Motherhood: I Don’t Belong

Ever since I had my first child I have had this feeling of being left out of the motherhood world a little bit, of not really fitting in. I didn’t really get the whole Mum squad thing, and I didn’t feel like I belonged in this new world. A big part of me, if I’m honest, didn’t really want to fit into the world of motherhood. That’s not to say I didn’t want to be a Mum, I just didn’t want to redefine myself entirely around motherhood.

When Amelia was small I would see other mums, particularly groups of mums, in various settings; at our weekly swimming lessons, in cafes and coffee shops, nattering over tea in the park, and of course at soft play. Occasionally I would overhear snippets of their conversations (intentionally or not, I’ll let you decide *wink wink*) and this would only serve to remind me that I am not one of them. I don’t talk like these mums, I don’t think like these mums, I don’t look like these mums, I am not like these mums.

#SquadGoals

Am I Doing It Wrong?

I often wondered if I was doing it wrong, this motherhood thing. Maybe I’m too young (hardly the youngest mum in the world, I was nearly 27 when I had Amelia) or maybe I’m too concerned about my career to really be a proper mum. Maybe it’s because I’m not married, we don’t own a house, and we’re far from balling in the financial sense. Maybe it’s because I don’t really like wine (I know, right?!), or because I’m not constantly stressed out to the max, sleep deprived, or worrying about when the right time is to get Amelia into clarinet lessons. Maybe it’s because I didn’t breastfeed… (that’s another post entirely, right there!)

Maybe it’s because I’m a fraud.

It’s taken nearly 3 years for me to realise that, up until now, I haven’t felt like I have belonged in the mum world for a variety of reasons, but that none of those reasons are because I actually don’t belong… Does that make sense?

Unrealistic Ideals

I had these unrealistic ideals of what is was to be a mum, and I guess a lot of that stems from my own childhood, and wanting my kids lives to be different, better, in way. I had it in my head that a family was a perfect little unit, living in a nice house with a garden where money wasn’t always tight and mum got to stay at home doing crafts and shit. I had visions of days filled with ‘mummy and me’ groups, musical tots club, and making friends at soft play. Other mums would totally want to be our friends because we are uber cool; I mean look at us! Alongside all of this, I imagined that I would also be killing it still at work, running a successful business and bringing home some serious performance related bonuses to help fund all of our extra-curricular activities.

Planning For The Worst

I was even ready for the so-called ‘bad times’. The times when I would arrive for that weekly mum meet up all outwardly zen, and whisper secretly that I was just soooo tired from all the sleepless nights that I had a glass of wine at 4 o’clock yesterday (*gasp*). We would all nod along and chuckle lightheartedly at our mum fates and enjoy a nice latte while the kids munched happily on rice cakes.

The Reality

All of the above? Erm, not so much. I didn’t actually make any mum friends, because I avoided ante-natal classes like the plague and failed to join any groups. I did sort of immerse myself briefly in a little group at swimming, but that soon bored me – they were all just a bit too happy for my liking, and it all felt kind of fake. We tried out musical tots, but it only took a couple of visits before we (I) were waking up on a Thursday morning, looking at each other (me looking at Amelia), and saying;

“Nah, let’s just stay in our pyjamas and eat caramel snack-a-jacks and chocolate buttons!”

I wasn’t really all that stressed out, and Amelia slept like a dream most of the time (don’t hate me), and I  don’t really like wine. Some days were boring, some days were loads of fun, some days we didn’t do much, and some days were full of activities. It was what it was, and it got steadily more enjoyable the more she was able to interact and play with me.

The End Of My Career

I went back to work when Amelia was about 7 months old, and I was pretty good at separating work from home, Of course I missed Amelia, but I didnt ache for her, and I wasn’t especially miserable being away from her. Amelia split her time between my mum and a childminder close to my work, but even with all of that support it soon became apparent that I wasn’t going to be able to pull the 60+ hour weeks that I was pre-baby. I loved my job, but my work soon started to suffer when I wasn’t able to give it the time it needed, and before long (I managed a mere 6 and a half months) I took the extremely difficult decision to give it up.

