Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Mum : AKA My Biggest Fan?

A friend said to me the other day how her own mother was pressurising her about her weight loss.

My friend is 8 weeks post partum.

The hurt I felt on her behalf cut me to the core. The one person who is supposed to be a guaranteed cheerleader is your mother. That doesn't stop once you become an adult. In fact if there was ever a time you need your mothers support and unconditional approval, its when you become a mother yourself.

Mothering is hard! It's also joyful, rewarding, surprising, fulfilling and utterly mad. But it is also relentless, tiring, heart wrenching and complicated. Who doesn't need the occasional shoulder to lean or cry on?

Mothers are uniquely placed to be supportive of other mothers. Who should know this but a mother?

Our own mothers have 'been there and done that'... sometimes right, sometimes wrong but they have been there and they know that this mothering lark is not as black and white as the books would have us think.

Now we are mothers we know this too. I for one consider myself to be a mothers cheerleader. If you've read my blog before then you'll know already that I think women are pretty amazing and you'll know that I spent some time with my friend reminding her how amazing she is.

I can't change her mother but I can step into the gap. I don't mean mother her but I do mean pick up the slack.

I'm so fortunate with my own wonderful mum, she is one of my biggest fans and I know I can count on her to build me up, to support me when I'm flagging and to give me advice from her experience of mothering me and my 4 siblings.

As a breastfeeding counsellor I have a wonderful opportunity to support women at an incredibly vulnerable time in her life. I choose to be a cheerleader in that role too, but also as a mother to mother.

Not to say I always get it right, after all I have grumpy off days the same as everyone else but if I can, I love to be a mothers biggest fan, even for a short moment. She deserves it.

Can you be a cheerleader?
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