What does it mean to be a mother? It really depends on who you’re asking! From guardian, disciplinarian, cook, driver, even tigress if your offspring needs protecting, the list could be endless. Motherhood is a rewarding, but daunting experience as you don’t automatically get  a manual that tells you what to do. You kind of have to figure things out as you go along, that’s why as many mothers there are, you will find that many ways of being a mother.

So how have we coped all this time? Thankfully, even with motherhood, the more things change, the more they stay the same. One fact that hasn’t changed is that it helps to have the help and support of others. It would appear that familiar adage, “It takes a village to raise a child”, still holds true.

We wanted to know what it means to be a mum in 2017, and who better to ask than Leah Samuel, one half of the creative duo that gave us Motherhood Reconstructed, an online space to give modern and realistic mums a virtual hug every now and then through their portal.

Here, Leah shares her experience of being a mum.

21st Century motherhood: reconstructed
Leah & Tamu of Motherhood Reconstructed

“Motherhood for me has always been a bit of a whirlwind! Slightly manic, but in a good way and not because it has been particularly hard or taxing (mini-me has always been an easy-going child, a good eater, a good sleeper, never really hurt herself, really sociable, I could never claim that motherhood was hard for me, I’ve been extremely blessed), but because I am a procrastinator and also because I have the tendency to do too much. I’m a work from home freelancer so I tend to work silly hours and say yes to most things which results in a pretty full diary, add to that the extreme procrastination which involves leaving most things till the last minute while myself and mini-me play board games, write plays/novels or hang around down by the river, and things can get a little frantic at times.

My saving grace in all this mayhem is our Village. Modern motherhood for me (with all its extra-curriculars, 20-hour work days, tutoring, eating out, playdates, making time for myself, Saturday school and procrastination), is actually, really old fashioned.

21st Century motherhood: reconstructedIt has taken and is still taking a Village. Without our Village, mini-me and I would be untethered, floating from one mishap to the next, unable to be as fulfilled as we both are and probably driving each other crazy. I honestly don’t think either of us would be anywhere near as happy as we are without each individual member of our Village. From her Dad, to my parents, my siblings, my older and younger cousins, nieces, godparents, friends – there are so many people we can count on, call on, rely on that it hasn’t ever felt like we couldn’t do it. From brilliant school reports and achievements to the occasional bad behaviour or uncertainty I share it all with my Village and welcome their comments, insight and feedback.

Our Village has allowed me the freedom to be myself, stay balanced and not find motherhood overwhelming. It has also given mini-me a solid foundation, surrounded by love, support, advice and the experiences of people from different generations as well as different walks of life. I feel like we have this sussed and together we can conquer most things, but we’re approaching the teenage years and I know that we’ll need our Village more than ever in our next phase, so ask me again in a year or two.

 

Image credits: www.123rf.com.

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