WE ARE MUM: A raw conversation with Rose Oates

WE ARE MUM: A raw conversation with Rose Oates

WE ARE MUM: A raw conversation with Rose Oates

Motherhood is a wild ride, like nothing we’ve ever done. It changes us from the inside out and it forever enlarges our world.

It’s sleepless nights and early mornings. Tears and unsettled babes, mixed with smiles and giggles that draw us back to thinking maybe we can get through this bit.

This is a raw conversation. I am grateful to Rose, @roseoates_, for her journey and her willingness to share it with us, so we are just gonna jump on in.

What advice do you have to share with new Mums?

Buy the baby onesies with the zippers for the love of sleep, sanity and ease! Haha.

I wish I was giving you all a more profound piece of advice but seriously this is practical. We all love an insta-worthy baby outfit with buttons. It's all cute at first, but at 3am - 17 buttons aren’t so cute anymore! 

Given you are now a Mama to four, has this piece of advice changed?

No, the advice above still stands, even more so. 

What I will say though is don't compare yourself to what anyone else is doing, more than ever it's blasted in our faces mums can work, play, have a spotless house, look flawless, be a sexual goddess and basically all-round have their shit together… or so it seems.

I feel it creates a stigma around when we can’t do something. It makes us feel like failures when we can’t juggle it all and it makes us feel embarrassed to ask for help when we really need it. It makes it too easy to hide our struggles which are so normal and relatable in fear of judgement.

The pressure is real. The weight of it feels massive, as a woman it can feel like we are getting pulled in so many different directions as it is.

Here’s the thing we absolutely CAN do it all, we can have what we want – we are deserving of it - worthy of it and capable of it BUT…It doesn’t have to be all at the same time.

It doesn't matter how hard you work or organised you are. Life doesn't work like that for no-body and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. So don't be hard on yourself, ask for help if you need it and know that if you just survived today that's enough xx. 

The journey of motherhood is a challenging one - can you share with us a little of your journey and the hardest challenge you have come through?

I first became a stepmother to Craig's son, Josh, and that was my first look and feel into motherhood - that has its own set of joys, and challenges and definitely taught me so much.

I had my first 2 girls close together in my early 20's, always dreaming of just one more but needing a break in between, well that break turned into 12 years later!

No regrets about the age gap by the way - time flies and then there was a whole a lot of trying, a couple of miscarriages and tears until we got our rainbow baby Octavia (Tato) and 9 months later well I was surprised and shocked to find out we would be expecting one more - cue Esme! 

My last two pregnancies and postpartum really were my hardest, I suffered from a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) which found me nauseous and sick through those pregnancies it involved medications and at times many hospital visits.

After having Esme I found myself very lost, struggling through a bout of postpartum depression which was hard to get through and accept. Nearly a year on I am happy to say I made it through it all. Definitely the past 2.5 years have been some of my toughest but I also grew so much too. 

As Mums, we can sometimes feel that we lose who we are, our identity, in the midst of sleepless nights, endless feedings (kids of all ages) and sicknesses. Have you ever found yourself here? And, what has helped keep you, you?

Yes, absolutely I have been there. I love and relate to the saying "When the child is born so is the Mother..." I feel like it makes so much sense as to why it can be easy to feel lost as we learn to be something new, something so important to other persons' life and wellbeing.

I think often we haven't lost ourselves so much as we have put some parts of ourselves on pause while we are in the thick of it all.  

Things that helped were asking for or accepting help if I needed it, taking time out to do something for myself made a big difference too. Doing even the smallest of actions helps - self-care isn't selfish. It's necessary. I reminded myself that this feeling and change had nothing to do with the love I felt for my children. 

Often women and mothers are made to feel guilty and ungrateful when they are open about their struggles and challenges, (please don't! it's a beautiful yet hard gig!) 

So to let go of any guilt, (easier said than done I know) but remember that motherhood is full of love, amazing moments and joy but is equally hard, so let's not dismiss it or our feelings some days. All our feelings are valid, after all the human experience is defined by the full range of emotions. 

 

@roseoates_ in our Ultimate Mama Jumper

What inspired you to become an advocate for body acceptance?

Firstly, I love that you addressed it as acceptance, cause body and self-love aren't linear.

What inspired me to start speaking out was my own journey, you see I had hated my body at every age and every stage – it made me realise it was never about my body. It was my mind, the stories, the things I had taken in from society and media - It had caused me so much pain at times, disordered eating, feeling of unworthiness and pressure especially after having my kids. I hated that so many others felt this way too.

I have come so very far but make no secret I still have to work on it myself all the time too - I'm only human.

Ads, media and especially social media which people consume so much of these days - it was becoming so curated, filtered, photoshopped, a certain way to look was flooding everything.

I wanted to see more diversity, different bodies, postpartum bodies, thick, thin, midsize, stretch marks, texture, bellies postpartum, imperfections that are normal and everything in between - all the things I wished I saw more of growing up. To know that it's all normal, all unique. And I wanted to see more of them.

Being a personal trainer and styling people I'd heard so many stories of pain and hatred for their bodies- people putting their life on hold waiting to look a certain way, believing a certain weight would fix it all, sitting on the sidelines, to fit back in old clothes, missing out on opportunities or fun because of their body.

Attaching their worth to their physical body. It breaks my heart.

I love to write and Instagram gave me a creative way to express myself and share, the more I shared my raw and honest stories about doing life in all its messy glory the more I connected with others and how many people struggled and suffered from body acceptance too, especially after great times of change like motherhood and it fuelled my passion.

I feel so strongly about it. I suppose in its simplest form I do it to remind you aren't alone, I show a lot of me so maybe you can see a little of yourself in there too.

To remind you that bodies are meant to change with life, that you are more than just your body and that our actions and stories are important so share them – they could even become part of someone else's survival guide.

As a Mum of three, I needed to hear Rose's words and her story.

Mother's Day is such a special opportunity to celebrate all that Motherhood is, but sometimes we become lost in the midst of it and we lose sight of our own inherent value. I love what Rose said - 

I think often we haven't lost ourselves so much as we have put some parts of ourselves on pause while we are in the thick of it all. 

This Mother's Day Mama, although some parts maybe on pause, I want you to know that you are magnificent and you are loved beyond measure. 

Laura xx

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