Having a family can be the most wonderful experience of a woman’s life, but it’s not always rosy. The days are often part-bliss, part-torture and it can feel chaotic and steadying, all at the same time.
The Mum Life Project are responding to this often volatile experience in an inclusive and innovative way. They’re at the forefront of a movement highlighting ‘real’ mum moments and paying homage to the challenges parenting small children brings.
While the internet often highlights perceived ‘mummy wars’ and parenting sites can be rife with competition and negativity, their Mum Life Project is offering something more compassionate, optimistic, beautiful and real.
The pair hatched the blog and Instagram-based Mum Life Project, not only to lift the curtain on the tough times and triumphs of parenting life, but to provide a safe space for mums to spend time online.
They’re seeking to establish a more supportive, sharing tone in the online parenting world and hope mums will reach out beyond the digital realm, in real life, too.
|| RAD MAMA || “When Otis was just 16 months old he broke his first leg. At nearly 3 he had his second broken leg and at 3.5 years he suffered his third and fourth broken legs (both left & right simultaneously). His last 2 breaks left us heart broken and admitted to hospital. With our little boy so weak both mentally and physically, we sadly knew it wasn’t coincidental. From there, diagnosis through a dedicated team at Westmead was relatively quick. OI is very rare connective tissue disorder more commonly known as ‘Brittle Bone Disease’. The disease typically involves the bones, teeth, ligaments, eyes and skin, and is characterised by fragile bones that break easily. It will never go away but the bigger and stronger Otis gets, the more easily it will be managed and less fractures (hopefully) will occur. Since diagnosis and commencing a specialised treatment (which is a 4 hour infusion of Bisphosphonates to thicken his bones every 8 weeks at Westmead Children’s Hospital) in November 2014, Otis has been fracture free. Touch wood. Type 1 means he has the mildest type but when diagnosed the scans confirmed that he had also been living with a broken back (5 crushed vertebrae that are still compressed) for a number of years. This was devastating to hear and yet another setback. Alas, he has bravely endured physio to learn to walk again, more pain then we could ever imagine, a million and one DEXA scans, X-rays, blood tests and needles. More than any little boy ever should. However we take great comfort knowing that his body has had such a wonderful response to the treatment and take each day as it comes having as much fun as possible along the way.” more from the inspiring Lee from @mavendolls on www.mumlifeproject.com #mumlifeproject #mumlife #momlife
“It doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have, where you live … We ALL have shitty #mumlife days and sometimes just the knowledge that someone else out there understands makes a difference,” the pair write on their Mum Life Project blog.
Snap or send
They’ve created a bunch of ways for women to work together for the greater good.
Mum Life Project followers can share their parenting moments via the Instagram tag #MumLifeProject, interact with other parents or send care packages to like-minded mums.
Amy and Jade have a curated a range of (not-for-profit) care packages for women who may need a lift. These can be ordered via their site’s shop and the Mum Life Project will speedily dispatch them to the mum in question.
|| GIVE || Mum life is mad: one minute it’s loving & wonderful; the next it’s gnarly & impossible. but no matter what kinda day you have with the kids a small gesture of radness can give you the strength to do it all again tomorrow. I’ve been there, you’ve been there, we are all in this together. The #mumlifeproject is about mums supporting mums. There’s two ways to get involved: • share your story with the #mumlifeproject hashtag • send a not-for-profit mama pack from www.mumlifeproject.com. You are never alone. @littlepaperlane @bosiko_ #mumlife #momlife #payitforward
Life as we know it
Mum Life Project co-founder Jade explains her own experience of having a baby was ‘fine’ but not what she’d anticipated.
“I struggled (read: raged) against the clingy, needy, brittleness of it all. Compared to many mums I had a fine experience, but I hated it – and I hated myself for not loving it,” she recalls.
“Looking back I see that becoming a mum – for me – wasn’t something that happened the instant I gave birth. Becoming a mum is a constantly evolving process of trial and error, learning more about myself and my girl along the way,” Jade says.
Self-proclaimed reality TV addict, mum-of-two and Mum Life Project founder, Amy shares similar feelings about finding her parenting feet.
“I had baby girl in 2013,” Amy says. “Those first 3 months were REALLY tough for me. I had friends who had kids and babies and they seemed to be killing it. Me on the other hand felt like a total failure. I could barely function.”
“I loved Emily, but I didn’t feel like I was bonding with her. Not properly anyway, not the way I had imagined,” Amy confesses.
Real life success
This smart mums’ project has been wildly successful, sparking a viral movement on Instagram.
Over 9000 #mumlifeproject tagged images have been shared to date by parents, apparently keen to portray the exciting and exhausting reality of parenting tiny, naughty, wonderful people.
|| RAD MAMA || “I have super quick and aggressive births (brutal but beautiful) and as a result my babies don’t cope initially. It was devastating to have Rufus stop breathing twice, turning lifeless and blue and rushed off to NICU. We weren’t allowed to hold or over stimulate him for 52 hours and it was so difficult for me but especially for my big babies who were beyond excited to meet and cuddle their new baby brother. Thankfully for us all the tests came back clear and he continued to thrive.” more with Lee from @mavendolls on www.mumlifeproject.com #mumlifeproject #mumlife #momlife #radmama
We’re huge fans of anyone disrupting the often unattainable depictions of parenting online, whilst calling for kindness and a more realistic approach.
The Mum Life Project is an authentic and practical game-changer in the parenting space.
This dude. My goodness, Clingy McClinger these last couple of days ?. He may be my most intense mummy’s boy yet. Even if he’s being held by someone else and hears my voice in another room, he will begin to cry/whinge until I come get him. ? So he tags along to everything I do now. Toilet hangs, cooking hangs, and this is how he chills when I go to hang my washing on the line. Lucky I love me a lil dude that loves his mumma fiercely ?☺️.