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Do we put too much pressure on ourselves?

Busy mother trying to work and feed kid at the same timeIt’s so easy to overthink motherhood.

Am I doing this right? We are our own biggest judges. We internalise our doubts, guilt and anger over the most frustrating scenarios and then beat ourselves up about our perceived failures.

Motherhood is a juxtaposition of wanting it all and knowing honestly that’s not possible. There are sacrifices to be made and usually by you. You do them willingly for the good of your family but a border of resentment can taint the unfairness, inequality and unreasonable nature of the unspoken demands placed on the mother who dare not complain because this is what she wanted.

Being a mother is the best feeling on earth, holding your precious babies, watching them grow, knowing that every decision and action you make for them is an investment in their future. It’s also exhausting and hard work!

READ: What would you do if you had the power of infinite time as a parent?

It’s so easy for older mothers/grandmothers to compare themselves against the current generation of mothers and think ‘why is she struggling?’. They think ‘I had more children and managed it all without today’s modern conveniences, facilities and technological advances’.

Every generation sits in judgement of the one before and the one after, but the world has changed and so have the pressures on women. Gone is the time when a man came home from work and if the house was tidy, the kids behaving and there was a hot meal on the table, then the woman was a good wife and mother.

The new norm is a stressed wife and mother who works to boost her family’s income to the perceived detriment of her children’s emotional needs, if you choose to stay at home you are viewed as not contributing financially, if you work part-time you are failing in areas at home and at work. No wonder so many women suffer from anxiety and depression.

The demands on the modern woman are sometimes unachievable and debilitating. From the moment you conceive you devour every little bit of information that you hope will make you the best Mummy you can be. Yet starting with the way you give birth the judgement is never-ending.

What exactly constitutes a good mother?

Do I need to breastfeed, cook organic, stay at home or achieve work/life balance, start my family when I’m financially settled, limit screen time, lose the baby weight swiftly, have a strict routine, consistent discipline, supplement their education with extra-curricular activities, sacrifice, have a spotless house, have well-behaved kids with manners and consideration for others at all times…

I think a good mother is one who loves her kids, would do anything for them and is trying to raise them the best way she knows how. The reward for the endless demands – healthy, smiling kids who love you to the moon and back.

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2 comments so far -

  1. I felt like I had let my daughter down when I couldnt breast feed normally. I had to express as she wouldnt attach properly. When she was 7 weeks old my mother died suddenly and I struggled even more, felt guilty and hated myself. I have been going through post partum depression since my daughter was born and gained weight to lessen the grief of losing mum. I felt so bad about myself. Its almost 12 months since mum died and I still grieve but I am getting better I suppose. My mother in law puts pressure on me as she wants to potty train her at 12 months, she looks after her 4 days while I am at work and expects me to do the training when I am not working but funny enough I feel sadder when I am not working and feel the pressure to be the perfect mother. I never asked her to potty train and she never asked me if that was ok for her to do. I would like to do that for esther anyway. I miss alot already while at work. Its difficult to even like her and when I feel frustrated I miss my mother even more. At times I dont feel supported. Ive got even more to share but dont want to make others feel sad.

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