Don't Be So Hard On Yourself, Mummy
"There will be moments when you’ll find yourself caught up in a huge whirlwind of anxiety and self-doubt. Step out this and remind yourself that you are your own person with your own style of doing things."
Motherhood is easy… said no mother ever. But even though this is common knowledge, there is still so much pressure on mums to be perfect.
This pressure may come from various people and places in society – the media, parents, in-laws, relatives and unfortunately, sometimes from other mothers too. So, because we don’t want to seem like bad mums, sometimes we give in to all this pressure to be perfect. Sometimes, we put pressure on ourselves to be better mums.
But do we ever stop to think about the effect this can have on us? Mums don’t really have super-powers, even though it seems like they do, and we like to think we do.
We are human, with human emotions. And sometimes, even though we try our best to hold it together, we can’t always do this.
And because we are human and have compassion and understanding, we are quick to forgive most people for their mistakes, especially if they are our own kids, or family.
But many mums don’t go that easy on themselves when it comes to parenting -- they are their biggest critics and harshest judges.
If you are one such mum, I want to tell you something that I hope you will remember the next time you blame yourself for being a ‘bad mum’.
Don’t be so hard on yourself, mummy. You are good enough. Beyond good enough, actually.
We all have it hard some days, really hard. We all have days that sometimes string out into months of tantrums, time outs and tears. And sometimes, we lose it.
We get tired, we make mistakes, we get angry, we shout and we cry. And too often, we focus our parenting energy on the things we think we are not doing right, instead of the many things we are nailing.
Don’t be hard on yourself over the parenting choices you make
If you have a picky eater, don’t blame his fussiness on the fact that you didn’t try baby-led weaning and stuck to purees.
You are not a terrible mother for stopping breastfeeding at six months, or offering mixed feeds. What matters right now is that your baby is healthy, happy and loved.
And by refusing to give in to your child's every whim, even in the face of terrible tantrums, you are teaching your child important life lessons that will carry through for the rest of his life.
Remember: every decision you make of behalf of your child is done with his best interests at heart.
It’s okay to cry
Motherhood can be really overwhelming some days. There are days I’ve burst into tears because I just couldn’t cope with a particularly overwhelming mothering moment. This is okay and crying doesn’t make me any less of a mother.
If there are days you feel like crying, don’t hold back the tears. It’s a form of emotional release and if us mums don’t deserve this, I don’t know who else does.
After the tears wash away your stress, you’ll bounce back stronger than ever, ready to face the next challenge of being a mum. Because you’re awesome like that.
It’s okay to lose it once in a while
Kids’ behaviour can be incredibly frustrating sometimes and mums may find it hard to keep their cool on certain occasions.
Cindy threw her plate on the floor – again.
John keeps hitting his younger brother really hard.
And while you might complain about your children’s behaviour, I know that inside you’re berating yourself for being a bad mum – “I yelled at my kids again and I’m not proud of myself.”
The next time you mind-scold yourself over losing it with your kids, remind yourself of the innumerable moments when you have laughed with them, made them laugh, kissed, hugged and cuddled them, been absolutely smitten with their cuteness.
You know that these occasions overtake your “I lost it” moments by far.
Ultimately, there are many things in parenthood that have the ability of making us mums feel helpless, overwhelmed, stressed out and incompetent.
And there will be moments when you’ll find yourself caught up in a huge whirlwind of anxiety and self-doubt. Step out this and remind yourself that you are your own person with your own style of doing things. You know what’s good for your child; when things are just too much or just right.
Because you’re his mother and you know your child, you know that tomorrow will be better. Your child will eat the meal you make for him and he’ll shower you with love instead of screams and shouts. By next year, the tantrums will probably stop altogether.
So, take it easy on yourselves, mums. And if someone were to ask your child what kind of a mother you are, I know they’d say you’re the absolute best. Because that's exactly who you are.