I was standing on the junction of a main road, grappling toddler (making noise like a pterodactyl in a tumble dryer) held under one arm like a rugby ball, over-burdened buggy hurtling towards traffic and a packed bus stop of people quietly (ever-so quietly) judging on the sidelines. I had a bead-on and then a grape escaped from my bag as a grand finale to this sorry parental scene.
Needless to say I was not on it; But like Johnny Wilkinson in the final minute of the 2003 Rugby World Cup, I steered that procreational car crash back on track. The rogue grape was even recovered and deposited into a bin so as not to have the ‘litter bug’ guilt hanging heavily over my maternal shoulders.
But it was at that bungling moment I realised we’re stronger than we could ever have imagined pre-splash down. Navigating public transport with a mewling newborn on 1 hour 13 minutes sleep with a mangled undercarriage and a relentlessly leaky boob? Nothing; c’mon offer up a challenge. Answering emails, sorting orders, growing businesses, wiping noses, drying tears with teething toddler slung around your neck? Just another day in the office.
We are made of nails. Nay, we are made of molten nails reformed into one giant nail that makes a chainsaw look positively timid. Motherhood itself is a strong, utterly powerful word; it’s the umbrella term for a bunch of women who’ve for numerous reasons – time, exhaustion, priorities, love, life, self-awareness – given up all the excessive blather of our pre-child years. The jealousy has been tossed aside like a limp, soggy nappy; bitchiness doesn’t cut it in the playground and there’s a realisation we’re totally, absolutely, 100% stronger together. (Mainly because you need someone to laugh/cry with through the mastitis-addled mammaries).
But that strength, while primitive and instinctive, is actually more powerful than the sum of its maternal parts. That strength is what our brood sees in us; the mama who can sweep up their little heaving body after a nasty run-in with a see-saw. The mama who manages to breast feed while taking an important call that might mean more food in beaks or twigs in nest. It’s a mama who rattles through a list of ‘things to do’ with the prowess of a SWAT team taking down a ruthless, MK50-wielding mob. It’s a mama who is tough through the tantrums but soft with the cuddles and a mama who realises that her strength is what gives them strength. And a mama that realises that strength came from her own mama.
And no rogue grape or low-level public judgement will ever get in the way of that.
The reason I’m penning this? Because there’s one mama that is both physically and mentally ON it. Jessica Ennis-Hill and her mother Alison Powell are ambassador’s for the P&G Thank You Mum campaign (for brands Olay, Venus and Pampers) and they underpin all my ramblings. The P&G Thank You Mum campaign is all about a mother’s strength in helping her children to achieve their dreams – something Ennis-Hill has arguably done as we head towards the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It’s a moment to look at yourself (or your own mum) and just think, ‘we’ve got this… The kids are more than alright.’
Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K9pErX7aAE