I remember when I was pregnant and alone and just felt so overwhelmed by all I thought I had to do and who I needed to become to get ready for my baby.
And we hear this at The Babes Project too, from women trying their best to plan for baby, but battling the fear that they cannot live up to what they believe motherhood is. An image that is largely formed by what they see in our society, especially the media.
Did you know that every pregnant woman gets a "bounty" bag when she books into hospital? In it is a range of sample products and helpful information, but what is very unhelpful is the huge baby checklist. This is a list of items that baby "needs"... produced by one of Australia's largest baby stores! It includes well over 100 items for baby and it further compounds feelings women feel around not being able to provide for baby.
One of our women at The Babes Project said "when I saw that list I cried and cried... I wondered how I even began to think I could do this."
Also in this bag is a leading parenting magazine, again full of glossy images, further perpetuating the "perfect motherhood" image.
Women see these and assume this is what she is expected to live up to. And then they feel discouraged and hopeless.
And it drives us crazy.
Sure, we need to ensure we can provide for our babies, but motherhood is so much more than expensive baby items and the picture of perfect family life. There is no ONE way to do motherhood.
At The Babes Project we are passionate about ensuring women have access to REAL stories of motherhood. So that she can hear about other women's journeys and feel like she can identify with them. So that she can feel inspired to be the best mother possible to her baby.
So we want to rewrite what motherhood looks like in Australia.
We are launching a book and exhibition called Rewriting Motherhood.
It tells the stories of ten women who we have met through The Babes Project. Women like Rachael, who found out she was unexpectedly pregnant at Christmas... not the gift she'd been expecting, but the most precious gift of all.
(photo: Kipindi Photography)
This book and exhibition is beautiful and powerful. It's the perfect mini coffee table book... and the perfect gift... and will go to EVERY woman who accesses support through The Babes Project. And we need your help to launch it!
We have to raise $27,000 in 30 days, ending on 10th March. And if we don't reach that target we get nothing at all... super scary, but we know that we can do it with the help of our amazing tribe.
Theres more info and donation details, plus plenty of rewards and ways to order the book... here
I'd love your help to get this book into the world, to introduce a diverse and real image of motherhood that women find inspiring and empowering. That gives her the ability to say "If she can do it, then so can I."
Let's rewrite motherhood together.