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1. Music maker Mum reveals the unspoken secrets of motherhood

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

Oh hey there, thanks for joining me. It’s such a pleasure to welcome you to a new blog series ‘Pieces of Me’. Subsequently it’s also the name of my album that I am currently writing, co-producing and self-releasing in 2023. I bet you’re wondering what this is all about? You’re probably like “who the hell is this person? Why is she talking to me? Do we know each other? What does she know about being a mother, and the secrets it apparently holds!?” Well… in answer to your questions, I have some idea…

I’m a Mum of two, married and rapidly approaching forty (at the time of writing). I’ve been writing songs for a long time but after a false start in my twenties, I gave it all up and got myself what most people refer to as a real job. As much as it was nice earning money (not something I was used to as a struggling singer-songwriter) working a 9-5 just didn’t fill my cup up. So here I am, starting again and this time around, I have some valuable experience under my belt and some hilarious stories to share along the way.

So why on earth would I spill the beans on the reality of motherhood? Everyone – parents and non-parents alike can assume that being a mum is hard work and the reality of it is lots of poo, vomit and screaming babies and/or toddlers with sticky fingers. The hardest job in the world, right? And all of those scenarios I have just described are true. Spoiler alert. Well… yeah those sorts of anecdotes are well documented on any Mummy blog out there but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Again, spoiler alert. No, I’m here to talk about the unspoken stuff – what really happens in that year or so from being you, as you know yourself, to you on steroids, with 10 extra arms and the hefty responsibility of caring for other humans. All the while wondering “um… what the actual fuck just happened here, did anyone else see that?!”

One of things Mums do best is moaning. Mums love a moan. We will moan about being tired all the time (number one moaning topic, particularly in the early days when you only have one baby to care for), how CBeebies is the new Netflix and you binge watch episodes of Mr Tumble but that Justin guy… need I say more? (I probably shouldn’t). We moan about how some asshole tried to run us over with a bike when all we were doing was just taking up all the space on the canal path with our massive “travel systems” during the tenth walk of the day to get our screaming child to fall asleep for ten minutes to get a bit of peace (true story) and of course we love a moan about kids, mostly other people’s but occasionally we will admit that our kids aren’t always little angels (we only admit this to people we trust, otherwise our kids are better than yours, in every possible way).

As well as moaning, Mums are the best raconteurs. The stories we tell are stuff of legend, which is probably how legends were born. We will even terrify an unsuspecting mum-to-be with the most detailed horror birth stories; the tearing, the blood, the indescribable pain of labour…. Oh wait, should I have done one of those trigger warning thingymajigs there? Whoopsie.

But we never, or very rarely, talk about the dumbstruck feeling that hits you like a tonne of bricks the moment a tiny bundle of squishy, pink blubber ungracefully bursts out of you and is thrust upon your sweaty chest moments after you’ve done the toughest workout of your life and all you feel like doing is rolling over and going to sleep. But no, you are now the proud owner of a tiny human who will now, and for the rest of your life, be your very own Judge Judy (or Rinder) and hold you accountable for every mistake you will ever make from here on in. Fun times, huh.

Yep, it’s a lot to process. And once the birth-fog clears a bit and you’re home in your own bed (not sleeping, I don’t care what any mother tells you, NOONE is sleeping in the first few months) it starts to dawn on you that you’re not you anymore. Well you are, but you’re not. You are the shell and still sort of look the same on the outside but what was inside has fundamentally changed and you are not the same person. You’re an expanded version of yourself and I guess you have to be to make room for the new additions to your family. But who goes through that kind of experience and comes out of it exactly the same? I know I didn’t and that’s what my album is all about.

Over the coming weeks I’ll be taking a deep dive into each song on the album and I invite you to come on the journey with me. No matter which part of the path you’re on I’m sure there will be something for everyone, from the women desperately waiting for a double line on the pregnancy test, to veterans of the tribe who have lived and seen stuff only a mother can handle. It’s not all doom and gloom, I promise you! As someone who’s still in the early days (my kids are six and one) I can honestly say there are golden moments that make all the madness make sense and all the sacrifice worth it.

Stay tuned for the first instalment, and until then keep the heid, you’re doing great.

Caragh x

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