The Mother Movement – Who am I now I’m a mum?

Maple on mummy's shoulder week 3

Yesterday was a shocker.  I woke up with tears at the ready.  I couldn’t pinpoint the source; exhaustion? hormones?  By breakfast time, I found myself in a puddle in my fella’s arms sobbing about our relocation from London (we’ve been in Melbourne nearly a year and still inside the baby bubble, we don’t feel at all like we’ve landed and made this place our own) and missing, I mean truly heartbreakingly missing, my London friends.  I crave a day with my eccentric, creative, daring, quirky, talented buddies and their wee sprogs.  And then I found myself sobbing about who I now am here in Melbourne.  In London, I was an actor, theatre-maker, voice coach and then first and foremost a singer/songwriter.  Here?  I have returned to Melbourne and I am none of these things right now.  I know I can be anything I choose to be.  Well you know.  But right now I’m none too powerful.  I am a mother and without my London networks which I worked hard to establish, I lack confidence.  I am unsure of myself.  And as per my previous post about not always loving this role of mother, I could not salvage much positivity from embracing the fullness of this job description.  My loyal, dedicated musicians are in London.  The venues I had spent years building a relationship with are in London.  My dearest friends who also create music or art or theatre or film, are also in London.  I truly cannot understate how important it is to be understood when you are putting yourself out on a limb to create art, with no guarantee of ‘success’…whatever that means.  I was understood.  I didn’t have to explain a thing.  We were all penniless and motivated by the need to create.  We grew together and because of one another we grew.  I don’t know whether to pursue all of this here without my network…start all over again.  I turn 40 on Christmas Eve.  40.  How the phuque?  What am I doing this for?  To become famous?  No.  Because I can’t imagine not doing it?  Yes.  Because I need to sing.  Need to write.  Love to share myself with an intimate audience.  I am a performer and always have been.  Do I need to let it go?  So you get the idea right?  I’m in a quandary and I fell apart at the seams a little.  A lot.  I saw a psychotherapist in London for a few months before leaving precisely because I knew these issues would come along and sock me across the chops when I got here.  I would love to continue with the therapy.  It was so, so useful.  She helped me with my grief.  After over thirteen years, I truly grieved leaving London and the life I had created for myself there.

So, do I retrain?  Do I go back to study?  What do I want?  Do I want to be here?  In London, I was a risk-taker because I didn’t have a net.  Does that make sense?  No family.  No money.  Nothing to lose.  Here there is expectation.  Primarily mine.  Should I have proven something?  Now I have two kids, is it too late for me to do what I love?  Do I need to get real.  Get a ‘real’ job?  Can I live this bohemian life forever?  Will I always be torn between two countries?  It’s early days and I cannot truly judge my life here until I have the freedom to ponder it and explore.  Some dedicated, consistent sleep would be nice so that I can muster the energy to consider what my life might look like, should I choose to take it by the balls.

In fact, this post wasn’t supposed to bang on so much about my emotional rollercoaster yesterday.  It was merely intended to illustrate that mothers can struggle.  Not all mothers, but a lot of mothers.  And not all the time, but a lot of the time, or sometimes or whatever the case may be.  We struggle with identity, self-fulfillment, self-belief, career, motivation.  It is a shared experience.  I simply wanted to say that yesterday I was having one of those days, and at the end of it, quite by chance, a dear friend sent me this email:

“You have to visit this website and read everything on it…xxxx…

And there it is.  A website dedicated to mothers.  Not a sappy, irritating, we’re taken for granted kind of website.  But an empowering, I’ve been there, let’s bring women together and be powerful and acknowledge that sometimes this mother business is dull, sometimes we lose ourselves, lose who we are under the mother skin, sometimes we lose confidence in ourselves and sometimes we really struggle to make time for ourselves.  So let’s get empowered.  I mean, I’m sitting here writing this post, and that’s about the most time I’ll give to just ‘me’ all week.  Although I’ve just joined a gym so that ought to be a barrel of laughs!  The woman behind it is bang on and it’s well worth a read.  Just go to it and read it.  It speaks for itself.



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8 Responses to The Mother Movement – Who am I now I’m a mum?

  1. Lisa Unsworth says:

    Thank you for this post my Gorgeous friend, I am totally lost in the role of motherhood and have been for some time – visiting and reading your blog has inspired me. You are an amazing woman Miranda Barber, thank you for sharing xx

    • Sweet Mother says:

      Darling lady, thank you for contributing here. I guess this is a super common condition then eh? Struggling with identity, self-fulfillment, career…who are we now? How to get started again? Dealing with the domestic drudgery with a sense of humour. I hear you loud and clear. M x

  2. Amity says:

    Just lost the lengthy response I wrote for this but suffice to say, I get it. It is shit to feel this way. I have felt it intermittently and I am having that day today. I feel like Homer Simpson when he licked a frog “marge, I’m somewhere where I don’t know where I am” . Today I have sent my children to nursery on my day off from working at said nursery (how I got into spending my whole life with tiny shrieking people gawd only knows) in order that I can be alone while I fold small t. Shirts and pants and wash wee off the floor. I am in the Caribbean, being a mental housewife. I am lost. In here somewhere is a girl who sings, and is funny, sometimes the two together. But I am buggered if I can find my way back to her. I hold on and let go in the daily pitch and toss and hope that soon, I will wash up on the shores of my ok self. Take heart sweet friend. X

    • Sweet Mother says:

      You WILL wash up on the shores of your ok self. You beautiful lady. I’m singing that song. All my love angel. You contributions here and in my life are invaluable. M x

  3. Amy says:

    Wow darling! I just stumbled across your blog. Love it. And yes such a universal deal we are enduring that you could never imagine until having cereal in your hair is no longer a surprise or concern! On some days my own silent screams are deafening and I feel like I can’t breathe. And then there’s the pure joy, unbearable love and hilarious insanity. Thanks for sharing your/our struggles. On we go! Love to you…xx

    • Sweet Mother says:

      “My own silent screams are deafening…” I hear you!! And yet other moments are so joyous it is difficult to imagine that the mind can go to such a different place. On we go indeed and thank you for contributing here hun. xx

  4. Faye says:

    I do love reading your posts, and always feel relieved it’s not just me who feels a certain way. I feel I’ve been struggling to find a sense of real identity lately – I miss my (kind of) career, I not sure which path I should be going down work wise and I constantly question my abilities as a mum when I look at other people who seem to breeze through it all. And I’m sure my husband had it in the back of his mind that I will suddenly turn into a domestic goddess and on my two work days (where I try to cram in as much work as possible) I’ve also spring cleaned the house and cooked! hmmm…
    I hope you find a quirky creative network on mums in Melbourne soon :)

    • Sweet Mother says:

      Hi darlin. Are there people who breeze through it all? I guess there are folk who make it look easy right? And there genuinely are people who seem to have the easiest babies in the world; babies who sleep, eat everything, take a bottle, take the boob, love baths, love going in the pram, don’t mind being left with other people while you take a pee…and so on. We have the feisty, determined, funny and fiercely independent types. There are times when I’d love a pair of teeny buddhas who just sit and read quietly or gaze up at me with a sweet smile before they carry on playing on their own. But really, we wouldn’t have it any other way right? Maple is utterly hilarious and always so surprising. She is a total character and she is self-made it seems! A major challenge for sure. M x

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