Motherhood Is Not A One Size Fits All
Being a mother is challenging on its own. The hardest hurdle is postpartum. This is when mothers are receiving comments and advices from all ends leaving them usually at a crossroads. Now, difference between being at a crossroads when you weren’t a mom vs when you are a mom is A LOT different. Majorly, as a mom, whatever decision you make most often impacts your little one/family but making decisions as a non-mom, would almost only effect you.
Therefore, with the responsibilities of a mother being hard enough as it is to bear, adding on external pressures from families and friends can be very stressful to any mother. This is something every new mom will learn along the way because society has somewhat formed a “societal standard” of what a good mom should be and this will ride on you till the day you learn for yourself – THAT YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!
So here I am to tell you that there is no reason to put unnecessary pressure on yourself, mommas because truth be told, motherhood is not a one size fits all. Just like breastfeeding, just like co-sleeping and just like every other parenting skill in the book, no one method or approach is going to suit a mother and child relationship perfectly as it would to another. Motherhood is meant be raw, its meant to be messy, its meant to be as nerve-wrecking but exhilarating as how it already feels between you and your baby 💓.
But it is only natural for all of us to start to wonder, “are we even doing this right?”. I can bet you you’ve already asked yourself this question Day 1 since becoming a mother 😂 Hence normally, once the self-questioning window is opened, the next two questions is inevitable – “am I a good mom?” and “how do I become a good mom?”.
What Is A Good Mother? Do They Exist?
Well, I’m happy to be the bearer of good news 🤗
NO THEY DON’T!
There is not one single mother that has not questioned herself. Believe me, no matter how well that mother you know looks as if she’s got it all figured out, trust me honey, she doesn’t. Every mother struggles with these self-doubts daily. The moment things go wrong with our children or baby, automatically the focus and blame shifts to us. We immediately somewhat blame ourselves by questioning, “is it something we did to have caused this?”
In times of uncertainty, it’s easy to overanalyze (why are we embedded this way?) and we begin to tick off every criteria that we feel makes one a “good mother” and see how we fair from it.
So how do we define, “a good mother”?
First of all, I need to make it clear that a good mother does NOT mean perfection. A good mother is:
- someone who recognizes her faults, her weaknesses, admits them and tries her best again.
- Selfless in almost every way possible but she still recognizes that she matters too and that “me-time” is essential for her to reconnect with herself in order for her to care for her family.
- Someone who tries to strike a balance for their children by teaching them the rights and wrongs even through challenging times.
- Encouraging. As easy as it seems to “baby” our kids, we know that sometimes tough love allows them the wings to fly but at the end of they day, we will still be there for them when they need us most.
Personally, I could go on. But that would mean I will be describing all you mommas who are reading this 😉. A good mother is each one of you who makes mistakes and still strives to be your best. Therefore, not only does it makes you a good mother, it makes you a REAL mother.
How To Be A Real Mom
Let’s tackle this age-old question once and for all and let me prove to you that you are already a real (good) mom.
1. Releasing your inner critic
- Please don’t ever go down the dark road of comparing yourself to another parent. Just like how every child is different, no two mothers will have the same parenting technique and that is okay. We are our worst critic and comparing ourselves to a seemingly “perfect” mother we see on Instagram, is a bad habit we tend to do.
- What we don’t realize at that moment is that we’re comparing our worst to their best. Therefore when you realize this and use your inner critic positively, that makes you a good mom.
2. Your best is good enough
- We’re constantly striving to give our best but when we feel as if it isn’t, that’s when the problem begins. Let’s turn this perspective. When we feel our best efforts fall short, do we stop to think of how our child sees it? For example, you not being able to afford the exact toy your child wants, would they know that? But instead they will probably hold on to the fun memories they had with it and never realize how much backlash you gave yourself for it.
- Most often, kids hold on to memories better than they would of the things they don’t have. You’re a champ, Mama.
3. Selfcare is key
- Looking after yourself is fundamental to being able to mom. What happens when you’re sick? We seek a solution right? And most often that comes with prescribed medicine and strict instructions to REST. Same rule applies to healthy mothers.
- The more you go on without some time out, the more likely you will feel stressed, unappreciated and unmotivated. So moms, take time out for you. Do some yoga, enjoy your hot cup of coffee, bake whatever you like, just as long as you feel recharged to continue being a good mom.
4. Secret is in the smallest things
- Even as we grow older, it’s always the simple pleasure in life that makes it all priceless. Children too, especially when they’re young, tend go enjoy the simplest things. Notice how your child prefers the remote over his new toy? Yup, that’s an example 😂.
- And those elaborate birthday parties, are they for mommy or are they for baby? If you can afford it, why not! But if you can’t, please don’t beat yourself over not being to splurge on your child. At such a young age, they only remember so much. So do yourself and your kid a favor and create a special memory instead. They will hold on to memories and feelings even longer than a birthday party could ever last 💖
5. Communication is vital
- They might seem so little, but kids understand a lot more than they give off. As a mom, communication is key throughout motherhood. We have to understand that kids convey things differently and sometimes it’s more in action and less in words.
- Which also means, it takes a simple gestures as a hug, a pat, or a little reminder telling them we’re here for them, is all that they need. So taking it upon ourselves to figure out their cues and interests makes us real moms who are trying.
6. Treat your kids as their own individual
- One of the ways you can make your child feel special is by treating them as their own individual. Have separate dates with them. It not only makes them feel important but it also creates a safe space for them to communicate with you freely without the judgements of their other siblings.
- Use this time to learn, connect emotionally and communicate with your child so that they know they can also count on you.
7. Setting reasonable expectations
- Now this is an important one, mommas. Setting yourself reasonable expectations helps you keep stress at bay. Your house won’t be spotless all the time and it’s okay. You’re still co-sleeping your baby, and it’s okay. There are so many things that are unexpected of us, therefore, setting reasonable goals is much easier for you and your family.
8. Do less well
- You are not a robot. There is only so much that you can multitask at once. Work-life balance can be hard (yes, stay-at-home moms work too!) hence, always remember that you can do anything, but not Be kind to your body, always.
9. "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime"
- Discipline is no joke. We as moms, need to set some ground rules and when the going gets tough, sometimes it means stepping our foot down and letting them know we mean business. It may seem cruel to some but follow your instincts, Mamas. You know your child best. Make them understand that bad behavior comes with consequences.
10. Allow your kids to fail
- A mistake that many moms make is micro-managing their child. Let them come to their own with your assistance. Not dictation. Most of our life’s lesson is sometimes learning things the hard way. So if this is the route your child decides to take, be there with warning but also comfort them when needed.
My boss mamas, always remember that you are good enough and good enough is all that you need. Motherhood is never easy, but once you start believing that you ARE enough, everything will fall into place because its in the act of actively trying, that’s what makes you a good mom. A REAL MOM.
Some of these tips may not apply to you new moms, but take this with you through your motherhood journey and you will see how easy postpartum can be too if you just be kinder to yourself.
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