On the 7th October 2012 I added a new job to my CV. A new string to my bow. And (unknowingly) a label.
I became a mother.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my boys more than they will ever understand. I also love my role in life as Mummy. I love the cuddles. I love watching my babies turn into people. I love the conversations. The kisses. There is a lot of love when you have two small boys in your life. There is a lot not to love as well, like poo in big boy pants, but that’s a whole other post.
What I didn’t realise when I became Mummy was the immediate label that you gain.
Stay at home mum. Working mum. Single mum. Unmarried mum. Married Mum. One of two mums. Breastfeeding mum. Bottle feeding mum. Attachment mum. Natural mum. Routine mum. Step mum.
To name a few.
One of my friends has been harping on suggesting I write about this mum label for a while. The fierce (and fabulously intelligent and gorgeous – that’s right Jingles?) friend who unknowingly handed me the Breast Advice has once again handed me food for thought with this statement
You watch a TV show such as the X factor & they’ll introduce someone as a single mum like it’s something that defines her. You never hear them say this is a married mum, this is a step mum.
The word that got me was defines. Does being single define you? I don’t think so, I think the defining part of the statement is that you’re a mum. Single is just circumstance.
Stay at home mum. Same thing. The fact that you stay at home doesn’t define you as a person it describes what you do each day. Even then being a stay at home mum is misleading. As you tend not to stay at home you tend to go out, to explore, to find the adult conversation you crave and the Toddler stimulation they need. But that’s probably just me being pedantic. And probably taking things to heart being a stay at home mum. Key word? Mum.
Working mum. Again the defining word is mum. Not the fact that you earn a living outside of your home. Key word? Mum.
Let’s mix it up you’re a working single mum. Key word? Mum.
You’re a stay at home mum who works from home. Key word? Mum.
You’re a single mum because you’ve split from your wife. Who is also a mum. Key word? Mum.
You’re a breastfeeding mum who gives a bottle sometimes. Key word? Mum.
You’re a mum that follows your babies cues but needs to live on a routine at the same time? Key word? Mum.
And yes, there are the tongue in cheek what type of mum are you posts (guilty as charged) but generally they are just that. Tongue in cheek. What isn’t tongue in cheek is the label that people “in the real world” seem determined to give you. Determined to pin on you. You can’t just be mum you have to be a specific labelled type of mum.
How you are a mum. What you do outside being a mum. Your relationship status. None of this defines you as a mum. The thing that defines you as mum is that a little person in your life calls you mum.
Being a mum is what defines you.
Being a mum is the label.
Not the prefix or the suffix.
Being a mum is enough. Being a mum is all we need to know.
*the same can apply to any parent, I just chose to focus on mum because that’s what I am. Mum. Mama. Mummy.
If you liked this post why not pop over to visit me on Facebook which to be honest is a lot of photo spam of the boys and me just being me…..Facebook, see you there!