No Mum left behind

There is a definite wind of change this year; An uprising of positivity and strength by women. Be it in the women’s rights marches back in January, or this month’s International women’s day, or just within the tone of the content online I’ve been reading. It’s a celebration of womanhood, friendships and female strength.

Maybe it’s always been there, and it’s only just become apparent to me, but I suddenly feel part of a sisterhood of women who want the best for each other, I really do.

Women are demanding more. Or to be more specific, they are demanding to be equal. They are demanding the gender pay gap be eliminated, and the ability to work around their family (nice work Mother Pukka). We are raising our two daughters in a time when Women all around us are stamping down negativity, prejudice, sexism and bigotism. It’s a pretty cool thing to witness, and be a part of.

So whilst the masses march for the rights of not just themselves, and their daughters, but for women across the globe – those living in societies in which we can barely imagine, as we pop out for coffee or share our beliefs and tales of modern first world motherhood online, I ask you this – what about the women all around you, right under your nose, right here, right now.

Even in the privileged west, where we joke about our first world problems and groan about whether to have spag bol again for tea or succumb to a take out because it’s just been ‘the worst day’, there is real sadness and loneliness going on. It’s all around you.

Open your eyes to the women in your life – at the school gates, at the toddler group, on the bench at gym, in your road or even someone you haven’t seen for a while. I know that you know the ones that are struggling.

Whilst weekend and evenings whizz by in a happy and chaotic buzz, the long days at home for Mothers with young children are excruciatingly hard when you’re facing them alone.

Not everyone has a support network. Not everyone’s parents are retired and on standby to have the kids for every appointment, club or just to help out and give you a little rest. Not everyone has someone to talk to, or someone to share their Monday to Friday life with, and that just fills me with sadness.

It’s for that reason that I will ALWAYS get behind the people who have tried to create platforms to break these barriers down. Meet Other Mums, The Lovely Mum crowd, Mush, The Mummy Social….they are all real ways that parents feeling isolated can reach out and change their destiny, by making the elusive Mummy Friends that everyone else always gushes about.

We’re all big and ugly enough now to have accepted online dating – and it’s no different when it comes to making friends online. This is 2017.

But for some people, even taking that step is just too hard. So, I ask of you this. You, the happy and content Mum, working the toddler group circuit like a pro and seeming to breeze through Motherhood. (We know that even you have bad days). Remember your humble beginnings. be vigilant, and together let’s make sure No Mum is left behind.

There is a movement amongst us. And it’s not caused by too much coffee. It’s a recognition that Motherhood isn’t all baking and soft play, and it certainly isn’t a walk in the park. Folk like Channel Mum are screaming from the rooftops that You are not alone #YANA, and it’s a powerful thing to behold, and be a part of.

But what can I do?

It’s not the grand gestures I’m talking about here. Such tiny actions could make such a difference to that one person, and they are absolutely do-able with the tiniest of effort from you. Here are just some ideas…

