This month we've been celebrating everything about motherhood with our #monthofmotherhood campaign. We've chatted and laughed on social media, given away hats, asked you to give away hats with our free-hat-with-purchase, held competitions and generally created a supportive, encouraging environment for our community of mothers. As the month of May comes to an end, we thought we'd share some of our own stories of motherhood. Bedhead is a company started by a mother, run by mothers for mothers (and kids!). Between the eight women on staff, there are 16 children between us. Here are a few of us now and our own stories/advice/troubles of motherhood.
"My son Ty was an outdoor-loving little guy - he always needed to be outside. And I'd get really furstrated when he couldn't be in his pram and have something to shield him. I'd try and put a muslin over him but he'd get cranky - he wanted to see stuff! I needed something to keep the glare off his eyes and shield his face a little but I coudn't find anything that was small enough to fit him. So that's when I made a little hat and it all started from there. He is going to turn 10 in a few months and it's grown into something so magnificnent and we are helping so many people. We have eight staff and we are sending hats all over the world and it's the most amazing, fulfilling experience ever. For me, as a mother, I'm really proud that my son has seen it from literally nothing - from me working at the dining table ridiculous hours and packing orders in a storage shed - and seen it all the way thorugh. We now travel internationally together and go to expos together and he really understands how much work has gone into it and he appreciates it and I guess it gives him a glipse of maybe something that might inspire him to do something in the future for himself. So thank you to everyone who supports Bedhead. You've made my dreams - and probably his dreams - come true too." Richelle, founder and director, and mother of Ty, 9.
"The most enlightening thing I found about motherhood was I feel like being Ella's mother really gave me a sense of purpose. I was put on this earth to be her mother and having her made me realise what life was all about. It is extremely true that it takes a village to raise children. Unfortunately, my village is a long way away in the UK. While it was my choice to make a life here after having children, I realised the need for a support network and I can totally understand moving moutains wanting to get back to where your support network is. I had a really hard time when I was trying to juggle it all, be it all and do everything myself as I have done my whole life. And so I really went out and had to find my village and build a village for myself and I’m incredibly lucky to have made such amazing friends. I think that’s one of the best things about becoming a mother - the friends you make. It's also been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I remember when was pregnant with my second and I wondered how was I going to love anything as much as my daughter or husband? Everyone said not to worry, your heart will grow. But I worried I wasn’t going to be as good the second time around or that I’d struggle with my axnierty but then they come out and you love them more and they just make you a better person. They made me a better person. Children are extremely entertaining, so much fun and there is no one – no one - more loving of you, imperfections and all, than little kids. They will love you no matter what.” Carolyn, sales representative, and mother to Ella, 4 and Flynn, 1.
"As a working mum when my kids were babies, I'd get on that big guilt trip. I'd think I shouldn't be at work, that I should be at home with the baby... There's a lot of guilt! And then my youngest, Cooper, used to cry every single time I dropped him off daycare and it used to break my heart. But, I got tougher and I'd say to myself "As soon as I walk out the door and drive away, he'll be fine." And you know what? He was! And he turned out fine - he loves school and being with his friends and he turned out just fine. Sometimes he'll come up to me and say "Mum, you are the best mum in the whole world." Just out of the blue. And it makes me so proud. When they get a bit older they might not say things like that anymore, but my 14-year-old will always come up every single morning and give me a kiss before he goes to school every day. Which I think is great because most of the time when they're reaching that age, they don't want to know you! You're basically just a taxi to take them from A to B, so it's nice to get that kiss every morning goodbye. Even though I question myself every single day whether I'm doing the right thing, for my kids to do that makes me think I must be doing something right!" Nicole, customer service and logistics coordinator, and mother to Harry, 14 and Cooper, 7.
"I always thought I'd really miss the baby years. Having a young family was all I ever wanted - I guess I never really looked past them being all cute and cuddly. As my kids started to grow, I worried how I'd go parenting a school aged kid, a tween, a teenager. I got nervous - that seems like a whole lot of responsibility; like a whole lot more could go wrong. More so than just keeping them alive and providing them food, warmth, love and cheering at their milestones. But then it happens quicker than you think and there is no time to worry. You just do what you've been doing the whole time you've been a mother - just work it out as you go along. And I soon discovered each stage is better than the next. Their personalities grow, their skills and minds expand and what was once a terrifying prospect to think my parenting is going to impact on the rest of their life, I see how amazing they are and figure I must be doing ok and I'm proud to have been a contributor to who they are - cause they're such great kids! Your results of success might not be as immediate - just getting the baby to sleep or to burp is a result of your parenting skills, right! But when they're older and their lives don't revolve around you so much, it is harder to see yourself as anything other than a food preparer and taxi driver. But then you see the way they care for each other, you hear their ideas for ways to make the world better or to improve their school, you see the rewards of their hard work paying off when they make teams or win awards or get good marks and you realise none of that would have happened with your impact - no matter how small. And that makes me excited for the next decade or so of mothering them under my roof. Now I'm just terrrifed of the day they leave..." Belinda, social marketing and events coordinator, and mother to Zak, 12, Layla, 10, Imogen, 8 and Annika, 5.
"I was told I'd never have children, which is just devastating to hear. I wanted it so badly, but we were told there was really only a slight chance of it happening. I decided to just focus on my wedding and a few weeks before we got married, I found out I was pregnant. I felt like, because it was something I really, really wanted, I had to do everything in my power to perfect the motherhood thing. Which in my mind meant I had to do everything myself - this was my dream and I was lucky enough to have it come true, so it all came down to me. But of course, not asking for help really takes its toll and life became hard and exhausting - as it does with a baby! But I didn't feel like I had a right to ask for help because I was just so grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a mum. So, even if your whole life is about being a mum, you can - and should - still ask for help! No one can really do it all by themselves - not as well as they'd like anyway!" Pamela, warehouse picker, and mother to Destiny, 8 and Levi, 6