We’re surrounded by a wealth of resources and services that offer information and advice as to the how’s and why’s and what to do’s of raising our children. At the press of a button we can have a plethora of information on any particular topic we need. So safe to say, it’s all there for our taking isn’t it?
Add to that, social media “shows” us how other mums are doing it…… the smiles, the laughs, the “cutee” moments; what next milestone has been achieved; baby slept through the night; he’s walking; she’s got her first tooth……..and the list goes on! The perfect life, the competent, “got it all together” mum is plain for us to see.
Enter stage left……LIFE!!
You see, what I’ve come to understand, both in my personal journey as a mum, as well as in my professional career, is this.......... none of us, not one of us, is, has, or ever will be, born a parent. Irrespective of our circumstances, our finances, our significant others, our address, we all start the journey of motherhood as newbie’s with much to learn!
So why is it that so many of us feel like we’re supposed to know it all? And, if we don’t (because let’s face it there is no dress rehearsal), we’re often left feeling incompetent, overwhelmed, even a failure? Why do so many of us work so hard at our public face, trying to show that we’re doing just fine, that we’ve got this under control, when in reality, we do have very real struggles, uncertainties and genuine fears?
I think motherhood is one of the most challenging jobs. Don’t get me wrong, there are huge rewards and the emotional return is like no other; it’s precious, beautiful, funny and amazing. On the other hand, we’re bombarded by the look, the feel and the ideal of motherhood; we should be smiley, coiffured and “in control.” For many of us we feel judged, compared and critiqued by others, and often, our greatest critics can be ourselves.
I have heard and seen the fallout of the expectations, whether real or perceived. It can reduce us to tears, undermine us and gnaw away silently. There are many mothers who, metaphorically speaking, beat themselves up; who quietly, behind closed doors, struggle because they feel like they are not living up to expectations.
Isn't it time to take a stand; to be brave enough to not let the expectations steal our time and energy; to allow ourselves to be just good enough?
Isn't it time to focus on what makes us and our child happy. Will he/she remember they grew up in a super tidy home or, will they value the relaxed, happy moments they shared with you?
Try to share your struggles, your internal battles; you may be surprised how many others will relate and share too.
Trust your instinct and do what feels right for you and your child. There’ll always be family, friends, and complete strangers too, who will feel it their right to offer you advice; so choose to listen to those whose opinion you really value and, to the rest, simply smile and wave!
The journey of motherhood is a learning game, ever changing, with new directions and forks in the road. Let’s keep it real and start being kind to ourselves knowing, that for the most part, we’re doing our best with what we have and that's good enough!
To those who are ready……………#motherhood#letskeepitreal!