When I Found My Fierce…

When I Found My Fierce…

I don’t know when it was that I found my fierce but it’s a question I ask myself often. Are we all born with it or does it appear from some other place when we need it most. Courage is often found in the strangest of places, isn’t it and often spotted from afar rather than identified from within. I suspect though, that it’s hidden in the depths of all of us, dormant, just waiting for a moment or opportunity to reveal it’s power.

Growing up I was certainly a force to be reckoned with. I grew from a toddler who knew her mind to a teenager who spoke it. Perhaps my fierce is my mum’s fault. She’s certainly a determined woman with her own brand of fierce. Not in the all singing, all dancing, jazz hands kind of way but in that stoic, unassuming, quiet, immovable kind of way. She’s a woman who, against the grain, went to university at the other end of the country to educate herself in the way she wanted. She’s a woman that knows loss, having lost her dad and her sister far too soon. A woman who knows a battle, having fought and won her own fight with cancer too. She also had two children and yet still dedicated much of her life to educating the children of others. She’s pretty amazing. I only realised just how amazing she was when I tried to emulate her and found it impossible. Perhaps by modelling fierce, she handed some to me.

I’ve always been accident prone. Clumsy some say. From going over the handlebars of my bluebird bike and skinning one side of my face as a youngster to finding myself alone and flying over the handlebars of a scooter in Mykonos 15 years later, I’ve often ended up in emergency departments being sewn back together. Perhaps consistently crashing, dusting myself off and carrying the scars onto the next adventure helped build my inner fierce. Perhaps being knocked down and rising again has steadily become part of who I am.

There’s been many moments in my life that have required grit and determination but did they create the fierce or was it there all along? There are many times where fierce also seems to have forgotten me. Where was it hiding then and why could I not summon it from it’s depths? Who is there to help when our confidence falters? How can we feel less alone?

Perhaps, moving on from a heart-breaking loss, helped me to find my fierce. Through our experience of losing an unborn baby due to an antenatal diagnosis and subsequent ‘termination for medical reasons’, I met a community of fearless women, who, despite their own grief and loss manage to reach out and support the women around them. Here I think I found my fierce by osmosis. It is definitely contagious.  Without those women, I could not have gone in search of my rainbow baby. Although the relentless vomiting of two hyperemesis gravidarium pregnancies does not a fierce feeling give, determination to see it through to the birth of a child deserves more credit than it gets!

And so does becoming a mum. All mothers should be celebrated. The yummy ones, the scummy ones. The cool ones and the old school ones. The mumsy ones and the clumsy ones. It’s a bloody hard job.  I couldn’t do it without the support of all of my fabulous fierce female friends. Most but not all are mothers themselves. They are my team. But that got me thinking. What would I do without my tribe, my family, my support network?

I’m lucky. I’m privileged. I get it. I’m in a position where my life has allowed me many opportunities that others simply do not have access to. There are many people who would love to be able to access their fierce but it isn’t as simple as reading an inspirational quote in fancy lettering, or taking a hash tagged selfie. So, the fierce sweatshirts and tees were born. My aim? To help support other people, less fortunate than myself to find their fierce. To help be their support network, their tribe, their family. By donating a small amount to charity from the sale of each of these sweatshirts, I hope to help other women unleash their hidden power. I’m pretty sure its waiting inside of all of us.

And so this blog marks the beginning of the #WhenIFoundMyFierce Blog Series. What will follow will be a collection of very special and inspirational people who have found their fierce in very different ways. Fierce can be big and it can be small; there’s room for everyone.

#TeamFierce, I salute you all!

 

What to get involved?

You can help support our charities by shopping our sweats and tees here.

If you’d like to write a piece for the blog series and tell us your story, please do get in touch here.

If you’d like to be one of our charities of the month and benefit from our fundraising, please get in touch and tell us all about you and your charity.

Be a Fierce Mother

This single word (or Mum, mummy, mama etc) is enough to strike all of the fear into me. It’s also the single biggest fear I am facing everyday.

Well before being a mum was a reality, when it was only a speck of dust on a tiny idea in my young twenty-something brain, I feared the very thought of motherhood, believing it was something I couldn’t be good at and could never be ‘ready’ for.

Regardless of the parents you’ve been lucky or unlucky enough to have grown up with, its very likely that you will fear the parent you’ll become. You’ll either fear that you’ll be just like your parents or fear that you won’t be anything like them. Either way, it is a terrifying thought.

If you do happen to fall pregnant quickly and easily, its possible you’ll be fearful that it’s all happening too soon. If you don’t have it easy and it takes a long time, chances are you’ll feel the fear that it will never happen for you. You’ll consider all of the possible reasons why and you’ll fear simple things as well as the big things. If you’ve struggled and/or lost a baby you’ll always fight the fear that something will go wrong. It’s likely that this fear will carry itself into other parts of your life too.

It’s all terrifying, whichever way your journey leads you.

As a new Mum, you might fear that you aren’t good enough but also fear that you’re too much of a Mum. You’ll find a reason to fear that you’ve become too ‘mumsy’ overnight and left the old you behind. You might be afraid of the times you still want to be yourself, like it’s some kind of betrayal to your child and the rest of the motherhood. Conversely, you might feel fear that you don’t miss your previous life and feel like your betraying the old you when you sit amongst those that do. You’ll fear losing your old friends and worry that you won’t make new ones. Becoming a mum might turn you into someone you never knew you were or it might turn you into someone you always knew you could be. It might make you embrace a life you sneered at before or it might solidify what you already knew to be true. Either way, it’s terrifying.

As your child grows you’ll fear what life holds for them. You’ll fear that you can’t protect them enough yet worry if you protect them too much, they’ll never be able to protect themselves. You’ll be fearful that you’re not teaching them enough but also be fearful of all the things they’re learning from you when you’re not paying attention. You’ll worry that if you work, you’re not a good enough Mum and if you don’t work you’re not leading a good enough example. Perhaps as a Mum of a daughter this fear will be amplified. But if you are a mum of a son you’ll undoubtedly worry about what you are teaching your son about women.

As you watch them grow, you’ll hope that the times you were busy, stressed and tired are not the ones that they remember and as time passes you’ll worry whether you laughed, danced and cherished it all enough. When you look around and see everyone else cherishing every moment you’ll fear that there is something wrong with you. There isn’t.

As you nurture your child, you’ll be fearful they won’t have the confidence to explore the world and find all of the very best adventures it can offer. You’ll hope they will fly the nest and carve out their own passage all the while feeling the fear that they will fly too far to navigate back home.

When you reflect on yourself as a parent, you might find time to be fearful that you didn’t appreciate your own parents enough. You might apologise to them, all the while being terrified that your own child might treat you the same way you treated you treated them. They probably will.

You might be afraid that you don’t remember enough of your childhood and that you didn’t ask enough questions when you had the opportunity. You might look at the memories that you create for your own children and be full of fear that you didn’t cherish your own childhood keepsakes and memories enough.

Through all of your parenting adventures you will fear the judgement of others. The midwife, the health visitor, your own parents, the nursery staff, your child’s teachers, people in the supermarket, people in the cinema, people in the next house, mums at the park, mums at the swimming pool, mums at the dance class, mums in the cafe, the old people in the cafe, the young couple with no children, the lady with all the children who looks fearless, the glamorous mum who looks amazing, the confident mum who doesn’t care how she looks and every other single person in the universe. When you are around all of these people you might also find the time to fear that they thought you might have been judging them too.

The journey to motherhood from dream to reality and beyond is terrifying. You might even find yourself being afraid that you are too afraid. But you will face it and you will fight it. Each and every day. That’s what mothers do.