It has never been easy being a mum, but in today’s world with social media pressuring them in unique ways it has become more difficult. Women are literally inundated with images and ideas of what they should be doing and what their children should be doing. The image of perfection is everywhere.
The truth is that being a mum is hard. Really hard and there is no such thing as the perfect mother. For the sake of mothers and children everywhere it’s time to lift the lid on the modern myths that are making many mothers miserable.
Myth 1 – Motherhood will make you happy
The love we have for our children is incredible and life changing but it does ntot sugar coat the rest of our lives. Financial problems don’t disappear, family fights still happen and it is very easy for new mothers to ‘lose’ a sense of themselves. Although motherhood is magical in many ways it is the not the magical pill to happiness.
Myth 2 – There is a right and wrong way to mother.
Just like there is no such thing as a perfect mother there is also no such thing as a right or wrong way to mother. Just as every child is different, so too is every parent. What works for one family will not necessarily work for another family.
Myth 3 – A good mother feels an immediate bond with her baby after birth
Many women feel an instant bond or love for their baby immediately. Other women can be surprised to feel nothing at all. Not feeling an instant surge of love for your child does not make you are bad mother. It takes some women weeks and even months to bond with their newborn. And that is okay!
Myth 4 – All other mothers are coping better than me
Just because other mothers put a smile on their face and dress in something other than active wear does not mean they are coping better than you.
Myth 5 – A good mother always puts the needs of her children and partner ahead of her own
It is easy to fall for the pre-conceived idea that being a ‘good mother’ means putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own. Being a good mother does not equal neglecting yourself. Many mothers feel guilty about taking time off to do something for themselves when taking care of your own needs can better equip you to take care of the needs of others.
Myth 6 – A good mother cooks every night and has a clean house
This concept really needs to be put to bed. Looking after your child (and yourself) is far more important than a well dusted home and a roast for dinner. Focus on the essentials and remember everything will be done in time. Children remember memories rather than a clean house.
Myth 7 – Good mothers are stay at home mothers.
There appears in some circles to be the sentiment that to be a really good mother that you need to be a full time mother whose every hour needs to be devoted to nurturing her children. Whilst on the other hand, hard-working mothers are often faced with the perception that they are neglectful of their children and perhaps even endangering their emotional development. At the end of the day, one is not better than the other. The hilarious thing about the is that then stay at home mothers are often asked the question “what do you do all day” whilst at the same time media inundates us with images of ‘Super Mums’ who can juggle a career and motherhood whilst wearing a pair of stilettos. The whole concept of stay-at-home vs working mums is ridiculous. You cannot win this argument so stop trying!
Myth 8 – Good Mothers do not yell at their kids
Ok well then 99.9% of the worlds’ mothers need to be struck off the good mother’s list because it is more than likely that even the saintliest of mothers has been driven to yell at their child at some point. Probably the amount of yelling is a factor. Some families are simply more shouty than others but let’s get one thing clear yelling at your child does not equate being a bad mother.
Myth 9 – Our children’s poor choices reflect poor parenting
Your child is going to make mistakes, get in trouble at school and behave badly at day-care. You are not a failure if your child throws a tantrum at the supermarket or bites another child in the playground. Your child’s stuff ups do not make you a bad parent. Use these experiences as a learning curve to try and teach your child to behave differently in the future.