I had no idea how we would fare financially, as I was earning the biggest chunk of our household income at the time, but I knew that it needed to be done. I had also started to resent my mum, who Amelia seemed to be more attached to than she was to me (“seemed to” being the operative words here), and I had missed a whole bunch of milestones too.

Creating Something New

So Where Do I Fit In?

It is only really since I started blogging that I have begun to realise that, actually, I am definitely part of the motherhood squad after all! Every single one of us is different, and every single one of us is a mum with her own issues, likes, dislikes, inner turmoil, and daily struggles. Some of us fully immerse ourselves in as many motherhood tribes as possible, while some of us just don’t, or dip in and out. Some of us work (aside from parenting) because we have to, some because we want to, some of us don’t because we can’t, don’t want to, or don’t have to.

Some of us find parenting super stressful, some less so. Some of us enjoy the baby days most, while others can’t wait for them to be over! Some of us get no sleep, some sleep just fine, while some have fussy eaters and some have kids who will eat just about anything in sight. We all have different approaches to parenting; things we will never do or don’t agree with, things we thought we’d never do but have changed our minds, things that make us cringe (did you know you’re ‘supposed’ to suck snot from babies noses?!) and things we just can’t do.

I could go on…

I Am Part of Every Motherhood Squad!

As it turns out, every single one of us worries about the choices we make for our kids, whether we are doing right by them, making the right decisions and choices for them, and teaching them the right things. No matter what walk of like we come from, where we live, how we live, or our parenting style of choice, we all have those moments when we just aren’t sure. And that is what gives us a lifetime membership to the ultimate motherhood squad, the only motherhood squad, the ‘Just Because You Are A Mum’ Squad! Welcome!

x

31 Replies to “Motherhood: I Don’t Belong”

  1. I don’t feel like I fit in with the mum squad either. I run my own business so work long hours from home so between work & the kids I don’t really have the time. Plus my little man has Autism so we just don’t seem to fit in with the other mum/kid groups as we just can’t do the same things #BloggerClubUK
    Toni | This Mama Blogs recently posted…AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT…My Profile

    1. Oh I can totally imagine. My youngest brother is in the spectrum and I cared for him full time for a few years so I know the challenges there. Sounds like you’re doing just great! X

    1. Some days I feel like I’m missing out, other days I’m kind of glad to be honest! Blogging great though, isn’t it?! I’ve met some amazing people too!x

  2. We all do worry about choices we make for our kids. But you are right it can feel like you are left out of some groups. blogging is a great way to connect with other mums who have the same thoughts that you do! It’s great you took the leap to stay at home. Thank you for sharing with #BloggerClubUK x

  3. I love this! I recently stopped going to a local playgroup after finally admitting to myself that it’s ok to hate going! Motherhood is different for everyone and that’s ok! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza, hope to see you again next week xx

  4. I love this post, you are so honest and real and in some ways that is rare. I definitely did not feel apart of the mum club, mostly because none of my friends have kids like you I was 27 and the age for children and marriage is much older now (especially in London). So overall I felt angry and bored about what the reality of motherhood meant, I had no idea it was going to be so mundane or how tired I would be. Now that my son is a year it’s much better, I don’t think I am a newborn kind of mom haha I’m more like five year old kind of mom! This post was great I can completely relate to how you felt about the other moms being a little too happy haha. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!
    The Mum Project recently posted…How To Write a Killer Media PackMy Profile

    1. That’s such a nice thing to hear, I guess it’s quite daunting putting it all out there! Oh my god, this is so me! I was just telling someone at work the other day when she asked if I was ready to come back that (*whisper*) I don’t really like babies they’re a bit boring!
      Now that Amelia’s 3 she’s so much more fun! On her good days we have such a laugh and she’s interested in things and has a proper sense of humour..! I feel a post coming on! And I’m glad you said that about the age thing – I’ve often felt judged as a young Mum when in reality I’m pushing 30 people! I think we must be the same person – I wrote about the how boring it can be before and a lot of people were like “huh? How’d you have time to be bored?” Thanks so much for your comment xxx

  5. This reminded me of an Ed Sheeran quote – “There’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you.” I think that this applies to motherhood, however we approach it 🙂 #blogstravaganza

  6. This makes me feel so sad! I totally relate, the only mum friends I have are the friends I already had who ended up getting pregnant! I was pregnant with my daughter at 21 and her dad was less than nice, I felt incredibly alone. This time round, with a lovely baby daddy, I still struggled and I was neither young nor inexperienced. Be in my mum squad? I’m currently in the one in it though!

