Validating Motherhood with a Sweater

Today, I got happy post.

Happy post in the form of Tiba & Marl Selfish Mother sweater. I have wanted one for SO long. The Tiba & Marl Selfish Mother jumper specifically raises money for Tommys, and anything and anyone that supports Tommy’s, is a friend in my book. Last weekend, through some posts on Instagram, I was blown away with excitement that The Family Store were going to send me one! And since then, I’ve been all eye’s peeled for the postie, waiting.

And today, it came! Day.Made.

Whilst waiting for it, I thought back to a blog post that I wrote in the early, and intense days of grief – trying to navigate what every single little feeling was. This is the blog post:

“I’ve had this odd feeling when I’ve been out and about lately and I couldn’t quite put it into words, but I think I’ve worked it out as fraud.

I’m a mother. And I feel like a mother. I feel like I’ve changed since having Leo. Not because of his death or because of grief. Just because of him. Because of my love for him. My desire to protect him. Honour him. My pride for him. For us. Wanting to shout about him. Talk about him. Share his story. Buy things for him.

In public, I walk around thinking that my motherhood is obvious. I’ve changed so surely the world can see that. But what does a new mother look like? It’s a mother with a baby. I see them out and about and I recognise them. And I do not look like that. For my baby is not with me. He is asleep. I cannot hold him. I cannot take him outside and show him off to the world. I buy things for his grave. Or his memory. The opposite image of motherhood is all around us, especially with Mothers Day looming.

So that’s what that odd feeling boils down to. Feeling like a fraud. A mother. But not quite how the world recognises it. No one can ever take that away from me. And anyone naive and insensitive enough to think that they can deny me of my motherhood has little place in my world. I guess that’s why I called this blog A Bittersweet Motherhood. For that’s what it is.

I can’t stop thinking about Leo. If I focus well enough, and breathe deep enough, I can feel him with me and he calms me. We are forever linked. He is forever loved. That’s the sweet. The bitter needs no explaining.”

I was hoping, almost 6 months on, I’d feel different – but its all still so true. Motherhood after stillbirth and miscarriage is a complex one. You are the invisible mother. The bereaved mother. The mother that no-one wants to get too close too, just incase its catching. You are the mother without her baby. The mother who isn’t quite sure she can publicly use the term ‘mother’ incase she is challenged on it. And then you would have to explain your particular brand of mother. And deal with the awkward silences and the head tilt. The I’m so sorry and the silence.

Selfish Mothers’ collaboration with Tommy’s has really validated what we all know. We know that we are mothers. And that is a special, incredible gift to give the baby loss world. Validation. It’s what we seek, a lot. We want to know that the world sees our babies. Sees our love that we have for them. Sees our fight to right the wrong, and change this for those that walk the path behind us. We want to know that the world sees our motherhood.

Thank you, Selfish Mother. Thank you.

From Leo’s mother.

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4 thoughts on “Validating Motherhood with a Sweater

  1. I love this sweater! For Mother’s Day this year my husband took me to a Mother’s Day brunch and the waitresses were walking around handing out flowers to all the Moms and telling them happy Mother’s Day. I was wondering what our waitress would say to me because there were no children at our table. I was convinced I wouldn’t get a rose but she walked up to our table and handed me one and just said “this is for you”. Not hearing the words I wanted to stung pretty bad. It’s not easy being an invisible Mother so I love that you can scream it to the world now that you are indeed a Mother!! ❤️

    Like

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