This week I was talking to a friend who has a manual job in a warehouse. He's in his sixties, would describe himself as 'working class' and he said to me 'I couldn't believe how much I loved my son when he was born. I was so protective. Such a fierce, fiery love. But we're British, can't have any emotions, that's enough of that!'
He was laughing when he said it and you could tell he wasn't at all awkward about sharing his experience.
I'm going to take this as yet another sign we're all beginning to support each other more in society. I think we're seeing a bigger pattern here. We're more able to talk about what's happening for us emotionally.
Today's post is from an organisation who has put together an app for Mums to connect. It acknowledges how lonely parenting can be and some of the tougher emotions that can only be eased by human contact. The app is called 'Mush' and this post is from founder Katie Massie-Taylor.
'For me, one of the biggest shocks of motherhood was how lonely I suddenly felt. I’d always been outgoing and gregarious, but being thrust into a whole new world where everything revolved around a tiny, helpless creature floored me in a way I wasn't expecting. It’s strange how when you become a mum you’re NEVER alone – and yet when your only company is a newborn baby who doesn’t laugh at your jokes, it can be one of the most isolating times of your life.
Everything changed for me when I met Sarah in a playground. Like me, she had a toddler and a newborn and, like me, she was seriously in need of adult conversation. After a few months of spending nearly every day together, we came up with the idea to launch a free app. Mush allows mums – especially new Mums – to make likeminded friends in their area with kids the same age. Just over a year since we launched, hundreds of thousands of friendships have been formed, and hundreds of thousands of mums are less lonely.
One of the best things about launching Mush has been chatting to midwives about their jobs. It’s so inspiring to meet all these fantastic women (and a few men!) who really care about giving mums the best possible start to the crazy journey they’re embarking on.
But I was shocked to discover that loneliness and culture are huge issues for midwives too. Working unsociable hours when the rest of your friends are doing the 9 to 5 thing can be tough, especially when you realise that, while you were on a night shift, they’ve been out enjoying themselves without a care in the world.
Being a mum to a new baby can be exactly the same – I got serious FOMO when my other friends were still enjoying commitment-free lives while I was busy sustaining life at 2am!
I think this is why so many midwives are telling new mums and mums to be about Mush, as you all know what a lifeline it is to have friends in the same boat.'
This kind of app being made gives me hope. It's one you can share with clients so they have social support for sure, but the real point behind this post is that I want to point out we're beginning to take our emotional needs as seriously as our physical needs.
Psychologists would argue that being starved of human connection is just as dangerous as being starved of food or water. The mental illness that follows is devastating.
Mush will be coming to The Kindness Conference so you can find out more for your clients there.
I hope that you have at least one person you can bare your midwifery soul to (the research shows you don't need hundreds, just one you can be real with is enough and amazing). I also hope you have colleagues who you share small things in life with, creating tiny sparks of connection that look after you in practice and life,
To kindness in midwifery,
P.S. Info on the conference can be found here: The Kindness Conference.