Insights on life – Being a mom.
I am by no means a fantastic mom. In fact often I am a terrible mom. So I’m going to find it very difficult to give you any kind of advice. But I can give you insights about what is working for me, and you can apply them as you like.
Happy Mom, Happy everything else
When my first child was born I planned to go back to work when he was six months old. I loved to work, I felt that it defined me, and I missed it very much while I was on maternity leave. But there is so much information for Moms about working moms versus stay at home mums and what is best for the child. I read a particularly upsetting book that told me that boys didn’t well in childcare, it made them think they were unloved.
The truth is you don’t make the decision based on what is best for the child, you make the decision based on what is best for the mother. If you are miserable, the child will sense this and be unhappy to. If you are happy working then work, just make sure your child is in some sort of half decent childcare.
Pick your battles
If your three year old wants to come to the shops dressed like Spiderman, let her. As long as the costume is appropriate for the weather and none of her bits are showing, why does it matter? Before you become a parent you have lots of opinions and positions that you think will be put into place once your little treasure is born. In reality your treasure will argue vehemently against every single thing you try to implement. So pick your battles, unless you want to argue literally every waking minute. Let go of the things that don’t matter too much and say ‘Yes’ as often as you can. As long as they’re not hurting themselves or anyone else or breaking anything, let it go. You will be far less exhausted, and your child will probably like you more.
Perfection is not possible and will make you crazy
I have spent a lot of time trying to be the perfect mom raising the perfect kids. And it made me very anxious and very exhausted. There is no such thing as perfection so you need to stop looking for it. There are no ‘shoulds’, there are only ‘coulds’. There is no ‘I should have done that’ but only ‘I could have done that. But I didn’t, so I’ll know for next time and move on with my life.’
Do not attempt to emulate the beautiful lives you see on Facebook because they DO NOT EXIST. Do not live your life based on what other people might be thinking of you. The ones who think badly of you are not people you want to be friends with anyway. Actually reading Facebook is probably not the most healthy thing to do to your self-esteem, but what can you do, turn it off?
Kind and Happy and Loved
This is what I am raising my kids to be, full stop. They do not need to be perfect, talented, brilliant, successful, rich, popular, or beautiful. They need to know they are loved and supported. They need to strive to make their lives happy ones. And to the best of their ability they need to be kind and considerate of others. And if I raise them to be these people, then I will have been a good mom.