There's Always Something To Make Us Feel Like Inadequate Mothers And This Needs To Stop

27/03/2017 15:07 | Updated 27 March 2017

If someone had said to me "can you hear the birds tweeting" I would presume they were referring to a live Twitter chat and jump up to check my phone. I had lived in London for ten years and unless I trekked through the woods of Wimbledon Common, tweeting birds weren't one of the prominent sounds in my everyday life. But after moving to a new 'family home' in the country (well only 25 minutes out of London), the tweeting birds were there all the time, and I liked it.

For a few weeks, I enjoyed my new 'country life'. My morning walks with the baby were nice; I'd say hello to passers-by and then stop in the award winning butchers to chat - within a few visits they even knew my name.

But it didn't last and on reflection it was a pretty sad situation, I had moved to a new village and left my London life behind, yet the only adult conversation I could find during the day was when I popped into the butchers. How many sausages can one girl buy? A lot let me tell you.

So my 'find new mum friends' mission commenced. I went to various playgroups but they were full of mums who had met at antenatal classes, and trying to 'get in' with them was more difficult than collapsing a travel cot. Was I not good enough?

I even tried a mum-dating website. I sent out a couple of messages and felt positive that hopefully I would find some mum friends that lived locally. I imagined sitting with my new mum-friends in my garden (I now had a garden!) whilst the children splashed in the paddling pool and we watched on adoringly whilst chatting about mum things.

The actual reality was very different. That little app on my phone did send me some messages back, but the coffee dates never seemed to materialise. Perhaps I wasn't confident enough to put myself into a one-on-one situation or perhaps my profile pic wasn't up to scratch.

I felt inadequate. Was I not good enough?

But come to think about it, this isn't the only thing that has made me feel like an inadequate mum.

Every day, I see a tweet, a photo on social media, or some advertising that depicts a perfect mother and a perfect family.

I'm sure the person posting it doesn't intend to make me feel inadequate. They are simply following what is deemed as the norm in the world of social media. Society is piling on the pressure for mums to be 'perfect' and to conform in order to be accepted.

This can cause a mum to feel lost, isolated and lonely - that has to stop.

Are these trending mum-dating apps building the confidence of mums or are they actually opening up a can of confidence knocking worms? Does the advert for a nursing bra, that has a gorgeous woman on it, who does not have bags under her eyes or baby sick in her hair, actually help a mum who may be struggling with postnatal depression behind her own front door?

I don't expect the bra company to use a mum who hasn't slept in three days and hasn't showered for four, but these are examples of how the reality of motherhood isn't being talked about.

Which is why I started The Lovely Mum Crowd (TLMC) and our first campaign is called #nofilterparenting

At TLMC we want to ensure mums from all over the country have a 'go-to' group of mums in their area that they can bond with. It is a 'Facebook for Mums', putting the mum at the centre of everything, with its content being shaped and provided by our members. It shouldn't be hard for mums to find each other and we shouldn't feel pressured into putting on a brave face - we should be able to say it's ok not to be ok.

Which is what the #nofilterparenting campaign aims to do. By empowering mums to share the good, bad, ugly and hilarious experiences of being a mother, hopefully the pressure will ease and we can accept each other for the great job we're doing - even if we're popping to the shops without make up on or letting our children watch a bit of TV so we can get the washing up done.

Being a mum is challenging, exhausting and amazing all at the same time but being a mum is even tougher on your own.

TLMC and the #nofilterparenting campaign is the place that is bucking the trend of these mum dating apps, seemingly perfect photos on social media and questionable advertising. It's the one place that focuses on groups of mums coming together, everywhere, in every way and showing a more realistic and honest take on what motherhood is really like.

So many mums have already joined the conversation by sharing photos, videos and blogs about their experiences.

To get involved visit www.thelovelymumcrowd.com or join us on twitter @lovelymumcrowd or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thelovelymumcrowd and use #nofilterparenting

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