Hi all! Sir Post-A-Lot here saying howdy after a long, long hiatus. It’s been a busy time here at The Mind and we’ve been working our little cotton socks off to try and keep on top of things. So here it goes! Today we bring a brilliant piece by one of our very own, Rozy! She talks about motherhood, and how sometimes, our own expectations and expected judgements can get in the way of us being the best moms that we can be. It’s almost like because we’re so worried about being good moms, we lose sight of doing what matters, being a mom!
So if you’re a mom, or a mom-to-be, read on below and enjoy! Sir Post-A-Lot signing off!
Mommy-hood can be quite challenging especially when society tends to place a lot of judgments and expectations on moms doing mommy–stuff or making mommy–decisions. This includes whether you choose to feed your child formula milk, or going back to work once your maternity leave is over. Having various sets of requirements on how to be a good mom, some moms feel that they’re unfit to be moms, some moms are just lost, uncertain of what to do, while some moms feel horrible that they lost their temper when their child misbehaved in public. But mommy-hood is undeniably, one of the toughest jobs in the world, regardless whether you’re a working mom or not. So, the question is, how do you know if you’re a bad mom or a good mom?
Unfortunately, there is no grading system when it comes to mommy-hood. Moms are constantly challenged by all these different ideas on how to carry out their mommy roles accordingly. There are thousands of you should and you shouldn’t in all the different parenting books and blogs we come across. Fret not, I intend on making things much simpler for all the moms out there who are reading this.
Instead of the usual you-should-and-you-shouldn’t-do list, I prefer discussing the few important things that it’s OKAY to do as moms. Now, let’s have a look at these misconceptions revolving around bad moms. The first on the list is;
Putting yourself first does NOT make you a bad mom.
Before you can love or care for someone else (no matter how cute your toddler is), you need to love yourself first. It’s okay to continue your yoga routine every Sunday morning or buy that beige KitchenAid mixer you’ve always wanted or even have those sinful custard-filling donuts with your friends at Jaslyn Cakes. Just remember that a happy mom makes a happy child. You can’t possibly make your child happy if you yourself aren’t happy.
No doubt there will be times where moms probably have to choose between getting a Chanel no.5 perfume or that cute Ralph Lauren dress for their 2-year old toddler. No matter what your decision is, do not sacrifice your own happiness for others. I’m not suggesting you should get the perfume, but if you do choose to get that dress instead, do it with a willing heart because we don’t want moms saying things like, “see, because of you I can’t buy my Chanel no.5 perfume!”.
This leads me to the second point;
Not wanting to make certain sacrifices does NOT make you a bad mom.
I’m very well aware that some working moms love their jobs – it’s part of their self-identity. Quitting their jobs sometimes would mean losing a significant part of themselves. What I’d like to highlight here is that, it is okay to pursue a career you’re passionate about. In fact, you shouldn’t sacrifice it just because you have a child.
This is somewhat related to what I’ve discussed in the previous point. If making certain sacrifices makes you unhappy, then you shouldn’t. If quitting your job makes you unhappy, then don’t. In making such choices, perhaps the best question to ask yourself is, how much will this affect myself, and then my child. It’d also be great if you could reflect on what makes you, you. If you like being a 9 – 5 banker and 5 – 9 mom, that’s perfectly fine too. Just remember to take a breather when you can.
Onto the next point;
Being unable to conceal your emotions does NOT make you a bad mom.
You’re a human being first before you’re a mom. It’s absolutely normal to break down in tears after having an argument with your husband over something trivial like leaving the toilet seat up, or after discovering his extra-marital affair. It’s an unhealthy practice for anyone to repress their emotions for the sake of others. Neither am I suggesting that you should fight with your spouse in front of your children, but rather, it’s okay to show them how you feel. Additionally, there’s a valuable life lesson that you’re teaching them – that it’s okay to cry when you feel sad. Anger, however, is a different story altogether.
I’ve heard of moms who would lock themselves up in the room, afraid of letting their child see them in such vulnerable state – and that’s fine too. Just be careful not to be detached or abandon your emotions at any point. Just remember that you’re entitled to feel these emotions and it’s okay to cry in front of your children. You are, in fact, showing them what it’s like to be human.
Last but not least;
Not knowing what to do sometimes does NOT make you a bad mom.
It is perfectly fine to feel lost, drowned in the waves of uncertainty while running this whole mommy-hood show. You can be the most experienced mom after having 5 children and still feel clueless because they each have different personalities and needs. What’s effective for one child may not be as effective with the other, and it feels as though you’re back to square one. True, it’s not rocket science, it’s harder.
So, when this happens, take a deep breath because #thestruggleisreal, and know that you’re not alone. In fact, I find it amazing how most moms take up so much initiatives in doing their mommy duties. This includes making the best-tasting celery juice or sneaking shredded broccoli into their chicken pie. Essentially, the idea here is that, moms often find their way as they go along despite feeling lost and frustrated at some points during mommy-hood. Embrace that uncertainty and trust your awesome mommy-instincts, cause you’re awesome in your own right!
To conclude this, I’d say there will never be two of the same moms because we’re all unique in our own way. Thus, all moms should strive to just be themselves, be authentic. It’s okay if you’re not too sure about cooking, there’s always McDonalds. It’s okay if you’re horrible at ironing, placing it under the bed might do the job. Essentially, you will be the happiest when you’re the truest to yourself. Till then, have faith and keep rocking mommy-hood!