A couple of weeks ago I was filling in a form for a grant for The Zim Zum Motherhood.
As part of the application I had to attach my resume and list my certificates and achievements over the last 5 years.
I stared at the screen and started to cry. I kid you not; I sat by myself in my studio and wept and wept on a Tuesday morning.
They were tears of frustration and sadness. Tears of pain and confusion.
The last time I sat down to update my resume I had to work on culling down the words. I would have answered question like this with ease; a rattling off of carefully curated highlights.
This time I struggled to find words which summed up my life’s work over the past 6 years of being a Mum, of raising 3 magnificent daughters, but of not “achieving” anything “worthy” of certificates, promotions or payment.
Other than merit certificates handwritten and awarded to me by Nina for stand out efforts in cleaning her room.
And so I wrote something which encompassed both these points, and which tried to elegantly show that this displayed the need for The Zim Zum Motherhood for Mums to know their worth and place in society.
But it felt a bit hollow writing this. It didn’t completely resonate with me.
I was surprised at the depth of the hurt and the emotion behind the tears that came from this simple question. The hurt and emptiness stayed with me and I was quiet that night. Bugged that I couldn’t find an eloquent response which conveyed all that I had been consumed by for over half a decade.
And then the next morning I was listening to an old episode of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic Podcast in which she was talking to a woman who wanted to be a poet but hadn’t been accepted into the College program she had applied to. And Elizabeth Gilbert replied that if she wrote poetry then she already WAS a poet and she didn’t need a certificate to tell her so.
If a certificate would help her to feel like a Real Poet, then she should stop waiting for someone else’s approval and make one for herself.
Which I thought was pure genius.
Who was I waiting to thank me for my dedication to Motherhood? Who did I think would be making me a certificate? And what would it be commemorating? … Children raised? Hours of sleep missed? Nursery rhymes sung? Moments when a little hand slips into mine?
I took Liz’s advice and made myself a certificate. It certifies that I am a Zim Zum Mum and that I embrace the messiness, magnificence and meaning of Motherhood, and am generally an amazing being.
I signed it.
And have hung it above my desk.
It makes me smile.
And if I am feeling this was then I thought you may be too.
So I made one for you too.
All you have to do is go to my blog and pop in your email address to join The Zim Zum Motherhood and I will send the certificate straight to your inbox.
Please print it and sign it and hang it with pride and delight.
You might even want a couple – one for your desk, one for the fridge and one to include in your resume. It’s an official recognition and will impress the pants off people I think you’ll find.
PS. I’d love to see where you’re hanging your certificate … if you’re giving them out to other Zim Zum Mums … if you’ve included a copy in your resume with some Insta lovin’ #zimzummotherhood