"This is Laura, she’s a mum of four,” I am introduced as, for the 100th time.
"This is Laura, she’s a mum of four," I am introduced as, for the 100th time. My children are hands down my greatest achievement in life. My vocation, my calling, if you will. But for some reason, I pause.
She is being complimentary. People are always complimentary. I am so young, and I have so many children. I look so well and have ALL those children.
And I’m grateful, I do like to receive the compliments. I am proud of having my four children but still, I pause.
It never used to bother me, really? Perhaps since going back to work and realising there is a life outside of breastfeeding and nappy changing and preparing endless snacks.
I am more than just a mum of four. And although I feel, even sound, ungrateful for the compliments - though well meant - I want people to know I am more than a mum of four, albeit outstanding, children.
Since when have we put labels on women?
“The mum of four”.
“The single mum”.
It is easy to be all consumed in a world where you are a mum first and foremost. Isn’t that what all us mums are anyway? But, I want to scream that I am 100 other things and not just a mum of four.
I am a wife. A sister. A friend.
I work. I LOVE working. I am good at what I do.
I like to go out for dinner and drinks with my girlfriends. I like to spend time away from my children.
I like to go on date nights with my husband. I like to go away for romantic weekends without our children.
I like coffee, alone. I like talking to strangers.
I work really hard, every day.
Harder than the “mum of four” introduction gives me credit for.
Upon reflection what I’ve learned most is it doesn’t matter how I am introduced or how the world “see’s” me. What matters is how I see me. It can be isolating and lonely, especially as a stay at home parent. You can quickly forget there is another side to you that is not the all-consuming mum side.
It is okay to enjoy that other side, to still have that identity even after becoming a mum.
To any and every mum, you are not ‘just’ a mum. You are the most important person in the world to at least one little person. And that little person has the capacity to flourish if you can take pride in what you do, and give it your all.
What you do matters. Know it. Live it. Love it. You are amazing.
Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.