All photos: Natalie Evans Photography
Where mums once flocked to Facebook to bemoan the trials, tears and traumas of motherhood and search for kindred spirits and a virtual hug in the wee small hours of night feeds and nocturnal nappy changes of doom, the fresh new sisterhood comes in the form of Mothers Meetings.
Strength in numbers, us mums are finding our kinfolk on Instagram and turning that into real life meet ups and real time friends.
I was privy to one such power meeting earlier this week when I was invited to be part of a panel of inspirational creatives from various walks of life but all have one thing in common – Motherhood.
Collectively battling to ensure our kids eat that bloody rainbow whilst simultaneously juggling the hoover, feral siblings and a desire to bathe in a vat of gin with one supersized straw – this mothering lark ain’t always cherub faced kids and squishy kisses.
Now when you become a mama, it is important to note that just because another woman is in a similar predicament, you don’t need to auto friend on social and chew the fat over a bottle of Pinot simply because you both have the communal power to create humans, awesome though that is.
In fact, so many other mothers I’ve met since giving birth, I just couldn’t spend quality time with and quite frankly wouldn’t, given the choice. You may both wipe bums for fun and puree in sync but when it comes to talking about the stuff that makes you tick, sometimes there just isn’t that click.
However, put me in a room with likeminded lovelies who share a common love for their children with a desire to be a kickass woman in their own right as opposed to merely a baby making machine and I’m hooked.
Women who struggle with the juggle, ladies who launch – businesses and missions, its all happening at Mothers Meetings, hosted by the human energy ball that is Jenny Scott.
A mum just like us who had her first child and felt lost, so started small – organising ad-hoc micro-meet ups for women in a similar position and accidentally found herself with a little networking empire on her hands, subsequently pushing her into the spotlight and finding herself as the Mama gateway in the current Instamum era.
Networking: the word which strikes fear into the hearts of many.
Understandably so! Who among us really does a happy dance at the prospect of throwing themselves into a potential lions den full of strangers and selling themselves or having to gulp back their guts and speak about their strengths, facing their worst fears of social paralysis? Personally, I quite enjoy it!
As I trotted along to my first foray with the cool clan – I wondered if it would be cliquey – ain’t got no time for that shizzle – or would I be wanting to run back out as fast as my Weitzman wedges would take me?
The second I got there, the smiliest sister bounded up to me, who turned out to be Cinderfashionrella, awesome stylist and all round cool girl and instantly enveloped me in friendliness. From there on in it was a bit of a canter, one conversation led to another til I had as many hugs and new Insta handles as I could handle.
Now there was a very worthy and serious purpose behind this particular meet. It was an impromptu fundraiser for Grenfell Tower and one word from Jenny on Instagram and the troops rallied from all corners of Britain to support the cause.
I had been asked to speak on the panel alongside lovelies Style Me Sunday, Mre Soeur, That Mummy Smile, The Mother Of All Adventures, Cult of Youth, LadyLand, Life With Ivy Coco (who is my secret girl-crush) and in the true style of Mothers Meetings we were all just winging it.
It turned into one big love-in with confessions of loneliness, mothers guilt, PND, despair, subsequent inspiration and triumph all making a heady mix of emotion and a cocktail of collective support.
In all honesty I can’t say I left with everyone wanting to be my new best friend – that would be insincere and unsustainable. No, I left with true connections, a platform of empowerment, a priceless feel-good factor and a spring in my step.
I hoiked my bony ass all the way back to Bedfordshire feeling like I was a little bit invincible, I picked up my kids from school (by the skin of my teeth!) and cooked dinner with a little more pzazz than normal because my own needs had been fulfilled and I was happy to come home to the role which once defined me but now sits comfortably alongside the job which makes me feel like me again.
Have you ever been to a Mother’s Meeting meet up? Or a similar meeting of minds near you? I’d love to hear how you found it and if you enjoy?
Huge thanks to Natalie of Natalie Evans Photography for these stunning shots of the day!