Does wearing mama merch make me smug?

Every evening I love a quick browse of the forums of a well-known parenting website, particularly threads where people are having a good rant. A few months ago I came across a thread saying that people who wear mama merch (like Selfish Mother jumpers) are “smug”. Well, that stopped me in my tracks, because I'm someone who has several of these kind of tops. Eeek!

This is my new favourite tee - I bought it from Bee & Mae

I wear them because I simply love slogan tees and buy any that I relate to! Especially if it's a favourite colour or a pretty font. Some of them, like my Selfish Mother tee, have charities that benefit from my purchases, but it isn't my driving factor. I get them because they're good quality, comfy and relatable slogans.

It doesn’t get any deeper than that, but it has got me thinking about how others might be perceiving me when I wear ones relating to motherhood. Do people think that I'm smug?! I chatted to some of my closest blogging pals, who I knew would be honest with me, to see what they thought...


Chelle: It gives me a sense of community, a secret "you’ve got this" to myself as well as knowing we’re all in this together. I got my Selfish Mother tee when my son was in hospital at 8 days old. It was sent to me as a gift and was so lovely to feed in. It gave me a reminder that I was still his mother even though I felt fragmented and had to pump to tube feed him. It felt like I had that group of bloggers hug me. I know a lot of this group contributed to that fund while we were in and it holds a memory of that time too. I also have Alex’s ones. One as a gift and I wear it when I need the besties that sent it but they can’t be near!

Lucy: I love Mama Merch and wish I had more. I own a Selfish Mother sweatshirt that says “love” and I adore it. I’ve also just bought myself a lilac “Strong Girl’s Club” t-shirt from Mutha.hood. It’s a very special t-shirt for me as £5 of the profits go to Tommy’s. A charity very close to my heart and it’s a way of showing my love for our four lost babies.

Kate: I don’t wear anything that is too fashionable because I don’t want to be standing in a queue next to some one wearing it better than me. I do have a couple of them though from small businesses as they are comfy.

Chantele: I live in my mama t-shirts and all my mum friends are so used to me in them now. I'll be honest, the main reason to start with for me was I needed a load of basic t-shirts after I had dude I could boob in and not worry about ruining and I found loads cheap on Wish. So I bought about 10 in bigger sizes and I've kinda just stuck with them since. It's so easy to stick on jeans or palazzos and one of my many mama tees. It's not a fashion thing for me as they are all cheap tees, it's just a practicality thing in most cases. I get dirty a lot, I'm in the park or play centre or playgroup and I need to be comfy first and foremost. Most aren't anything ground-breaking: 'mom life' 'tired as a mother' 'mama bear' type stuff. And before this 'mum phase' you wouldn't have caught me in a slogan tee as it's not my usual thing, but I honestly love my mum ones! It's the new me! And I'm totally cool with that!

Lyndsay: I like some mama merch, although I do think it's a bit overkill with the amount of brands doing it now. I have a few bits and bought me and the girls matching 'strong girls club' tees which get so many comments (in person rather than online).I prefer those as it's more of a feminist statement than about motherhood. I do find I'm drawn to other mums wearing mama merch if I see them out and about as I think they might be part of the insta community like me and not think I'm nuts for talking into my phone all day!

Siobhan: I wear them. I don’t live in them or anything, more for my downtime days. I don’t worry about being pigeonholed too much to be honest. I just wear stuff I like. I like the mama stuff because I feel like I’m supporting other mums by wearing it. I have a couple of Mere Soure ones too because I thought they look cool.

Jade: I would be inclined to buy ones if they were colours I love, good quality etc. I am Mummy or Mumma to my two but all say Mama. If I find one I love or can get personalised I will get it because I just love a slogan tee in general but it has to be my style not just to follow the crowd.

Amy: I do love the look of them but I agree that everyone seems to be jumping on it now and there is just so many! I only have one that says Mama and I feel a sense of pride when I wear it - god that probably sounds so stupid!

Bex: I bought the Selfish Mother one as I saw lots of pics of people wearing it and really liked the cut. I have a few slogan tees but not so many mum ones.


Kate: I don't tend to like 'cheesy' slogans, I'm more of a jokey 'winging it' kinda gal. I think they say things that you're afraid to say out loud sometimes.

Alyssa: I have a love hate relationship with mama merch; I love the idea of them but never actually wear them as I'm more than just a 'mum' if that makes sense. I love a good slogan though. Just not the ones that say Mama.

Hannah: I tend to shy away from the Mum/Mama/Mother ones because I feel pigeonholed enough as it is! I like the positivity/empowerment/coffee related ones because I feel like they reflect the whole of me and what I stand for. Today I’m wearing ‘Where’s the Coffee?’ from Motherlode; I’ve got Alex’s Coffee and Conquer and ...And Breathe, obviously my own Think Positive, and Femme-inist from New Look. The only mum one I wear and love is Mother Like No-One’s Judging from Mutha.Hood.

Chloe: Honestly? They're not for me. I don't really like slogan clothing, and I feel weird wearing something with 'mother' on it...I guess I don't want to be defined by that. They seem to have become such a statement piece now, that it does just remind me of the 'cool kids' on Instagram and I wouldn't feel like 'me' to jump on the trend. I don't hate all slogan clothing though, I've seen some pretty funny feminist ones recently that I'd consider wearing.

Lauren: Not for me. I'm not just a mum, I'm a woman who has kids. People can tell I'm a mum because I have one or both hanging off me half the time, I don't need it emblazoned on my chest!

Vi: I think they were funny initially, but now? Everyone seems to be wearing one and they're not my thing at all.

Jenna: I want ones that say obscene profanities.

What about you, do you wear slogan tops like these? Or would you not be seen dead wearing one? Do you think mums who wear them are smug? I'd love to know!

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

© Quite Frankly She Said. Design by Fearne.