We live in a world where we are surrounded and bombarded by the look, the feel and ideal of motherhood. You know that patient, smiling, serene and in control image? Donning pale hues with crisp white palettes, not a smattering of vomit, snot nor drool to blemish her clothes. A glowing face, each lock of hair perfectly placed, with no suggestion of distress or overwhelm. Featured with littlies who appear equally unsmudged, divinely cherubic with endearing giggly features or, peacefully enveloped in nurturing arms.
Throw into the mix the edited poses of Face Book requirement, where the Snapchat and Insta smiles are posted to publicly demonstrate we’ve got this parenting gig under control.
For those whose working days are filled with notions of this dream-like scenario, who invest their millions in any attempt to sell; find me a real mother who could possibly live up to this expectation, this tortuous burden of societal ideal?
Is it any wonder that we have an army of women who can struggle to recognise their value and their worth in the complex, multi-tasking role that is motherhood?
Motherhood, it is a life-long journey of learning, where we selflessly prioritise the needs, the wants, desires of others and mundane tasks before ourselves. A position that offers no paid leave or sickness, a 24/7 on call roster, where to-do-lists plague our minds as we juggle multiple tasks each and every day.
Recently I spent some time with a group of gorgeous mothers who, when asked to share, seemed to have difficulty in identifying a “super mum” moment, some sense of achievement or accomplishment. The fact that all these women, many with multiple children, had little armies of juniors up and dressed, completed school runs, whilst also meeting the feeding demands of their very youngest; who had made it to my workshop before 09:30 am, armed with platters of home baking to share - their actions spoke volumes!
I wondered what time their days had started, how many had arrived surviving on minimal sleep?
I wondered how many had completed lunchboxes whilst attentively ensuring their little ones had headed out the door with bellies fueled by breakfast; with yet another load of laundry hung out to dry?
I wondered, how many had employed the patience of a saint, when reluctant bodies balked with the ticking time dictating action and deadlines?
I wondered how many had compromised their own need for nutrition, leaving half drunk, lukewarm cuppas as they cleared and stacked the fallout of others?
I wondered, how many had kissed and cuddled and reassured at school gates, whilst subconsciously tuning in and scanning the needs of their younger ones?
I wondered how many had already anticipated the checklist of what would be needed later that day; the swimmers, the leotard, the ballet shoes, the runners, the football?
I wondered how many had made the call for an appointment; the doctors, the nurse, the dentist, the school or, had sent reminders to partners that a bill was to be paid?
I wondered how many were steeling themselves, ready for the ensuing supermarket dash for supplies to refuel their family that evening, knowing that their young accomplices would be tired and reluctant to trail around?
As I looked at the faces and wondered why there were those who were distracted; maybe a touch of an overly warm child raised concern about teething, or symptoms of an incubating sickness?
And yet, they continued
to be gentle,
to be kind,
to be loving with their young ones.
And calmly, they offered friendship, support, encouragement and comfort to one another; an unspoken language that they each understood.
The image before me may not have "fit" the marketing agendas, nor complied with the screen law that is social media.
Here before me, was an image of unspoken inner strength, immeasurable love, incredible devotion; an example of personal, selfless investment.
Here, before me, was a room full of amazing women whose connectedness, whose instinct, whose tireless efforts continue minute by minute, day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year, without question.
These are mothers, real, amazing, incredible, awesome, beautiful SUPER MUMS!
Remember, this motherhood journey is ever changing with new chapters and forks in the road.
To be our best to our children, we need to take mindful action to be kind, to be real and to take care of ourselves.
Time to put ourselves at the top of the to-do-list
Time to schedule some me time, each and every week.
Time to accept and ask for help
Time to start a gratitude journal or jar
Time to take moments to reflect on all that we achieve
Time to reward ourselves
We are not superwomen, nor should it be expected. So let go the expectations, they are not ours to serve.
We are hands on learners, awesome mummas who are doing our best. If we fail to take care of us, how can we possibly be expected to take care of the next generation?
Whatever your struggles or challenges, I’m here for you and I’d love to help:)
Connect with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"In support of the motherhood journey - always."