How would you react if your husband said these four words after you gave birth?

How would you react if your husband said these four words after you gave birth?

After giving birth, Ashley Gibson's husband uttered four supportive yet sobering words of encouragement. But it was enough to help her get perspective.

“There’s no trophy Ashley.”

Those were the four words Ashley Gibson’s husband uttered in the delivery room that changed her entire mindset. In total agony at the end of a long labour and weighing up whether she should have an epidural, her husband pointed out what all mums know – but which we all forget – that unlike football trophies or Academy Awards, there is no prize for parenting. But in this modern world where everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to pass judgement, too many mums get hung up on what they think they ‘should’ be doing – in labour and in general life – rather than what they actually want.

Ashley said it was “the best 4 words my husband could have said”, in a Facebook post that has since gone viral. 

“I was trying to talk to him between contractions on the verge of tears and he lovingly spoke lots of support and some truth into my universe with, ‘There’s no trophy Ashley.’ Then when I was fretting about supplementing with some formula those first few days and not wanting to feel like I was already failing at breastfeeding I heard those words again, ‘There’s no trophy Ashley’.”

husband's supportive words

Ashley with her newborn, Leo | Image source: Instagram (@ashley.j.gibson)

Take the pressure down

Her husband is 100 percent right. But in the newborn haze – hell, in the life haze – it can be easy to forget that no one is actually passing judgement on you… except you. And you need to give yourself a break. 

“As mums in today’s world it can feel like we’re all competing for a trophy that doesn’t exist. I literally thought in that delivery room that I would somehow be ‘less than’ a mother for tapping out and asking for the drugs. Like there would be a gold medal or AT LEAST a gold sticker on my medical chart for having a natural birth. And I felt like I was letting some invisible committee down when we bought formula to help him pass the amniotic fluid he had swallowed.” 

It’s so true. And it’s insane the ridiculous pressures we put on ourselves and each other. We feel like failures for having drugs, or a c-section, or using formula, or going back to work, or not going back to work or having a kid that doesn’t sleep or having a kid that doesn’t eat and it’s nuts. Parenting is hard enough without piling on imaginary pressure to do everything perfectly. 

husband's supportive words

Ashley has been sharing the highs – and lows – of her parenting journey. | Image: Instagram (@ashley.j.gibson)

“I want to invite you to relax into motherhood”

As Ashley said, “this list could go on forever”. And it could. From the minute women get pregnant to the minute their kids graduate high school (and probably beyond) it seems we’re weighing our achievements and our failures against each other. We have to stop. In sharing her viral post, Ashley hoped she might change a few mindsets.

“My husband has no idea how meaningful those words have been allowing me to relax into having a newborn again. And I wanted to invite you to relax into motherhood with me. Because the only trophy you’ll carry through life is the bond you create with your baby. And like I’ve said before, we all go home from the hospital with a big basket of mesh undies and sanitary pads the size of our newborns no matter how glamorous our Insta pics look.” 

Amen, sister. We couldn’t agree more.

This article was first published on Kidspot and was republished here with permission. 

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Written by

Kidspot Editor

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