This is Rida

I’m Rida. I’m a 33 year old mum of two, who lives in Birmingham with the kids and my husband.

Our kids are aged two and a half and four and a half and I guess you could call us a biracial, nuclear family.

I am Pakistani Welsh - 3/4 Pakistani and 1/4 Welsh. I was born and lived in Pakistan for the first 7 years of my life and I have the best memories of living there and of my family.

On career and motherhood:

I wouldn't call it a career as such, but I'm slowly growing my content creator/photography work. I was training to be a primary school teacher when I fell pregnant with Zora and then when I was meant to be returning to finish my degree, I found out I was pregnant with Dalia.

When it comes to managing my content creator/photography work, I am mainly fumbling about in the dark - LoL! It’s just about doing what I have to do, when it is paid work, but then saying no to lots of events etc, due to a lack of childcare right now. 

Any work I do, I do from home, so I am also a full-time mother to my daughters. Full-time motherhood is hard!! It can be boring and relentless but it is also a privilege in many ways. I couldn't imagine not seeing my babes grow. I cherish the firsts I get to enjoy with them and those epic double nap times!

I love to go slow and take the time to just slob around the house when we can and watch telly. I adore snuggles under blankets and the sweetest morning wake ups, as we have always bed shared. Kisses, hugs and smiles melt me, even now. My absolute favourite thing is just sharing in their joy and awe. They help me to see things anew. 

I think the most challenging thing is parenting with my husband. It's really hard when you are bringing two very different experiences, backgrounds and varied knowledge into a family situation. But also, the constant negotiations with the children - Ugh! I honestly feel like I'm on an episode of 24 every ten minutes. 

On diversity, representation & inclusion:

The current state of diversity, representation and inclusion in media portrayals of motherhood is pretty dire. It is skewed and warped, just like the glossy fashion magazines that were the catalysts for an epidemic of eating disorders. Mothers are being pulled apart and I think one of the ways to control society is by feeding us sameness. Diversity means we won't all want to buy that nappy changing bag or pushchair or whatever else.

Seeing ourselves represented is hugely powerful and I think connecting to other mothers will help amplify that. We know that we have the same struggles and that no nappy change bag will result in your baby sleeping through the night or magically telling us why they're upset, you know? Only connecting to other mothers will help us feel at ease in our messes. Media doesn't allow for that mess so much. It's why I grew to love Instagram actually. There is mess, co-sleeping, breastfeeding and a lot less of the judgement that I felt in Facebook parenting groups. 

I hope my kids won’t be impacted by this lack of media representation though. I hope they see me representing mixed Asian women and mamas who don't really fit into any box and that they’ll take heed from that; That it's ok to be unapologetically them!

I'm really hoping that the ripples we are seeing on Instagram are going to be the tsunami that will change the lack of representation and diversity in the media/at festivals/in schools/etc

On All Our Mothers:

Platforms like All Our Mothers are important. Different needs to be normalised, shown and celebrated. We need to discuss the different ways that a family can be made up and what that looks like. Anyone who is helping to do that is awesome!

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You can follow Rida via Instagram.

Michelle Gibbs