Before we were mums, some of us were students with big ideas about being journalists or CEO’s. Some of us travelled widely and planned out our paths without considering plans can be changed and paths can be divided. Some of us marched the good march, took on the big fights and made modern-day changes.
Some of us danced under the stars until moonbeams gave us direction.
Then we made a decision to become mothers, not realising, we were making a choice to take a sabbatical from our dreams.
It’s so easy to forget that the mums that sit in our circles were once women of the world, women of their own domains.
I find myself at the park, a lot, and not just because I live next door to the best park in town (but mostly because of that). However, when the children finally find that sweet spot where they are amusing themselves, interacting in a friendly manner or practicing parallel play, I find out so much about the women who stand beside me; the ones that are also mums.
From environmental scientists, journalists, teachers, sports therapists and artists; I’ve met them all. They wear the uniforms of the motherhood role now. They talk about nap times and the terrible twos. But if you dig deep, beyond their tired eyes and coffee cups, there is a group of women that have a whole life they have put on hold, or maybe minimised so that they could be amazing at another role; motherhood.
It is true that we give so much of ourselves and often lose just as much as we take on this rollercoaster role of being mums.
We look at each other and find solace in the bags under our eyes. We buy coffees for each other and we bring extra wine glasses to the park. But don’t forget, that beautiful human you are talking to, had a hobby, business, dream, career once. She is still motivated and inspired by a world outside of her children and for all you know she might be trying to climb her way back to those interests.
It’s important that as mums we get time to vent about the broken down merry go round that often sums up motherhood. It’s also vital to celebrate the milestone of a full nights sleep or to high five about the poo you’ve been waiting ten days for.
I urge you, however, to make space for the conversations about the woman. The woman that still taps her finger on the table when she reads the newspaper, the woman building a business behind her brow line as she looks off into the distance, the woman with watercolours staining her skin.
We were all something else before we stepped into the role of motherhood, and despite how we might be feeling, we are something right now; we will be something else in the future.
We are many things all the time.
We are all the things.