd have a very different pregnancy.
So, Rori came along after the most amazingly special and empowering hypnobirth, and things were different this time. I've spoken about hypnobirthing before, but in short, it is singularly the most magical experience of my life. I'd never felt so connected to myself, and so strong.
Really soon after Rori was born I found myself again, and it was a stronger connection than ever before. It was like, 'Oh Ok, so I can push out a baby without pain relief, breastfeed her, look after her brother AND be myself?! YAS!'. I felt so fucking powerful. So out came the hair dye, the new clothes that I sewed for myself that would make breastfeeding easier. I wasn't worried about covering up my tattoos anymore, or trying to dull myself down.
I mean, I am the person who is going to show my children how to be a person. I want to teach them to be the best version of themselves. I don't want them to follow the crowd. I want them to be fearless to be who they truly are. Be fucking Authentic. Don't be afraid to be Imperfect. Striving for perfectionism is trying to reach the impossible. 'Perfect' isn't real. No one is perfect, and anyone who does seem perfect is just showing you a curated collection of moments that can seem perfect and ideal to an outsider. It's an edited truth, not reality.
You are amazing exactly how you are, because YOU are the best version of YOU. You have something that nobody else has - the true essence of YOU. You can't bottle that up. That thing that makes you tick...that's yours and nobody else's.
I think ultimately, I want my children to know that I wasn't afraid to be true to myself. Unapologetically Me. I'm not perfect, but that's Ok, because I'm being authentic and not trying to be somebody else.
So, what's my version of Motherhood? I have bright colourful hair, I have tattoos and piercings. I make my own clothes that are unique and I listen to some probably questionable music. I swear, I smoke, I am not the ideal vision of Motherhood at all. But, I am Me. I AM Mummy to two little beautiful humans and I'm trying my hardest to be the best Mother that I can, because that's what matters.