  • Pass on a timetable for a local children’s centre to a Mum who’s mentioned they don’t know what groups there are.
  • Drop into conversation that you are always there, if they need anything.
  • Make time to chat to a new face at a group or at school. Introduce yourself, find out their name and make a personal connection. You might feel silly, but we aren’t thirteen any more – you can do it. Just ask them their birth story, that’ll get you started…
  • Offer to help your Mum friends out when they’re chatting about needing someone to watch the kids for an hour or so – even if they never take you up on the offer, it’s such a nice thing to hear (and they might return the favour too).
  • I’ll just say it again, one more time. OFFER TO HELP WITH THEIR KIDS. (For the record, you might even find you get some help in return…)
  • Set up a whatsapp group solely for Mum related banter, support and random chat.
  • Forward someone a blogpost that made you think of them.
  • Arrange a child free night out and get some of the Mums out of their usual Mum-zone. A funny movie, a meal with the Mums or just a bit of drunk dancing.
  • Make a safe place to talk for someone who is having a tough time – be it family stuff, marriage problems or just a good old rant about how knackered they are. Get them over for a brew and a bacon sarnie.
  • Match make: Set up a playdate with two new mums you know need each other more than they know they do.
  • Smile, say hello. Be welcoming.
  • Listen. To their birth story, to the tale of their bad day, to the distress of the sleep deprivation. Empathise and be sympathetic – don’t challenge them with a worse story, it’s not a competition.
  • Praise their children. Offer to hold and cuddle their babies, and remind them how lovely they are. That can bring someone straight back to their happy place in an instant.
  • Give someone new to the area your number (or I guess add them on social media if that’s your thing) and let them know if they need any help settling in you are there if they need it.
  • Keep hold of any baby bits and pieces you no longer need and offer them to a Mum you know might really need them. It’d make such a difference to them and although you might miss out on a few pounds, sometimes there is value found in other sources.
  • Throw open your half term day out to ANYONE who’d like to come. And tell them how glad you were they did come.
  • Bring them cake. Or chocolate. Or even a bacon turnover. Look, forget the bikini body BS…turn up or entice with goodies bought just for that Mum that needs a pick me up. She’ll thank you forever for a lunch that didn’t consist of toast crusts.
  • Check in. Be it with a text, a whatsapp, a tweet, a facebook poke if they still exist (not there, soz). A simple ‘You okay?’, ‘Better night?’, ‘It’s nearly Friday – how’s you?’, ‘Got a busy week?’. Remind them that they are not alone.

You can’t single handedly save every lonely Mum, but you can make a start. Not everyone will want your help, but never assume that they don’t. Let’s make it all of our responsibility to look out for each other. No ‘I’m alright Jacks’. No exclusivity. No awkwardness.

No Mum Left Behind. #NMLB

x MMT

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59 thoughts on “No Mum left behind

  1. Liane Reply

    I love this! I’ve often felt so lonely since becoming a stay at home mum 7 years ago. Making new friends is definitely harder as an adult! #MarvMondays

  2. Kaye Reply

    Such a great post and so true. This mothering lark is hard, especially for those who really lack support and I know I’d love a Mummy whatsapp group to get me through the difficult days! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  3. franbackwithabump Reply

    This is a lovely post and I totally agree we should look out for each other more. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own world and problems but a simple text or invite of coffee could mean the world to someone else. Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays xx

  4. Lisa Robb Reply

    This is great!! I have seen a definite change online with mums helping and supporting each other over the last Id say six months or so it when I really started to notice it!
    Great post!
    I can start having a thing as to what I can do!!
    Lx
    http://workingmumy.blogspot.com
    #MarvMonday

  5. beautybabyandme Reply

    Adore this post honey! In the middle of writing something along the same lines thanks to the wonderful new Mummy websites linking up Mums. It makes such a difference – no one wants to be isolated xx #marvmondays

  6. Intrepid Bebe Reply

    I absolutely love this post. And I wish I met someone like you when i first had my daughter! #marvmondays

  7. justsayingmum Reply

    Oh this is such a fantastic post – it made me a little tearful! You’re so right. It’s all about kindness and with such a pro women focus at the moment this is just perfect! Thank you for sharing you lovely person you! #MarvMondays

  8. Heather Keet Reply

    I love these “small” everyday ways we can make the day better for another person! #bigpinklink

  9. Nichole Goodland Reply

    Such a wonderful post. I often find myself smiling at other mothers especially if it looks like they have had a hard day. I feel it just gives them that understanding that we are all in this together and your doing a great job.

    #marvmondays

  10. Nicole Reply

    I love the phrase ‘No Mum Left Behind’ – that sounds so comforting in itself! And you’ve put down such lovely, easy-to-follow tips to help/ support/ show you are there… great post!
    #MarvMondays

    1. Nicole Reply

      Popping in again from #coolmumclub. Love this post

  11. Alana - Burnished Chaos Reply

    What a great post. It’s true, it’s so easy to forget the people right under our nose sometimes x
    #MarvMondays

  12. agentspitback Reply

    Love love love this post! I love the title “No Mum Left Behind” because it is exactly that! We can do our bit to make sure that no one feels unwelcome. We should all try to be inclusive and sometimes being so familiar with the environment, you tend to forget about the new faces. And how much a “smile” and “hello” can change that person’s day. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

