Parenting, Random Ramblings

Mum guilt & the pressure to be perfect

So, I’m just going to come right out and say it.

There’s way too much pressure on mums.

I think, even though we have the technology, and the stuff to make things easier these days, it feels like there’s so much more pressure on us now than there was for our parents.
There’s pressure to be some kind of a ‘label’
Helecopter mum
Crunchy mum
Attachment mum
Fun mum
Cool mum
I saw a woman in a Facebook parents group (which I’m sure are all the work of the devil btw) that was truly devastated – apparently she “couldn’t call herself a crunchy mum anymore, because she can’t breastfeed” – she’d picked out her label before she’d even had her baby, and the pressure to live up to that label was intense.

We feel guilty when we don’t achieve the unachievable standards set for us – Social media tells us we have to breast feed, socialise, buy only wooden toys, baby led wean, baby wear, playdates, craft, spend every moment with our kids but still teach them independence, never say the word no, but still discipline, be this, do that – Perfect parents posting perfect children, in our faces, all the time.
It’s exhausting, not to mention confusing.

And amongst all this, there’s the pressure not to change after becoming a mum. Like of course you’re going to change, you are responsible for a tiny human, you have a tiny human you have to put it’s needs above yours, you can’t do that without changing, at least a little – And there’s nothing wrong with that!

Whatever happened to just being a mum.
We get caught up in these labels that half the time we can’t live up to, and I do it too
Special needs mum
Stay at home mum
Wine mum
Coffee mum
I’ve given these labels to myself like they somehow define who I am, a badge of honour that I wear. Like I’ve forgotten that I’m also just me, a person all of my own, a unique mum that only my kids have. (Aren’t they the lucky ones! 😂)

We’re living in each other’s lives more than ever, every trip to the park edited, polished and uploaded.
Perfect, shiny, clean, smiling faces for all 500 ‘friends’ to see and think
‘fuck, I haven’t taken my kids to the park lately, I need to be better, do better. I’m failing’
again the guilt kicks in and we try harder. Nothing is really real but still we compete with everyone else’s perfect edited moments on social media and then get depressed when we fail.  When in reality we are only competing with ourselves, and failing no one.

I had a friend ask to come over the other day (side note/humble brag, I actually made a new friend! A real life one that drinks coffee and everything! 😁) and my first thought wasn’t that of excitement, it was
‘oh shit, is my house clean enough? Is Ella wearing appropriate clothes? Am I?’
As I hid the chook scraps under the sink, and changed out of my PJ pants. I wondered why? We walked in and I quickly closed the door to the theatre room that’s currently housing 3 baskets of washing waiting to be folded, half strewn all over the floor.
Why? Why did I do this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to eachother?
This pressure is coming from us and we need to stop. We need to focus more on being the mothers that we are, instead of trying to be what we think a mother should be.

So if you know mother, give her a break.

When you see the mum at the Supermarket with mussed up hair and trackies on, kids in their PJs with odd socks on
Give her a break, you don’t know what kind of day she’s had

That mum at the park, nose in her phone ignoring her kid shout for the 50th time “LOOK AT ME MUUUUUUM!!!!”
Give her a break, this might be the first

10 minutes she’s had to herself all day
The mum that’s always late to school, rushing in looking flustered
Give her a break, she might have had the worst morning of her life.

And most importantly, if you’re a mum, give yourself a damn break.

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