Mum, mamma, Mutter etc. In whatever language this small word carries a big meaning for all of us. That meaning partly depends on how we feel about our own mothers and grandmothers and also what our communities expect of mothers.
We each have different pictures in our heads about how we should be, or want to be, as a mother. Most mothers learn as they go, influenced by the way they were brought up or by what they have read or watched others do. The job that mothers do of shaping and influencing the life of another human being must surely be the most important thing that anyone can do.
Becoming a mother brings a golden opportunity to improve family patterns or strengthen patterns from your own childhood. You can choose the kind of mum you want to be and the kind of childhood your own child experiences.
Becoming a mum for the first time can be difficult and very different from what you expected. Your relationship with your partner/baby’s father will be different now that there is another person sharing your lives. Many women give up a lot to become mothers – career opportunities, active social lives, a sense of freedom. New mothers can feel grief over the loss of their ‘old life’ as well as joy about their ‘new life’ – even when they thought they were prepared for it.
Caring for a tiny baby 24/7 can be exhausting and sometimes it can feel like you have lost control over everything. You may feel overwhelmed and have a sense of not coping. Many mothers who don’t work outside the home can sometimes feel isolated and under-valued in communities where most people go out to work. But if you can find support from other mums and share your daily problems with them, you can even end up smiling about the sleepless nights and the breastfeeding ‘challenges’…. How Putney mums are supporting each other right now is amazing and can be regarded as a success story for other London mums.
I joined the breastfeeding cafe’ at the Eileen Lecky Heath Centre when Diego was just 6 days old and I have never stopped going there. There, I have met amazing new mums and midwives/health visitors who have ‘fed’ me with super tips on motherhood, breastfeeding etc – for me it’s almost addictive to meet them every week. It is helpful and comforting to know that other women are going through similar adjustments and you can share ideas. Sometimes I found I have even given tips to mums who just had babies – just a month or so after me!!!!
This is how London Mums was born in September 2006. We want to keep organising things for mums in London and support each other through the new challenges we will have to face everyday with bringing up babies in a metropole like London. We’ll continue organising things and hope to see more and more mums and babies joining in. From one mum to another.