A one to one with our very own Gemma M-B, the Founder of the Strong Girls Club.
What challenges have you faced in your life, recent or past, that you think have changed your view of your position in the world?
Five years ago I had my second child and the birth was traumatic. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong and sadly after a year of ignoring all of the symptoms that come with Birth Trauma I developed PTSD. I had tried to put everything that I was feeling into a box and hoped that I could leave that box hidden. Unfortunately, it just grew and grew until it became too much to handle. I’ve had subsequent therapy to try to help me, including EMDR which is based on rapid eye movement, and I think this saved me. The PTSD and the fight to survive it, to me, has been pivotal in how I view myself
What did you think of yourself before that time, and how has your view changed?
I hadn’t realised how much I apologised for my existence before. I would consistently say sorry for occupying space. I remember falling quite terribly and apologising. When everything was going wrong in the operating theatre during Little Red's birth, I just kept saying sorry. No one who is going through what I went through should ever think that sorry is the right thing to say. Help, was the right thing. Using my voice to say "no," "stop," "listen to me," was what should have happened. I’ve learnt that I am stronger than I realise and that I need to give myself credit for existing.
What would you tell your younger self?
Stand tall, this space is yours to own.
What does ‘being strong’ mean to you?
Facing adversity, challenges and difficulties that might at times feel like they were sent to break you, and yet still waking up the next morning.
What’s your one rule to live by?
You get one life….. eat the cheese.
When are you at your happiest/ what brings you joy?
When I take the pressure off myself. Let myself just be. Not stress about the next thing and instead sit on the sofa, crack open the well thumbed Avocado Baby and be present to allow my girls to cuddle me.
Who is in your club? And why?
So many people. My family, my friends, my partner, the people who send me a message on Instagram, those who are generous enough to share their stories with me of how they’ve also found strength in adversity. I could get very Gwyneth Paltrow circa Oscars 1999 about it all but I don’t think those who have supported what I do and this brand will every truly know how much they helped me to recover.
What does your club mean to you, what do they do for you/ how do they make you feel.
It was Kelly Terranova who first said this ‘being a part of the Strong Girls Club isn’t about being the strongest person in the room. It’s about being there to help others feel strong when they don’t.’ And that’s what my club does for me…. Every single one of them.
What does being a part of the Strong Girls Club, as a whole, mean to you.
It means encouraging others to believe in their worth and to help build strength in the voices of others; to encourage each other and our children to stand up for ourselves.
Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers is the found of Mutha.Hood and the Strong Girls Club. She can mainly be found on Instagram @mutha.hood dressing up in inflatable dinosaur suits to encourage people to vote, sharing her love of pom poms and alpacas, and talking about lessons she wishes to teach her two red-headed girls; Little Red and Big Red.