The mamas in my life are incredibly important, from my own mama, to women I’ve met on my journey. The more women in your life, the better it becomes, right? From women who give you advice about schools, or classes for your little ones, to, let’s be honest, the ones you can message on a Saturday night whilst watching the Voice to discuss Gavin Rossdale...they’re the women who make the toughest of days a little more bearable.
When I first had my son, Fin, 3, I didn’t actually have a Mum Tribe for a long time. My girlfriends just weren't at the stage in their lives where they were having children yet. Some of my wider friendship group were but we were all dotted around different parts of London. At that time leaving the house to go anywhere further than 10 minutes from home with a newborn felt like a military operation! I suppose what I felt most prominently, which isn't particularly comfortable for a 30-something woman to admit, is that even though I had lots of friends and was successful professionally, I felt quite isolated. And it’s the reality for a lot of women; becoming a mother can feel isolating. I really felt the need to have a support network of like minded women, who were on my wave length, but I just didn’t have anything like that.
In some ways I probably felt that frustration more than most; before I went on maternity leave I was working on the dating app Bumble. So there I was day-to-day producing products people could use to find a match, or a date, and yet here I was as a mama struggling to find a woman who was like-minded enough to go for a coffee with.
When I did search out products to connect with other mums, they felt outdated, old fashioned, and in some cases patronising. I didn't recognise the tone of voice and I still had an expectation of great user experience, like you get with Uber, or Instagram, but it just wasn’t happening.
To me, I still felt the same Michelle. I didn't feel like I'd suddenly aged, or become less modern, just because I'd become a mother, and yet, the products seemed to have that expectation. I found that confusing.
And so it was that Peanut was born, a brand new app which connects like minded mamas. We call our tribes ‘packs’, women who identify in the same way you do; ‘Dance Machine’, ‘Spiritual Gangster’ ‘Geek Chic’.... My packs are all of the amazing women I’ve met on this journey. So from the women who I first shared the idea with over a Starbucks, to all of the women I’ve spoken to for research purposes, to the women who I speak to on Peanut...
Becoming a mother is exciting and terrifying in equal measure. You are bringing a child into the world, and you have so many emotions that accompany that. Surrounding yourself with people to support you and guide you is incredibly important, we all have days of “am I doing this right”, and being able to turn to people to help you, really eases this. What is equally important is being able to find people who are like-minded, to stamp out that judgement we all feel. There is nothing quite like becoming a mother for everyone to feel like they’re entitled to comment on what you’re doing and pass judgement. It takes a village to bring up a child for sure, but that village has to stop the judgement, and start being kinder to each other.
Since having Fin I’ve made amazing friends at every stage. There is nothing like a friend who will distract your little one with fish fingers so you can take a conference call on a Saturday afternoon! Or those Mamas who have picked me up off the floor when I’ve felt let down by someone. My mum tribes have been so important on every step of my journey.
Shout out your Mum Tribe here in our Mother’s Day campaign and be in with the chance of winning a pamper package from Don’t Buy Her Flowers for you and your tribe.