I wanted to focus this blog on mothers; the opinions, expectations and ideals that most of us seem to have about ourselves, and the continuing battle to live up to an role that is forever challenging.
I have been listening to women, mothers, friends and colleagues who depreciate themselves regularly. Women who put down their looks, their achievements, their bodies, their lives in general. This critical analysis of oneself is a really hard cycle to get out of. There is also a perpetual guilt by mamas who are blessed with a child, and feel they can no longer enjoy their lives as they once did. These women often put their child’s needs above their own, and find it difficult to prioritise themselves.
Now, I know that there are days, when even simple self-hygiene and feeding ourselves properly, goes out the window, when there is a teething, colicky or clingy child. But there are also times when life is less full on, and these are the moments, even if they are rare, that we should jump on and make sure we give ourselves that time to care.
I believe if women stop sacrificing all their energy, effort, time and love, to their little one and give a proportion of that to themselves, they shine more. A happier mummy on the inside surely radiates through to those outer layers? Children are sensitive, and know when we are feeling melancholy. It is not selfish to give something back for yourself. After all, you are one truly awesome mama, who is raising another human being. Perhaps the most difficult, challenging, scary, monotonous, rewarding, heart warming, satisfying, special, loving, unconditional roles you will ever fulfil.
Maybe, instead making all those personal sacrifices (Such as taking the time to make them healthy meals from scratch, but then feeding yourself crackers and chocolate) and feeling that this is the only way you will be a good parent, acknowledge that love is the only requirement to becoming a super mum, and know that your needs matter too.
Your child may need you a lot when they are small, but there soon comes a time when they are more independent, and can amuse themselves. It is important to allow babies and children to foster a sense of independence, and I don’t mean letting your child cry for hours. After all babies needs to develop some limited self soothing skills such as providing lots of tummy time when he is awake or allowing him to reach for toys that are just out of his reach, or giving your child time to play with age appropriate toys by themselves.
Be positive about your mama role. I’m sure there are many things you are doing right. Be less hard on yourself if you bungle something. You are only human. Mother’s guilt is only natural and is the consequence of wanting to be a good mother to your child. However, in the end it will only weigh you down.
If we can nurture our inner child, and love ourselves with the same affection and understanding that we give our children, just think how full our buckets would be? What if we stopped all that self criticism or self doubt and guilt?
Instead of feeling like your best is not good enough, or you are not good enough, why not channel that energy to creating acts of care for yourself, such as making yourself a yummy nourishing breakfast to get you through your day, or having a long bath, even if it’s at 1 O’clock in the afternoon!
By looking after yourself, learning how to safely build on your emotional and physical strength, to cope with the demands of motherhood you’ll find that you feel lighter, happier, and more ready and willing to enjoy motherhood for the important and fulfilling experience that it is.