Kate Earl is proud mother to William, 8 and Charlie 6 and wife to Martin. She is the Account Director at Simple Integrated Marketing and Founder of MumKIND.
“MumKIND was born shortly after my second son arrived in June 2013. For the first time in my life, I was experiencing genuine stress; he was so beautiful, and I adored him wholeheartedly, but he was also very windy and incredibly restless so I had no sleep and the fatigue was cruel. William was a young toddler with a growing imagination, so he too was up during the night. I bounced from one of the boys’ bedroom, back to the other and back again – all through the night, every night, for months and ran around playing-Mum all-day long. On top of this my husband was working interstate and was gone for long periods of time – oh, and we were renovating our house!. I was tired and worn down.
In these times I am able to appreciate the fortune of my upbringing and draw on some powerful lessons my parents imparted – mainly around recognising my own good fortune and appreciating it, finding the good in every situation, and the power of a positive attitude, at all times. I leaned on all of this more than ever at this time in my life, but it wasn’t hard to turn my mind to the many positives; I have two beautiful children, a secure home, a loving husband, incredible friendships, safety and security and the knowledge that this difficult phase was one that I would come through.
But one night while I was up settling and feeding the boys, I thought about the women who are experiencing all the same natural stresses of motherhood, but who don’t have all the safety and securities that I have? What about the women who can’t put a blanket on their baby on a freezing cold night, or offer them Panadol if they had a temperature? What about the women who weren’t able to feed their children or properly clothe them, let alone entertain them or educate them? Worse still, what about the women who were putting on a brave face for their children, but who faced violence and abuse? What about the women who were alone with no support and no clue what tomorrow would offer them. What did all of this mean for the children, and for their relationship as a family, what do those women draw upon? Who do they all turn to?
It’s unimaginable to me but I was compelled to take action and do something – anything to show these women that there was positivity in their world, there was goodness, there was care, there was support, that there was kindness.
Motherhood gave me a whole new respect for women. We’re powerful, resilient human beings. Motherhood makes us strong and soft, all at the same time and wow how it unites us.
I truly wanted to find a way to show these women that there were good people in the world, there was a tribe of fellow-mothers who understood the enormity of motherhood and together we would make a difference.
MumKIND was born with a single email to my friends requesting their input. We rallied together and collected hundreds and hundreds of material items to offer to mum’s in our own state who couldn’t access these essential items for the benefit of their children. These items included sleeping bags, nappies, socks and blankets. This giving tapped into a massive sense of overflow and inspiration for many of us - from here we grew.
As always, I’m privileged to be surrounded by wonderful women, and one of the best things I have learned is that when we women work together, extraordinary things happen. We fell in love with the impact that giving had on the lives of those who were receiving, but also our own lives. By giving, we receive back ten-fold. It’s inspiring and contagious and the benefits are so profound and long-lasting.
We’ve connected with so many amazing people, groups and organisations and we’ve learned so much. MumKIND is now entrenched in our every-day-life.
In a world where we’re supposedly more connected than ever before, I never feel so connected as I do when I’m working on MumKIND, or when I’m teaching my children about kindness, compassion and connection. They’re shown, they’re involved and they’re taking-part so I hope they feel first-hand the swell and excitement of this work and this mind-set of kindness.
Though we never meet the mothers that we’re supporting, I feel strongly connected to them also.
MumKIND isn’t anything exceptional, it’s just something that we have to do. It’s how we leave our mark on the world. It’s how we help change the world. It’s how we connect, it’s how we ensure that people believe in the goodness of people.