I'm struggling a bit with my self-image. I feel like I've been unceremoniously booted out of my old life and identity and haven't yet settled into my new one.
As I go on my daily walks around nappy valley, smiling and nodding at the other 30-something mums pushing their Quinnys/Bugaboos/PhilandTeds, I have never been more painfully aware of being a demographic. It's only recently dawned on me that I've moved to suburbia, in my head it was just down the road from the gritty midpoint of Brixton-Stockwell-Clapham where I used to reside.
I no longer fit into my old clothes and as I slowly buy new ones I'm no longer sure of my style. Is a new uniform in order or not?
There's a distinct lack of acceptable inspiration for my freshly evolving identity. I keep running into stereotypes I would rather back away from. When it comes to mums of small babies the only images you ever really see are:
The Celebrity Mum: I'm avoiding images of these at the moment.
The Frazzled and Not Coping Mum: The polar opposite to the celebrity mum, these run the full gamet from teenaged-single-mum-in-bedsit to previously-successful-and-together-professional-in-meltdown
The Poster Mum: You see a lot of this sort of dewey skin-heavy idealised image in advertising and packaging. The Johnson's Mum if you like. I think the idea is that the perfect innocence and purity of the baby somehow magically rubs off on it's mother.
The Nurturing Glow Mum: This crops up mostly in health brochures particularly anything on breastfeeding. It always feels a bit dated and 70's to me.
Oh and then there's the Yummy Mummy. Urgghh, don't even get me started on this one. The mere phrase manages to sound twee, smug and a bit ick all at once.
So you see, a lack of positively real images of mums. Which is why the Be A Star campaign, intended to increase the number of breastfeeding young mums in Lancashire is so refreshing. It's not often you see images of mums that are both real and aspirational. There's nothing mumsy about these girls. Shame they're all so young!