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How I created my village as a 21st Century working mum

I am a mother of 3 children, all under 6 years of age, and I know that my mum archetype is “village mum”. My mothering journey changed since I realised that. In this blog, I will share with you what it means to be a 21st Century working mum, and how the guilt we may feel gets dissolved when you understand your mum archetype. I will also go into details about how I created my village, and I hope it will help you create yours too, whether you are a village mum or not!


What is a 21st Century working mum?


A 21st Century working mother is a mum who knows that she can raise happy and healthy children, as well as have her own career.


She is aware that work is not something that she needs to do only for the money, but also because she wants to do it.


A 21st Century career mum might not find motherhood as fulfilling as working, even though she loves her children more than anything and always prioritise them at the end of the day.


Working and mothering are two different things, and she knows it. A career mum also knows that when she chooses to work, it is because she has goals in life for herself that are beyond mothering. There is nothing wrong with staying at home and not working, but a 21st Century working mum does not want that for herself.


She has a purpose and knows that it will make her feel more fulfilled as a person to do what she wants, and consequently therefore as a mother too.


Mum’s guilt and the 21st Century mum:


The thing is, even though she knows these two things are different, it does not preclude her from feeling ‘the guilt’ - which is normal. The truth is, mother’s guilt (like any other guilt) exists for a reason: to self-improve us as mothers, i.e. to make us do better. The 21st Century mum doesn’t want to get rid of it completely, but she wants to understand how to dissolve it and manage it better.


The feeling of guilt is exacerbated when a 21st Century mum is not living her life in alignment with what she wants from her work and personal lives. It is also increased at times of difficulty, when something unexpected happens at work or at home. For example, if a child requires special attention, or a project at work isn’t going according to plan. So how can we help ourselves with the guilt?


The first step is to do a reality check on who we are as a mother. I have created a simple quiz around this, if you want to play along! It will help you get a little closer to understanding your mum archetype and what it is that you should be prioritising as a working mother. Take my quiz here to find out what your mum archetype is.



How to create your village as a village mum:


A village mum is a mother who understands that trying to do it all alone is not possible. Moreover, she will find more joy in sharing her journey with others.

What does it mean to be a village mum?


1- A village mum needs her village to find motherhood less overwhelming and lonely.


I love sharing milestones and moments with the people I love, and who nurture my children. My husband works very long hours and is often travelling, so the need to share was even bigger for me.


I would call my friends or loved ones around ten times a day, especially my mother. I guess that I was lucky that she could travel to London often, even though she lives in France. I was also able to go visit her with my first born for the first year of his life, every month or so.


I know that a lot of other mothers find comfort with NCT groups that have babies at the same time for a reason. Creating a support system in the first months of a child’s life is invaluable.


I was also lucky to have help at home, especially during the two difficult pandemic years. We have a great support system. It was hard work to find good people and not all personalities match. I have used a few nanny agencies in the past, which I have listed below:



2- A village mum will feel the need to brainstorm challenges, a bit like a coach!


Living in central London is a blessing when it comes to wanting to create your village. A lot of groups already exist here, depending on the area that you live in.


I am based in St John’s Wood, and the NW8 mums group is the most incredible community. They have more than ten WhatsApp groups for anything you might be going through: Newborn, Toddler, IVF, and Divorce, to name a few. They also organise themed talks on a weekly basis around any issues you might be facing, such as sleep for toddlers; education; special needs; etc. which can guide and support you along the way.


I was able to get support in different areas of my children’s lives, from health to education, by simply meeting new mothers. We all come from different backgrounds and cultures, which enriches the mothering journey and adds diversity of thought.


I have made very good connections and friends through this network, and I would highly recommend it to you, if you need this extra support. Do try to find your local mums’ network. And if it doesn’t exist, create one!


3- As a village mum, it is important to be ok to ask for help and also to help others.


The truth is, it does happen that parents at schools get quite competitive, which can make it harder to create your village. Especially in London. It can sometimes be hard to find a group of mothers that will have the best interest at heart of your children.


The key is to find other mothers or fathers who you know have a similar value system to yours. I am not saying that they have to think like you, far from that. It is important for children to have diversity of thought and other ways of dealing with challenges. In fact, I can get anxious at times, and so I love when my children spend time with other parents and families that I know will tackle a topic differently than me.


It is our responsibility as mothers to remain curious and have conversations with other parents who may not be the ones you would have become friends with in the first place, but that you know will add lots of extra value to your child’s life.


Hence why I believe it is important for a village mum to do school or nursery pickups as often as she can, in order to meet the parents on a regular basis, and see if there could be any synergy with your child. At the end of the day, the friends they make themselves are important, but what would be even more beneficial is that you know that when they go to playdates, they have adults there that will nurture, love and be with them and will bring them something of value too.


Unfortunately, sometimes other parents can be very judgemental, and if your child misbehaves they may think negatively of you and your child instead of helping you. I have been there, and learnt that it is better to avoid people who will judge you or put you down. I know it is easier when the children are young, but if we nurture that from a young age, there is a better chance of it lasting later on. Dr Gabor Mate teaches us to keep our children close.


Taking the first step for organising playdates (sometimes repeatedly) is also a good way to create your network. Remember that you don’t need many people in your village. You just need a few good quality ones. The ones that you can call last minute and ask them to pick your child up because you had a work emergency. The ones that will say ‘let me take your son away tonight for a sleepover, as it sounds like you’re going through a tough time’. I have two very special ladies in my life, whom I can count on, and I know that they will recognise themselves when reading this.


All this doesn’t mean that I am not also other mum archetypes, such as ‘creative mum’ or ‘hero mum’ or ‘mentor mum’, at times.


It is just that when I have my village ready and available, I am actually able to mother better. I feel more supported and less alone. I have always found mothering to be sometimes a lonely job, even though you are with your children.


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Don’t get me wrong, there is not just one mum archetype or one that is best. The mistake we sometimes make is that when we compare ourselves to others, we imagine that a mother should enjoy all phases of motherhood and should be present at every step of the way.


Some of my clients prefer the toddler phase or the pre-teen phase, and that will depend on what matters to them, what they value in life, or what their strengths are.


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You can understand a bit more about your mum archetype and your preferences by taking the quiz here.


I hope you have fun finding out and recognising your mum archetype and that it helps you as it did me. Feel free to let me know your result in the comments below, and to share how it has helped you!

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