Defining motherhood.

Image by Kate Gardiner,

Image by Kate Gardiner,

When you've spent the past half hour chasing your toddler around a pub, guiding him away from the punters and hoping he doesn't see that staircase, it is okay to stop, hold him like a rugby ball and take a long old gulp of that pint. 

I didn't realise how much motherhood would change me. I spent the first 6 months of my son's life feeling like an imposter, someone that wasn't fit for this role of keeping a small human alive. I went from a girl who loved a good night out, wore short shorts and bleached my hair, to a mum. I actually went out and bought myself a ghastly floral top because I knew I could breastfeed in it and I thought it looked like something a 'mum' would wear. I even had the bleach cut out of my hair, I was in a complete daze of new mum life, changing myself to suit the role. 

I fooled myself into thinking that you have to be a 'mum' to be a mum, you get me? Like you have to go to all of the kids groups and hang out with other mums and enjoy every moment of every day and only wear breast-feeding appropriate tops and not go out and not drink....

Eventually I came to my senses. I found thousands of supportive mums through The Fourth Trimester magazine who have been an invaluable source of help to me personally and I finally feel like myself again (although I'm yet to find time to bleach my hair and get a new tattoo). I've realised that even my non-mum friends still want to hang out, you can still go for after work drinks (although the child might wake from his nap and kick your glass of vino over). 

I am different, motherhood will change everyone. I spend most of the day talking to (at) a smaller version of myself: 'Where is your other shoe? Where did that bruise come? Have you shat yourself again? It's quiet, what are you doing? Oh he's just playing nicely, I'll just carry on making.... what are you eating? Where did that even come from?' And even if there's a work deadline approaching, a thousand emails that need replying to by yesterday, or the house is in desperate need of a clean, he will always be the top priority.

Mothering is difficult and as we approach mothers day there will no doubt be an influx of 'buy your mum sweet heart shaped things and flowers - she must love flowers, all mums love flowers, if your mum doesn't love flowers then she is not a mum' type adverts. So it was a refreshing change to be told about Not On The Highstreet's Maverick Mum campaign. I know it's hard to feel like a Maverick when you're red faced and sweating from physically forcing your tantrumming toddler out of that planking position and into his pushchair, but they're right, at the risk of sounding cheesy, we are all Maverick Mums.

Post your own motherhood stories and snaps to Instagram with the hashtag #MaverickMum - there's a chance to win lots of NOTHS goodies!