- 12-15 hours a day
- 7 days a week
- On-call 24/7
- No pay
- No support
- No thanks
- Your duties may be mundane and mind numbingly boring.
- You will have the brain and skills of a commander and the capacity of ten men.
If you saw this job advertised in the local rag youd scoff heartily at it, no doubt and certainly wouldnt apply. Yet, as Mothers, this is the job description.
Of course, we didnt choose motherhood out of a desire to be chained to the bicarb bag but for the joys of raising the next generation; the first tooth, the first word, the first step. The issues that can accompany Motherhood: social isolation, a loss of a sense of self and depression are rarely discussed and acknowledged, let alone dealt with in any real, meaningful way.
To tackle these issues head on, two old school friends Bec Clark and Michelle Shearer, reconnected on the North Coast of NSW and started a social movement for Mamas called MamaBake. MamaBake is weekly, big batch, group dinner cooking. How does it work and how does it help? A few local Mamas get together once a week and cook up a big batch recipe each which then gets divided up at the end of the session so they can go home with meals for a few nights. The immediate aim being to take the stress out of that time of day when the kids are screaming hungry and Mamas running on fumes. Its bigger aim is to enable Mamas to reclaim free time for themselves again, to be women first and foremost; to form, and tap into, a local community of Mamas who can provide real support and friendship.
MamaBakers are guided by its MamaFesto which, in essence, is about saying:
“I am going to value and take pride in myself as a Mother performing the invaluable task in raising the next generation as well as nurturing my own creative, physical and mental needs with the same priority as I give those of my children.
To do that I am going to learn to ask for help when I need it and reciprocate when other Mothers around me need it”.
North Coast MamaBakers have been going for a good few months now and experienced a whole range of hurdles which have been tackled with a we will make this work mindset. The most important thing is that the sessions are kept simple. If it gets too complicated and over analysed it becomes another chore and we certainly dont need another one of those!
The atmosphere in these groups is one of trust so that Mums can speak openly and honestly about how they truly are without the fear of being viewed as a failure; and supported accordingly. MamaBakers catch each other as they fall from time to time and reciprocate when needed.
The North Coast MamaBakers have delivered boxes of homemade meals to sick, or recently birthed mamas in the neighbourhood and keep a gentle eye out for each other. Whole, new communities have been formed and free time for individual Mamas found again.
MamaBake groups have sprung up all over Australia with sproutings in Belgium, the UK, South Africa and the States. The MamaBake FaceBook page has become a hub of global activity with many honest and spirited discussions about the real issues facing Mothers today.
MamaBake is a new way of thinking for Mamas and theres revolution in what were doing. Make no mistake, we are raising the next generation, the most valuable job anyone can turn their hand to in todays society, and it is time that the matriarch place that crown back on her head and reclaim her rightful throne..