• Marina Harte

Ain't No Shame in Mumming

After I gave birth to my son, and after the initial mayhem quietened, I felt scared. Like seriously anxious. There I was with a tiny baby - mumming around. No work. No roster. No showtime. No phone calls, emails or meetings.

"What did you do this week?" my friends would ask. I did mumming things. You can't tell your childless friends you spent all week neck-deep cleaning bodily fluids, food and doing washing. Piles and piles of it. I mean even I didn't value it before so how can I expect others to give a damn?

I think that's the problem. There's no value in mumming. Even less so if a mum needs help with it. It's a female issue — a quiet yet cancerous one. You only need to scan Instagram to get a picture of what being a mum means, at least in Barbie Land, I mean Instagram. There's the expectation. For the lucky few who have never gained a kilogram, stopped exercising and are smashing it, consider yourself lucky. The reality of motherhood is far more profound than Instagram six-packs and cute babies in 3 wheel strollers.

If you've watched Madagascar 2 and some of you would have because you know - kids. The giraffe freaks out about his spots and goes into the dying hole, even though he's not dying. The point is that they all have brown spots because they are giraffes. The point I am making is this - we're not dead yet. Not on Instagram. Not in real life. Real mums exist. Thin, flat, fat, perky and average. There's value in the meals we make and value in the clothes we wash. There's value in mumming. The most crucial one being - we raise better humans when we feel valued.

I'll go even further to say that - I believe that there should be more mumming. More talk about motherhood, more support for mothers and better messages from the world that motherhood is, wait for it - normal and even healthy.

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