    #RV&HT Thanks for linking up!

  7. I totally get this! I felt the same as you until I started blogging and found my tribe and doesn’t it feel good?! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub with this lovely xoxo

    1. Totally! I’m far from having made life-long friends yet, but I’ve met some wonderful people, and it’s just great to have found a whole community of like-minded mums!! Thanks for hosting xxx

  8. YES YES YES!

    I’ve been in the parenting game for a long time and I’ve always felt this way. I came to peace with it early on. It’s okay to not clique up with the soccer moms. Variety is the spice of life.

    Love your blog!

    #StayClassyMama

  9. I’m not a mother – but it looks like you’re doing ok to me. Love’s the most important part, after all! (Don’t judge me and my corny phrases – my parents are pretty much hippies.) #RV&HT

  10. I think I am a member of that squad – yay! I was in a similar position but that was because I was worrying and thinking that I was not “good” enough. I don’t know why I had some weird too high standards of what moms should be. Your post has actually made me think about myself and my situation a bit more clearly. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

    1. It’s so easy to put too much pressure on ourselves isn’t it?! I worried a lot about being judged as a mum by other mums, and I think that really held me back from meeting other mums xx

  11. Ha! Yup, went through a similar thin, and I did go to the groups and I did do all the things. Didn’t make any difference. I knew we didn’t quite fit from day one. When my son was diagnosed with ASD as he turned three, people thought I’d start hanging out with other SEN parents. That didn’t happen either. Turns out I just sit on the periphery of allllll the groups. I only have one kid, don’t want another one, no interest in pregnancy talk, prefer to be positive but realistic,…. I could go on. It’s taken a long time to reconcile that being different is OK and that I’m no less a mother for living my motherhood the way I do. BTW I think sitting on the sofa eating buttons sounds like much more fun than baby groups! #BloggingClubUK

    1. I think I just felt like I needed to be someone I wasn’t at baby groups, which probably says a lot more about me than the other people there! I’ll admit I like to keep my circle pretty small anyway (mainly because I’m a rubbish friend!) but I do wonder “what if?” when it comes to mum friends… I wish I’d have made more of an effort, and then at least that way if it didn’t work I could say I’d tried haha! X

  12. I’m really shy (except for hiding in a blog or vlog obviously) so have struggled to keep up with the social side of motherhood so that my kids didn’t suffer. I think it is important for new mums to know there isn’t a right way, we’re all just making it up as we go along #bigpinklink
    Laura Beresford recently posted…#VLOGSTARS Top 5 guilty pleasuresMy Profile

    1. I agree entirely – it’s only now really that I realise that we don’t have to be pigeon-holed, but equally that I’m not an outsider… if that makes any sense at all! x

  13. I’ve felt the same way – I never found a Mum tribe, and I don’t know whether I regret that. I had a group on mums online who I still talk to, but I’m not the most active in that group either. Like you, my son sleeps through, I don’t drink, and I honestly can’t be arsed with playgroups. At the moment it almost seems like you’re not a mum if you’re not obsessed with gin, being angry at your other half constantly and purely fuelled by caffeine! #MarvMondays
    Becki Parsons recently posted…Ultimate Weight Loss Hypnosis – Week 1My Profile

    1. This is exactly what was eating at me!! I can’t be doing it right because I’m not attached at the hip to a bottle of red, or propping my eyes open with matchsticks in an angry haze! Although I will admit to being mildly fuelled by caffeine but that started around the time of my A-levels so I’m not blaming that one on the kids!!! Glad I’m not alone!! X

  14. I loved this. I have felt the same way. I only have one child and she is about to be 9 now. And the entire time I have been a mother, I have felt like I wasn’t a good one. I felt like I couldn’t keep up and that meant I was selfish and toxic. After years and years of experience, I now understand that we all struggle. Many just keep it quiet. And it is so important to be honest. Thanks so much for this! #bigpinklink

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