'MUMSY' IS A CRAP WORD (BUT WE CAN LEARN FROM IT)
I'm starting a new campaign and it's all because of Cat Deeley. Bless her. No, really. The poor girl is pregnant for the first time and, totally ignorant to the firepower of the mamahood, declared that she shall never be 'mumsy'. Speaking to Hello Magazine she said,
"The first week after I announced it, I was like, 'I am wearing my highest Christian Louboutins this week. I am not going to get mumsy!" Cat joked.
I just want to pick her up and put her in my pocket. I want to hold her hand and give her a heads up. I want to sit her down and say, "You have amazing legs."
No, sorry. Where was I? Let me get back to the point. I want to say, "You are about to enter into a sisterhood. It's the biggest, most powerful and most exclusive club in the world. The mamahood is also, without doubt, the most inspiring, amazing and bloody brilliant powerhouse and it we like to use our power for good. But, on behalf of my supportive and kindly sisters, I must warn you: there are pockets of this generally amazing group that are a bit cross and angry and a teensy-tinsy bit sensitive."
Immediately, the backlash occurred. An article posted on Netmums Facebook page said:
"It's ok for someone who can afford a stylist or a personal trainer to say that they won't let motherhood change their appearance. For most of us here in the real world, it does."
The writer of the article went on to say, "There's so much pressure from the media to get the best post-baby body. They want us, basically, to act like we never had kids, to hide them away at home," and, "I don't have the time or money to spend on new outfits - I look smart, but I can't be a fashion icon AND be a good mum. Something has to give. And that's why I don't appreciate Cat Deeley using the word "mumsy" as if it were an insult."
I get it. I really do. Being a mum is overwhelming and things do, inevitably, shift on the priority scale but can we just take a hot minute to stop and realise two things:
- Cat Deeley hasn't even had her baby yet. She is still blissfully unaware of the seismic shift that occurs when that tiny bundle of
tears, shit, vomit, wails, piss, money-sucking, sleep-stealing, joy lands in her slightly flabby lap. Let's just give her a minute to enjoy those final few months of Life As We Used To Know It without jumping down her throat. If she wants to wear her Loubies, let her and let her enjoy it. We don't need to get all uppity about it.
- She's kind of right.
Forget about her use of the word 'mumsy'. The essence of Cat's point is valid. Really valid. What she's saying is, "I still want to be me after I've given birth." We all know that doesn't happen immediately, but to want it to happen is important. We all lose ourselves a little when our first Small comes along. We all sink into the belief that we are now 'mums' and therefore should define ourselves in that way but if this blog has taught me anything, it's taught me this: that is a load of stinking bollocks.
Writing this blog has introduced me to an jaw-droppingly kick-ass group of women who, everyday, are forging out their own version of 'mum' and it doesn't have to look like sweatpants at the school gate, although of course, it can. It doesn't have to mean that you give up wingtip eyeliner or red lips, if that's your thing. You can raise wonderful, attached, beautiful kids and build a business or not. Stay at home and be the powerhouse behind your family unit.
None of us want to be 'mumsy' but not because it means frumpy and boring. We don't want to be 'mumsy' because it represents a stark and horrifying, lights-in-the-changing-room, kind of before & after. It implies that we were a million things - wife, friend, sister, party-animal, business woman, fashion forward - and now we're reduced to just one thing. Mum.
Having a child does not give you the right to shed your skin and wander on regardless. There's no sign on the birthing room door that suggests you should "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter." You were once a full, rounded, awesome, colourful, imaginative, thoughtful, creative, energetic human being. You can still be that human being.
Cat Deeley may not know what she's talking about yet, but let's indulge in her innocence and naivety for just a minute and take her advice. TODAY, look around. Look in the mirror and DO ONE THING YOU HAVEN'T DONE SINCE YOU HAD A BABY. Paint your nails, put on some lippy, read an article in a newspaper or magazine, buy yourself something nice, take a bath, go for a run, visit a friend, call a buddy, put on a party dress, wear sparkly shoes.
Take a picture of you doing your 'thing' with one finger up (not THAT finger) and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #doonething. We'd also love to support our favourite charity Trekstock with this so send your £2 donation by texting TREK00 2 to 70070. Here's mine: