As mums, there’s an expectation for us to perform at our best and be able to give 100% to everything. The funny thing is that this expectation is primarily something that we put on ourselves.
We expect to be able to transition from being single or in a relationship, to adding a whole new tiny person into our lives who is completely unable to do anything for themselves. Which, let’s face it, is one of the hardest and most life-changing alterations that we will ever go through.
How on earth can we expect ourselves to transition seamlessly into it?
But we do…
As much as we put pressure on ourselves, we have pressure coming at us from social media and television, as well as friends who are making motherhood look easy. All of this leads us to believe that becoming a mother is not only simple, but that it will allow us to thrive like those mums on Instagram. And this simply isn’t true.
I think that this is why it was so hard for me, personally, to ask for help during the first few months of my daughter’s life. I felt as though I wanted to prove to everybody that I could do this alone, I wanted to put out the image that I was born to be a mum. And part of me does feel like I was born to be a mum, but there’s also a big part of me that had no idea what I was supposed to be doing and how to do it right.
But there is no right!
And maybe that’s the most important thing…
If we don’t feel as though we are slotting perfectly into everybody’s idea of how to do motherhood ‘right’, we feel like we’ve failed ourselves, our children, and everybody else’s perception of motherhood. So admitting that we don’t know exactly what we’re doing becomes even harder. Because basically, that means that we’re openly admitting to people that we think we might be doing something wrong.
And no mum wants anybody to think that they’re doing something wrong.
Mommy Mindpower has helped me to release my self-doubt and know that I am doing the best job that I can in this journey into motherhood. Simply having an external voice recognising my self-doubt, encouraging me to let go of it, and bring me into a state of calm makes me feel so much stronger and able to verbally talk about any doubt I have of myself as mother and when I need a bit of help.
The session “Ditch the Self-Doubt” guides me through envisioning an outdoor space where I can feel peaceful in my abilities as a mum, and supports me in the vision that I have of myself as somebody that was born to be a mum. Because really, even when we have no idea what we’re doing, we are doing our best! And that’s what makes us mothers...
It’s time we opened up to each other about the struggles of motherhood, without feeling like we’re devaluing our abilities in the process!
Admitting help, or even admitting defeat, doesn’t mean that we aren’t doing an incredible job at being mums. All it means is that we are being real, and opening up the channel for other mums to feel comfortable talking about their struggles. Imagine living in a world where we had insight into the behind-the-scenes home-life of the most picture-perfect mums, and how great it would make us feel to know that even they aren’t getting it “right” all of the time.
Maybe you’re one of the picture-perfect mums without realising it! Maybe by opening up and being honest about the aspects of motherhood that you struggle with and need help with, others will be empowered to do the same.
Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others. Let’s stop feeling crappy. Let’s stop pretending that we’ve got this totally under control. And let’s start opening up about how we feel, and inviting others in to help us. Even if that help is just a friendly chat over coffee.
And if you’re talking to a new mum - or an ‘experienced’ mum for that matter - don’t forget to ask her how she’s doing instead of just telling her how wonderfully she appears to be doing. It’s hard to admit defeat when everybody says how great you look and how much motherhood suits you. Let’s open up the gates to have these conversations amongst ourselves.
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