  13. Susie / S.H.I.T. Reply

    Lovely post – we’ve all been there and it’s a horrible place to be when you feel so alone, so it’s great to flag this up. We all feel a little left out sometimes, and other mothers probably have no idea they’re even making you feel like that, but we can all reach out. I know I certainly needed it in the lonely days when the kids were tiny. #marvmondays

  14. RawMum Reply

    Love your post. Please please please let my journey be positive (most of the time) and I hope that you’ll all talk to me in the mummy club #dreamteam

  15. ljdove23 Reply

    I love this post, and I support the idea whole heartedly. I will never understand women who don’t support other women, I always go out of my way to make other Mums feel welcome or to offer my support. Even though I have my own four children to juggle, I am forever taking in other children to help out their Mums or going out of my way to meet up so they are a little less isolated. Sadly I don’t always receive the same in return but I still won’t change. #dreamteam

  16. The Squirmy Popple Reply

    It’s so important that we do more as mums to support each other. I have two good friends who are expecting their first babies this year, and I’m determined to support them in any way I can, even if it’s just with a text to check in, because I know how hard it can be. #DreamTeam

  17. Rhyming with Wine Reply

    All of the love for this. As the first of my group of friends to do babies I experienced first hand the isolation and genuine struggle that can be a part of new motherhood. It took me 6 months to pluck up the courage to join a toddler group at my local sure start centre and it genuinely changed my life and introduced me to new mum friends that I would now be lost without. I have since volunteered for them as they have tragically had their funding cut so much that they need support to keep running. Anything that helps any mum is so vital. This post is amazing. xx #bigpinklink

    1. Rhyming with Wine Reply

      I’m back! This time through #coolmumclub. Thanks for hosting lovely x

  18. Mrs Lighty Reply

    Oh I love this! Very much a similar vice to my Awesome Mums Club post, and it makes me so sad when people comment on that that they haven’t had the positive experience that I have. I definitely have tried to do some of the things you’ve suggested and will try to do more! Thanks for the encouragement, and thanks for linking this to #DreamTeam! 🙂

  19. Briony Reply

    I love this! Being a mum can be so lonely and at times you feel like you have no one to talk to, especially as it can be quite cliquey. I love the idea of a small kind gesture to a mum in need, this has certainly made me think more about keeping my eyes open for a chance to help #coolmumclub

  20. nowmynameismummy Reply

    Great post as always! It is much harder than you think and I don’t think I could do it without fellow mums for support! #coolmumclub

  21. Mom Of Two Little Girls Reply

    So many great and easy ideas to help other mum’s out. Thanks for the reminder.
    #coolmumclub

  22. Stephanie Reply

    Yes, hopefully this catches on! #coolmumclub

  23. and Jacob makes three Reply

    Love this. I think we all feel lonely at times (I am today!) so this is a great idea. #coolmumclub

  24. Donna Reply

    I love this. There are so many ways we can support each other. We’re stronger together! #coolmumclub

  25. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    I heart this post so much darling. We are all in this in this motherhood thing and I find it crazy that any mum is left behind yet so many are. If we all just stick our necks out a little in the ways mentioned above then think of how many mum lives we can touch. Sending lots of #coolmumclub love xoxo

  26. thetaleofmummyhood Reply

    This is such an important post. I recently went back to work, mainly to get a day of rest and interaction. Motherhood is hard, lonely and truthfully it can be so monotonous. Making friends is key to getting through those long days! #coolmumclub

  27. mums army Reply

    Brilliant post and the reason why we started Mums Army – when you become a first time mum no amount of prepping and planning can ever prepare you and we all need an army around us supporting us and being there. It’s amazing how doing some small things like you suggest can make a huge difference to someone. We are stronger when we support each other xx #coolmumclub

