The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that I recently changed my strap-line (the bit under my blog name) to Stay at home mum. And proud. Previously it was Real Family. Real Food. So why’d I do that?
I’m gonna move fast guys, so try to keep up!
Well, for a while now I have moving away from just doing recipes – I will always do recipes, just not solely recipes. Is that clear? Hope so! I’ve lost a lot of followers and Likes through doing that. Which is fine. You are free to come and go as you choose, dear readers!
I started a YouTube channel to cover a wider range of content – and then got all antsy about it. I wasn’t sure people would be interested in ME. I was part of Channel Mum but I left after a massive anxiety attack about my worth in that community (booze fuelled). So I dithered and lost confidence some more. Sometimes I posted, sometimes I didn’t. I drank too much socially out of a sense of boredom and lost identity. It was a distraction, social partying to alleviate my feelings of frustration. Who was I? A stay at home mum? A blogger? Was the blogger bit just to cover up that fact that, actually, I am a stay at home mum but not brave enough to come out and say it from some sense that being a SAHM wasn’t good enough, cool enough, just ENOUGH!?
I mean, we all give lip service to stay at home mums and say how important a job raising children is, that it’s a personal choice, that these years are precious and you’re lucky if you can give that time to them… blah di blah di blahhhhh. But underneath it all, do us modern girls really think stay at home mums are lazy, well-off wives who don’t want to work and who use the SAHM label to cover up the fact that they actually want to watch Richard and Judy all day (I mean, Holly and Phil – showing my age there! But seriously, I don’t.)
See I think us modern day mums give ourselves a super hard time. We have to be attractive (with ‘on fleek’ brows – wtf does fleek mean??! New season boots, freshly gelled nails, and suitably swishy, bayalaged hair); we have to have nice homes with fairy lights artfully dotted about the place (bought some, batteries died, never replaced them so now we have fairy lights that don’t work hanging up); we have to have big careers or thriving businesses (what do you mean, you’re not a #mumboss?!); we have to have romance (if you aren’t having a weekly #datenight then you’re neglecting your relationship); we have to have strong Insta game (or Snapchat game if you’re young and hip which I’m clearly not); we have to have great social lives and a ‘squad’ (seriously how hard is it to even arrange a get together with said ‘squad’ that doesn’t involve a What’sApp thread that lasts for 12 months and still nothing gets arranged!); we have to have polite, well behaved kids (my 5 year old will not stop saying bloody hell at the mo, just praying it’s only at home). FFS!!! Just typing these out makes my pits sweat. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? I really don’t think our mums or nans had such pressures!
Where was I??
Oh, yeah. Recently I quit drinking. I wasn’t a wine o clock girl, but I was a big social binger (child of the 90s, me, classic ladette) with sessions at least once a week that would mess me up for days. Stopping has given me a sense of achievement. My paranoia and anxiety have lifted so, so much. I also have more energy. I can see clearly for the first time in years. I was thinking about my blog, this blog – and my channel too – and how I could bring them together more – instead of one being mainly recipes and the other being about loads of other stuff. I AM A STAY AT HOME MUM. It was like being given correct prescription glasses after years of wearing those £2.99 reading ones from the supermarket. For the first time ever it jumped out and stared me in the face: I’m a stay and home mum. And proud… I no longer felt guilt about it; in fact I felt damn lucky. And excited. And blessed. Why not cover all the things that that entails, on both channels. Sing it from the rooftops and be proud.
Not long ago, whilst still in my confused state, I was explaining my newest business idea (I have a lot) to my mum. She listened as she always does. Then she said, Rachel, I feel like you are always looking for something. Are you OK? I burst into tears. Underneath all the bluster, the drunken nights out, the intermittent blog posts and videos, I felt guilty. I had everything yet I wasn’t happy. I replied: I have so much and I don’t feel like I am working for it. I want to contribute I said, in muffled sobs.
My mum replied that I WAS contributing – not meaning the odds and sods (significant sods sometimes!) that my hobby-cum-business of blogging and YouTubing brings in – but instead she meant my contribution to the family. Being there to pick the kids up. Being there to support Adam with his hugely stressful job. She said, What about Barack Obama’s mum, and all the other mothers of fabulous people that make a difference in our world. They wouldn’t be where they are today without their mums?!
What she said rang true – and it still does. Since quitting booze and realising my own worth I have steadily understood that my role as a mum is really really important. It’s a privilege to be around for them whilst they are so young. This is a magical time and it goes so fast; I’m not wasting another minute feeling shitty or guilty.
That nagging sense that I am ‘wasting’ my talents is no longer niggling away in my brain every day. Instead something just clicked: I get to do this – blogging and making videos is my outlet, my space – and my way of bringing a little something to the table, in lots of different ways. Blogger or not, part time, full time, entrepreneur, career mum – WHATEVER; we are all doing this our OWN way. And finally I feel like I can celebrate how fortunate I am without apologising for it.