Feeling Mushy – Mush: The Social Network for Mums

Becoming a mum is the most daunting thing that most women will ever face. You can adore being a mum, love the nighttime feeds and the conversations of babbles, but you’re still allowed to feel like you’ve suddenly been cut off from society.

One of the toughest adjustments that becoming a mum has brought for me is the isolation. As someone who has studied or worked in one of the UK’s biggest cities for the past four years, suddenly feeling confined to the sleepy little village that I live in has been a bit of a culture shock.

I mean, sure, I could bundle Hallie’s 1 million things up, get her in the buggy, make myself the human version of Buckaroo and four hours later, away we go to navigate public transport and deal with crowds of people being annoyed by my crying baby… but somedays, the thought of that makes me want to lock my door and never leave the house again.

My biggest issue is that I don’t drive, but I live MILES away from all of my friends and my family. Now, the simple thing to do would be to make more friends locally, but if you thought making friends as a teenager was bad, it’s even harder as an adult, that is until I discovered the wonderful Mush.

Mush, mush mums, feeling mushy, mush app for mums

Mush is the incredible brainchild of London mums Sarah Hesz and Katie Massie-Taylor – adding to their brood of actual children. 

Sarah and Katie met in a rainy playground three years ago when they were both getting to grips with having ‘two under two’. That chance meeting led to them becoming firm friends, and left them wondering why there wasn’t a better way to find mums in the same boat.

They launched Mush in May 2016 and there are now hundreds of thousands of users around the world using the app.

The primary purpose of Mush is for mums to make friends and see that there are plenty of us out there in the same boat, not only by being able to talk to nearby mums or further afield mums (coming in the next few months), but there is also entertaining content in the form of Mush guides. 

Mush guides let us see that we’re not the only ones who think our homes have suddenly been taken over by tiny dictators who rule every aspect of our lives from now on. (They totally do rule every aspect, but lets pretend otherwise) Mush guides are entertaining, honest, and great company for night feeds, or when you’ve just got said tiny dictator down for an afternoon nap and you daren’t risk moving in fear of waking them.

What I love most about Mush is the ability to see nearby mums, and thanks to an update in Q3 2017, nearby places that those mums have recommended. Recommendations include things like price range, parking, closeness to transport, if the place is breast feeding friendly and the all important buggy friendliness!

Being able to see nearby mums allows you to interact with people within your community that you may not have encountered otherwise. The app allows you to set a distance in which you would like to search for mums (Think Tinder, but without the dick pics).

On each persons profile is space for a photo, a blurb about themselves along with their name, how many children they have, the gender of their children and how old their children are.

Mush has two primary ways to connect with other users. There’s the Mush-ups section of the apps which is a great forum for any questions that you face in the journey of motherhood, or if you’re maybe looking to pass or sell-on any of your babies things that they have outgrown. The best thing about this section of the app however, is that this is where you are able to organise ‘Mush-ups’ in your area. It’s a nice, non-formal way of saying ‘Hi, can we be friends?’, it also shows you just how many other mums are in the same position as you are.

The other way to communicate is via your inbox – for messages between you and those you connect with via the app, which is great if you find a mum nearby who you really hit it off with!

I’ve so far made one really good friend via Mush who lives 5 minutes away, has a little girl who is two weeks younger than Hallie and has recently joined the same mother and baby group that we have attended since Hallie was 5 weeks old (more on that in another blog). Meeting my Mush Mum friend has shown me that this boat may feel lonely at times, but that there is definitely always someone else holding another oar in the same boat.

I think one of the things that people forget to tell you throughout pregnancy is just how important it is to have other mum friends who live nearby, I wish I’d had the heads up as to just how isolating motherhood is and had known about Mush sooner. So here’s your rally cry – download Mush here or in the app store/Google play and make motherhood that little bit more lovely.

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NOTE: This is not a paid ad in any way, shape or form. Mush is an app that advocates for all of the things that I do, and it’s something that I feel other mums and mums to be need to know about. I’ve even praised it to my health visitor and she has also started recommending it to other mums. 

Have Courage and Be Kind

My darling girl,

This week you’re going to turn four months old, and I’m already dumbfounded by where the time has gone.

Gone are the days of 3oz bottles and our Teen Mom 2 marathons at 1AM during a night feed, and gone are the days of your newborn cry. Instead that baby who was once so dependant has been replaced by a fiery, funny independent little girl with the best personality.

A little girl who wants so desperately to be able to sit up, to show anyone and everyone her feet that she’s recently discovered, to spend her life under her play gym instead of in your arms and loves nothing more than a raspberry being blown on her tummy.

The newborn cry has been replaced with new sounds depending on how you’re feeling. You have different cries for different needs, you have an angry shout and a beautiful giggle to match your beautiful smile.

The past four months have been a whirlwind and I’m left thinking “did I enjoy them enough?”, “Should we have cuddled more?”, “Should you want to be so independent already?” and the ever-present “am I doing it* correctly?”. *it being motherhood

We’re four months in to your precious life and that has had me thinking about all the wonderful things that lay before us. Your first steps, your first words, your first birthday… all of your firsts. Will time ever slow down or will I be left feeling exactly the same as I do now when I sit in your empty bedroom when you move out? Will I remember those night feeds as I do up your wedding dress? Will I always see the little fiery girl who lays beside me now?

Parents have numerous hopes for their children. Hopes of great educations and successful jobs. Hopes of love and friendships. Hopes of travel and adventure.

For you, Hallie, I hope two things. I hope that throughout your life you will always have courage and always be kind. If you’re able to do these two things, then the rest will come.

I wish for you to have the courage to pursue your dreams – whatever they may be, and that you have the ability to ignore those who doubt them. I hope you have the courage to take your life in the direction you wish, to share it with those you love and admire, and to enjoy every single moment of it. Have the courage to stand up for yourself against bullies, whatever guise they enter your life under. Have the courage to tell people no – unless it’s when you’re a toddler and the thing asked of you is to put on your shoes. In that case please just put on your shoes

Have the courage to live life to the fullest, and know that you will forever be loved unconditionally.

Be kind to everyone you meet, for you never know what someone is going through. Be kind to those who are unkind, as those are the ones who need kindness most. Be kind to your parents – old age doesn’t come itself, and again, those night feeds brought some wrinkles along with those precious memories. Be kind to your friends, they will love you regardless of the decisions you make.

Most importantly though, my darling girl, be kind to yourself. Know that you are valued, loved and adored. Know that you have changed lives in these short four months. Know that you deserve happiness and adventure. Know that you will make mistakes, but that everyone has and continues to do so too. Know that everyone who looks like they have it all together, could just be really great actors.

Take time to have a bath, take time to read, to watch that trashy TV show. Take time for you, make time for you and always, always, remember that your dad and I will be cheering you on. Always.

We got this, Stinker.

Three is the magic number.

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