  28. Aleena Brown Reply

    I had a sneaky suspicion I was going to love this post, so I saved it til last on my list of ‘must reads’ today! I’m not very good at keeping in contact, responding to texts, social media etc but the one thing I will always do is have someone’s kids. Anyone’s kids. Pretty much anytime! So many friends have told me I’m nuts, wondered why on earth I’d do it to myself, and even thought I must have an ulterior motive (I don’t). Some call me super Mum (far from it!) but the one hing I know is that they ALL deserve it! Everyone deserves a break, and if I can facilitate that then why shouldn’t I?! Now we’ve got two of our own, my stick phrase has become “one kids, two kids, six kids, it makes no difference anymore!” #coolmumclub

  29. Mother Undercover Reply

    I love this. Without Mummy Social I wouldn’t have found my Mummy friend and without her I’d be lost. Thank god for the other Mums. #CoolMumClub

  30. Winnettes Reply

    I flippin’ love this! We really do have the power to lift each other up and hopefully if you do help someone when they really need it they will help you in return when you need it. Love to the other women rocking it!
    #coolmumclub

  31. Anna Reply

    I love this! It takes nothing to say hello or send a quick text. Sometimes it’s too easy to get sucked into ‘life’ to try and make an effort. We must try harder #coolmumclub

  32. Annie Reply

    What a great list of practical tips! I met a new mum this week and we were chatting about how hard it is to meet other mums and how toddler groups can be cliquey. I’ve been thinking all morning about what I can do with the new mums I’ve met recently and this is super helpful. Thank you for writing. x

  33. Busy Working Mummy Reply

    This is such a great post! I don’t have any mum friends as I was the youngest and first in my friend group to have a child, so the friends I do have don’t understand sometimes when I have to cancel, or am just too tired to leave the house at the weekend! #coolmumclub

  34. Rainbows are too beautiful Reply

    Love this so much. Now my lot are a bit older and I’ve just a pre-schooler at home I fin dI’m more able to offer support. Because before I was the one needing it, and couldn’t really get it initially. Now I’m able to give it, I know how valuable it is! #coolmumclub

  35. Paula from Her Life is Love Reply

    This is a large part of why I started my blog. I started feeling left out of social circles because being a mom came first to me. Now, I am able to feel a bit of a connection with other moms by visiting blogs (and hopefully they come visit mine). I definitely will remember to always give a smile to other moms and chat because I’m sure most, if not all, have gone through a similar stage of isolation. #coolmumclub

  36. Naptime Natter Wendy Reply

    Love this post. Unfortunately I regularly feel like one of the mums who got left behind, ever since we moved I have found it to so hard to make mum friends..I talk to people but there’s been hardly anyone I’ve properly clicked with. I am trying to put myself out there more as it can be so lonely at times. Love your ideas on how you can help other mums, definitely agree that we should all support each other and be there as much as we can xx #coolmumclub

  37. alifeinpracticeblog.com Reply

    This is such a fantastic post, sharing everywhere xx #coolmumclub

  38. Lindsay Reply

    Love this. And very thought provoking actually. I think once your kids are at school it’s easy to get a bit complacent, that ‘you’re alright’ so assume everyone else is too. Has prompted me to make more of an effort! Thanks x #coolmumclub

  39. mumandstuff Reply

    Being a Mum first time around was so hard and very lonely. I was the honest Mum that would laugh about how shit my day was or how boring new babies are – sometimes it went down like a led balloon & feel so bad. But I also made a few really good friends by simply not pretending that it was all great. The best compliments I ever had from those ladies were when they would say things like ‘You’re the only person I can say this to…’ – they’d then tell me about some awful morning or night and how they would happily swap the baby for a bottle of gin if I had one… I guess the more honest we are the easier we make it for each other to enjoy the great parts of parenthood and to deal with the hard bits. Great post & lots to think about xx

  40. rockandrosesmama Reply

    Oh I have so much love for this! SO much love! I do try my best but it is hard sometimes, I lost a couple of Mum friends when I first had my little man and now I have gained SO many! The Mother clan is so inclusive and supportive, its like the best secret club ever!

