Mum guilt, something you gain the second you find out your growing a tiny human.
They say when pregnant you should exercise … but not too much, you should eat right … but only certain foods, you should embrace every second of being pregnant … even when you feel sick 24/7 and look like a whale. When you have the baby, you should breastfeed … but not in public, you should co sleep … but don’t spoil your baby, you should have a routine … but not let your baby cry! I have one question for you … who are THEY? because I never want to meet them.
Being a parent is the most wonderful experience, the love you feel when you meet your tiny bundle (or in my case larger bundles 9lbs and 8lbs9oz!) is like nothing else. But it’s also bloody hard. It’s sad to say but I feel judged by professionals, people with no children and other parents on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong not by everyone and most of the time I am just plodding along with my life, but we as parents all know that feeling of getting the look when you child is playing up or when you are doing something not seen as ‘perfect parenting’.
I also think I, along with many other parents put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I would love to be carefree all of the time but I’m not and I do worry about being the best mummy I can be. Now I also suffer with anxiety and OCD so I do struggle with trying to be perfect all the time but I’m working on that.
My experience of motherhood started out badly, I’ve wrote a blog post about how my boys came into the world (a note to my boys). Being only 24 at the time I felt like I needed to be perfect for people to take me seriously as a mummy. I remember trying and trying to breastfeed in the hospital and not being able to do it, after weeks of me trying, suffering with pain, guilt and pressure, I was told my body wasn’t producing milk like it was supposed to and that I should stop trying. After that it was so much easier for me to get through the days, I knew something wasn’t right but I kept trying until someone told me its ok to stop … I often ask myself why it took hearing it from someone else for me to stop? Why didn’t I trust myself … mum guilt is the answer.
With age, I’ve gained confidence in my mothering instinct, I believe with my whole heart that a mother knows what her baby needs, more than anyone else. There have been times I’ve trusted my instinct about the boys when people have told me I’m wrong and its turned out I was right all along. But that still doesn’t stop me feeling like I’m doing something wrong …
As a wife of a husband that works away in the week it’s just me and my boys 5 out of 7 days a week, so I feel a lot of mum guilt as a lot of decisions and the care of the boys is down to me, on those days, which means if something happens to them, if they get hurt that’s down to me too. I’m very lucky as my boys are very well behaved, polite boys … but they definitely have their moments! There have been days when they are not feeling the listen to mummy vibes and play up like any child does, when we get the looks for that from people that’s fair enough they are probably being feral, but when we get the look when they are just being little boys that’s what gets to me. Some days I find myself telling them to quiet down or not run when they are just being 6 and 3-year olds… I would worry more if they never got loud or ran. I think people need to cut kids (and parents) a bit of slack.
I really feel whatever parents do these days we get judged, post too many photos on social media we are over the top, don’t post any and we don’t care about our kids, have a routine and you’re not caring for your baby’s needs but more to yours, don’t have a routine and do as your baby wants and your setting yourself up for a fall, rock your baby to sleep and your spoiling them, let them fall asleep alone and you won’t bond with your child. The list goes on and on, we can’t win … but I think we can win, by doing what you think is right for you and your baby, because at the end of the day the only people it affects is your family unit.
Modern mummy’s and daddy’s we need to stand together and say yes, our children lose the plot sometimes (doesn’t everyone?), yes, we are not perfect, yes, we let them eat treats to keep them quiet, yes, we hide under the stairs just to get a hot cuppa in peace and no we don’t have a clue what we are doing in this mad world called parenthood but we love every second of it! So, judge us if you wish but know we are judging you right back for forgetting that children need childhoods and parents need a break. At the end of it all isn’t the most important thing that our children are happy?
Here’s to all the perfectly imperfect mummy’s (and daddy’s) … that lose their shit sometimes…