If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drum. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau
I’m pretty sure that I have one thing in common with 99% of you who read this. We are mums.
It has to be the most ubiquitous role there is. And no I’m not ignoring all the Dads out there. It’s just as ‘roles’ go, there are far more of us who will reply to the question, “What do you do?” with an answer of “I’m a Mum” (or the more dreaded I’m just a Mum) rather than “I’m a Dad”. Let’s face it, more women stay at home with the children than men and when we make that decision it is then seen by society as our role, our little pigeon-holed identity. But does it define us? Does it make us all the same?
I bloody hope not!
But in an age where we are more connected than ever, via social media and the internet, could we be at risk of becoming a bit homogenised? Or at the very least being subjected to what is portrayed as the ideal (whatever that is) mother? Back in the day I dare say our mothers and grandmothers just got on with it (yes I’m generalising). These days we are all busy analysing what ‘it’ is and how we are going to do ‘it’. What kind of mums will we be?
Are we a Stay At Home Mum, a Working Mum or even a Work At Home Mum? Are we a breastfeeding mum, a fun mum, a home schooling mum? The answer doesn’t matter. What matters is that whatever we choose to do, it doesn’t have to be a role that defines us.
I think the great thing about being a mum with access to the internet is the sharing of experiences online. As a blogger I read a lot of blogs (contrary to what my sometimes lack of commenting might suggest). What I’ve learned is that whilst we are not all the same, we are dealing with similar issues, experiencing similar problems, reacting to the same economic and political situations. So yes, from a blogger’s perspective things in the world of ‘mummy blogging’ might get a bit samey at times.
But it is our commonality that gives us strength. When we share problems, experiences and tips we give each other confidence to be the mums we want to be. The downside is when we compare ourselves to something that is unattainable (for whatever reason) or when we rely too heavily on the external. At face value I am guilty of this, because when I have a problem that needs solving I head straight to Google. As Crash Test Mummy it’s my Modus Operandi so to speak!
But I’m not always Crash Test Mummy. I’m also a mum – who is largely conflicted about whether she is a good one by the way. And I’m also Laney. A wife, a mother, and me. It’s usually the ‘me’ that sits at the bottom of the pile of roles I have. It’s the ‘me’ that get’s lost. But at the end of the day it the ‘me’ that makes a difference.
So, do I have a point? Yes, I do and that point is ‘difference’. Sure, let’s reassure ourselves with our common experiences, but let’s celebrate and own our differences. What makes you, YOU?
The reason I ask this, is because it’s your uniqueness that people are drawn to – your children, your peers, your potential employers, your blog readers. So for the month of March I’m setting a challenge. I don’t care if I end up doing it by myself. But if you are interested in:
- rediscovering who you are
- understanding what makes you tick
- feeling good about being the mum you are or want to be
- finding the confidence to zig instead of zag
then play along. It can’t hurt.
March to your own beat
Firstly can I just say that:
I am not the expert, I am the experiment!
I don’t have all the answers. That’s why I go to Google! But what I do have is the get up and go to find solutions to my problems, to motivate myself and get results.
Every day for the month of March I’ll ask a question or set a small challenge to help you create a picture of who you are, what you stand for, what you love. You can respond to me on my Facebook page, you can write a blog post if you want to. Do whatever you want – make a note in a journal, share a photo on Instagram or Twitter. There are no rules, because I totally understand the irony in asking you to follow something I’m suggesting! Don’t march to my drum – just use it to find your own beat. Each Wednesday I’ll put up a new set of challenges for the week. This week is about reflection.
If you do want to use the prompts and are happy to share you can use the hashtag #marchownbeat. If you write a blog post, tag me on Facebook and I’ll share it. For the bloggers out there who are keen to create a brand from your blog, this is a very helpful exercise to get you started in defining your Unique Value Proposition.
So, don’t just march to the beat of a different drummer. Create your own beat and dance to it.
In fact, get down and boogie to it!
Source: Some of the prompts are sourced from the book “Zen and the Art of Making a Living” by Laurence G. Boldt, the rest were made up by me ;)