  41. five little doves Reply

    Returning from #coolmumclub Thank you for hosting. xxxx

  42. tinmccarthy Reply

    There is NOTHING like a solid mom friend. My supportive moms have truly made this motherhood experience so much better. I love them so dearly. #blogcrush

  43. tootingmamat Reply

    I can totally relate to this. Having moved to a new country and having to establish myself in a new city as a SAHM, finding mummy networks has been essential. It’s tough being away from your close friends and family. #coolmumsclub

  44. For the love of jars Reply

    As much as I agree that striving for equality and everything is great (although I feel quite strongly that we are taking on too much) I’m not sure I agree that we all want the best for each other. It’s dog eat dog out there and I think women can be the worst when it comes to judging others. You only have to look at the comments on a controversial post I saw today about not leaving babies to cry and you see the bitchiness and name calling that goes on. We need to be nice to each other, respect each other’s beliefs and decisions and support our sisters! The school gates can be a terrifying place if you don’t know anyone, I know…I’ve been that person. They are cliquey and unwelcoming and as women we need to take a good hard look at ourselves, in my opinion, and remember where we came from and how we got to be where we are. Just saying 😉 #coolmumclub

  45. Daydreamer mum Reply

    Oh this is just a brilliant, brilliant post!!I’m too buoyed up by the wave of female solidarity that seems to be present at the moment and it really does take only the smallest gesture to cheer someone’s day or make them feel less alone #BlogCrush

  46. Angela Watling Reply

    You’re so right. This is brilliant and spot on! It really is the little things that make your day when you’re having a tough and lonely Mum time. I really try hard but am going to try even harder now! #CoolMumClub

  47. Helena Reply

    This is a wonderful post. Great suggestions for reminding fellow parents that you are there for them. #coolmumclub

  48. Just Only Home Reply

    I couldn’t love this more. We really need to pull together and be there for each other in the little ways and the big ways! #BlogCrush

  49. Kelly Reply

    Great tips and thanks for the gentle nudge I needed.

  50. Something About Baby Reply

    Absolutely spot on! I always wonder if I do enough to help my friends and even people I don’t know with the daunting task of being a new mum, but having read this I realise that just by being there and making them know that I’m there, I do what I can to reach out and hope that no-one feels lonely in their new job #coolmumclub

  51. Jo (Mother of Teenagers) Reply

    Sarah what a wonderful post! Meeting new mums is a less frequent occurrence for me now but I do count amongst my closest friends those I made at playgroup, at the school gate or on the sports field. We are all in this mothering thing together and sometimes you have to make the effort to reach out. The rewards are well worth it. Great post. Thanks for hosting and sorry I am late commenting this week. #coolmumclub

  52. Edie's Eden Reply

    Such great ideas! I did not have mom group when my son was a baby and I had just moved into a new town in the subs from the city. You can’t imagine how much it means for moms to help one another. It gives you a feeling that you’re not alone in this mom world. #TweensTeensBeyond.

  53. absolutely prabulous Reply

    Lovely post and I’m thankful I’m beyond those early years to be honest. I must admit having been the isolated one for so many years, and seeing clique after clique form at my kids’ school, and going out of my way to welcome new mums on the expat scene, I can honestly say kindness seems to be one way street. The number of people I’ve helped only for it to not be reciprocated or even remembered as they moved onto pastures new is endless. I still help new mums if I get into conversations at school but I must admit I just keep myself to myself and just bury myself in the blog these days! #coolmumclub

  54. Lucy At Home Reply

    Oh gosh I just can’t tell you how much I LOVE this post! If we each do our little bit, no mum will be left behind. I live a long way from family, and I do find it so hard that we don’t have any help with childcare. But it has made me a lot more aware of other people who may be in the same situation and may not have a support network around them.

    I love, love, LOVE this post and I am going to work hard to be part of the movement!

    P.S. Congratulations – someone added this post to the #blogcrush linky for it’s total awesomeness!!! 🙂

  55. Autumn's Mummy Reply

    I love this post. Even as someone who is often a bit of a loner, I feel a bit lonely sometimes. We’re all in this crazy journey together, it’s important that people know they’re not alone and others have their back! #CoolMumClub

  56. Mrs Mummy Harris Reply

    In “real life” i dont have many lady friends, and fewer mum friends so online is mainly where my mum friends are. The online community is super supportive though and they’ve got me through some very dark moments. Love this post!!!!! #coolmumclub

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