Story of Mum – make an exhibition of yourself.

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I have delusions of grandeur. I think of myself as creative. In reality, I’m a sloth, lolling about the (incredibly messy) place, and failing to complete half of the tasks I set myself.

Hm.

That’s not very affirming is it? Shall we try again?

I’m very happy today to be hosting the Story of Mum Make an exhibition of yourself virtual tour. I’ve joined in. I’ve created a picture for the section, I’m a mum and

I am a writer

So I’ve been creative. I find it very difficult to do visual things, so I’m naturally intrigued by the people who have. There’s so much there, photos, videos, mash ups. I love this mash up from bouncing life and loss, I think I could get along with a person who has aspects of llama and butterfly in their soul. The brief is to create an image by blending aspects of multiple images to represent yourself.

I couldn’t think of images to describe my identity after motherhood. I’m always saying that I’m a person too, or even first, but I realised today that this blog, the thing I’m kind of most proud of, is all focussed around my children. It’s all looking at how I fit my life around theirs, bounce back (or not) from pregnancy and birth, revisit lost dreams while educating and earning a living.

Is it possible to disentangle motherhood from your identity once you’re a mother? Should it be? I can’t stop being a daughter, or a sister, even to my sister who is dead. Our families create us, and then we create them, and we do not exist in isolation apart from them. It is in trying to do so that everything breaks I think. We talk about politics in this house, and say that every MP should represent the area they live in, to the extent that they should have to explain to their mother what their decision was and what it means. Imagine Lord Howell explaining to any member of his family that he thought where they lived was desolate and ripe for fracking.

Politics terrifies me. But it’s on behalf of my children. We have a duty to make the world a better place for the generation we will hand it to. And then they for their children. We are never allowed to make things worse, because we are all interconnected, by bonds of love and blood.

And that’s how it should be. I cannot not be a mother now, it will always be a part of me, even when my children are grown and living their own lives with their own children. And that is my identity.

BritMums - Leading the Conversation

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for 15 years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

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Comments

  1. Ha! This made me laugh, and then struck me as very true – that everlasting identity of never not being a mother again. And how that filters into every action we take that also defines us, including changing the world to be a better place for our children – not because we’re bold and brave and the next Prime Minister (although we are definitely the first two) but because once that love takes hold of us, we don’t have a choice to be anything less. Thank you. x

  2. “Is it possible to disentangle motherhood from your identity once you’re a mother? ”

    This sentence stuck out for me simple because (a) motherhood change us and (b) it makes us more of who we are. That sounds very simple but it’s exactly how I see my life – and I’ve been a mother since I was 18.

    • So a mother all your adult life. It’s a more natural way of doing it I think, but have there been times it has been hard to find yourself underneath the needs of other people?

  3. I loved this post. And the image seems perfect to me. You stand as a mother and a writer, not as a mother who writes or a writer who parents. You are both. How could you not be? But of course that means you are also your own person. It drives me mad when it is assumed that motherhood is necessarily, for all women who undertake the role, all consuming. If someone said they were a solicitor, you wouldn’t assume this meant they didn’t have priorities and passions beyond the label that socially defines them, that they might liking hiking or be a passionate environmental campaigner of cook. Nor would they assume a writer wasn’t also a person or politician animal etc. But I suppose it’s because the role of parent involves so many skills and talents that I guess some think mother totally consumes your identity. It does irrevocably redefine it, of course, and I love the way your post articulates that process. And you are bloomin good writer, you know.

  4. I haven’t quite been a mother all my adult life but close (DS1 born when I was a couple of weeks into being 22) and I am still not sure who *I* am, the things I do, watch, listen to, are only because of my children, there is very little, if anything, I do that is not influenced or impacted on by motherhood.

    • Jax Blunt says:

      I had years of independent adult life before I had children – I was 29 when Big was born. I find it hard to remember the person I was though, it’s like looking at someone else.

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