Motherhood “Stop Beating Yourself Up!”
I’m not even sure where to begin, so please excuse my ranting but I need to get it off my chest. I’m so over do this, do that, this is way, you’re doing it wrong, research shows this, this doctor say that, the other doctor disagrees entirely with the first doctor, research shows mums are tired -really? They needed to research that? They should have just stopped at a school morning drop off and asked the mums’ there. There is an overload of judgement and advice which we are constantly bombarded with that it is driving me insane. But what concerns me the most is that all the advice is making us mothers feel worse. I know, I too advise but more so on child behaviour and development but I really really try to write from my work experience and case studies and I certainly don’t want any mother feeling worse after reading my blog or Facebook tips. I know sometimes I write a quick tip that may be interpreted wrongly and for that I apologise, sometimes I write a tip and don’t realise it can have a double meaning.
Motherhood is 24/7
Parenting and Motherhood is 24/7, even when your kids have left home (which may seem ages away), once you have a child and you become a mother and commit to bringing your child up, then that is it, it’s a life time thing in many cases. So if you consider you are a parent /mum for life you need to give yourself some slack and a bit of a mental break in your own head, otherwise you will end up burn out, sick and incredibly miserable. Unfortunately or Fortunately we can look at this both ways - this is it -this is motherhood. There are times when you are totally over it and that’s OK, that is normal and there are times when your kid does or says something that stabs you so hard in the heart in a good way that it cancels out the days you were over it.
I posed a question on Facebook ? “Parenting” If YOU only have three words to describe it what would those three words be ?” These are just some of the words:
Adventurous, Tiring, Loving, Exhilarating, Exciting, Exhausting, Challenging, Rewarding, Love, Memorable, Blessing. Bittersweet, Over-rated, Educating, Insane, Understanding, Bemusing, Tiring, Protect, Respect, Fun, Joy, Huge, Satisfying, Chaotic, Noisy, Busy, OMG, Exasperating, Laughter, Lovely, Rewarding, Hard,Fantastic, Horrible, Unmissable, Difficult and Heart -Swelling.
There are plenty more I’m sure to describe parenting and motherhood and they would all be right, there are no wrong answers, it is every adjective and emotion ever known. You just don’t know them until you become a parent or mother. This is it we are doing it, we have days which are total shockers, it’s just one thing after another but one way or another we seem to get through them. These OMG days would probably not be any different, they would have still occurred no matter what you tried, certain things in life are out of our control, it’s the way we handle the stuff that gets thrown at us on a daily basis and with all the palaver out there telling us what to do, we are starting to doubt ourselves, our own values and our own way of doing things.
Our expectations are all different, our lives our all different, our children are all different, there is no one fool proof way of doing anything. We learn as we go, we stumble along and take the good with the bad. With the super influx of social media this judgement and 24 /7 advice is only going to get bigger and more in our faces, so we are going to have to learn to switch off and say well that’s not for me.
Motherhood you are doing it !
Through my work, through blogging and through my own life I know many of us had traumatic childhoods; sexual abuse, dealing with alcoholism, mental abuse and so many other horrendous factors, yet here we are being mothers to the best of our ability, loving our children with all our hearts making sure they do not have to deal with a childhood that is traumatic. Unfortunately life can still throw us still some real big traumatic issues, the loss of a partner, the loss of a loved one, illness, disability, sickness, depression, single parenting, divorce really the list is endless, yet we continue, we feel totally urgh on some days and then we add guilt, stress and anxiety, read someone telling us how motherhood and parenting should be and we feel even worse, yet one way or another do mange to pick ourselves up and continue. I’m tired and saddened that we take everything we hear or read and let it effect us and question ourselves.
Behaviour is so very complex, I struggle to get my head round it too. So I’ve learnt to keep away from what I don’t fully understand or go research it some more, I’ve learnt that I parent my way and my kids are doing just fine, even though I’ve screwed up some things along the way, I’ve apologise and moved on. I’ve learnt that the media like the scandalous headlines and I really don’t care that research says if I do the school drop off in my PJ’s I’m sending my child the wrong message. My children are loved unconditional and that’s the most important message of all.
People may say “Snap out of it”, “Look at the bigger picture”, ”There are others worse of than you” -which I find totally unhelpful and leave me feeling a million times worse. What we feel emotionally is valid, it’s learning slowly how to deal with these emotions and this is something only you can do. Whether it’s venting with a friend, finding something you can outlet what your feeling or simply accepting the emotion and carrying on or stopping for a while to clear your head. If certain people make you feel bad about yourself, then they are no longer required -move on, it’s hard but better in the long run. There are again no fool proof ways to stop beating yourself up but imagine speaking to your close friend the way the voice in your head speaks to you, personally I’d tell them to take a hike. I also like to journal and over the years I’ve learnt to comminucate what I’m feeling to my partner whether its good or bad, or I get on the phone and blurt it all out to a girlfriend, I also found my happiness project very grounding for me.
Although it is hard to get out of the habit of beating ourselves up, it is doable over time, we will instinctively still do it as we are mums and we set ourselves some very high standards which is then reinforced by what we read and hear, then there will also be someone who is bound to voice their opinion too, making us feel like a failure when in reality we are not. An opinion is someone else’s thought, not yours you don’t have to take it on board. Your values, your children, your motherhood journey – well it is just YOU that is what is important and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Stop, stop stop beating yourself up, stop stop stop before using harsh words against another parent -mother, father or carer, stop stop stop believing all you read about how you should be parenting, stop stop stop letting others make you feel worthless, stop stop stop getting caught up in arguments that don’t effect you or your family, stop stop stop thinking you know someone’s whole life, stop stop stop and be proud of who you are, stop stop stop and try and find a happy moment no matter how small everyday.
Do you think we are being too hard on ourselves ? Is there an overload of parenting information and research which is now accessible 24/7 with social media?