Aside from the fact you won’t sleep for pretty much the first year and it will feel like HELL (soz, it’s true), the most important thing nobody tells you about motherhood (first-time motherhood to be specific), is that you’re not expected to be a great mum at the start. Yes, you need to keep your baby safe, fed and watered, but like any new job, you’re not meant to excel on day 1 so please don’t put pressure on yourself to win some self-invented New Mum of the Year award, yeah.
My kids are now 9 and 6 years old and while I sometimes still feel like I’m failing (I was def Shouty Mum today), for the most part, it’s taken this frickin’ long to feel I’m pretty decent in my important job of all. 9 years!
I know my kids more each day as their personalities develop and change, and they are both my greatest teachers. They must grow in order for me to.
My sons, over the years have given me the experience and insight to become a good mum. I’ve learned that my biggest lessons come from my children. They set the bar we as parents rise up to in order to meet their individual needs. We guide, support and love them.
Why am I writing this?
For those about to become a mum or new mothers.
We collectively set ourselves up to fail and it’s not our fault. It’s the media and society’s fault.
We’re starving for a more honest discourse on motherhood and it’s our responsibility to create it. We must speak up and out loud that none of us are meant to shine from day one, we’re simply meant to get by and survive.
Motherhood is undoubtedly the most magical, life-affirming and wondrous thing to happen in my life but with anything transformative, it changes us all indelibly. Creating, accommodating and nourishing new life, pushes us to our limits mentally and physically so we need to cut ourselves some slack.
We need to relearn the voices we’ve spent our lives hearing that we were born to be mothers so should thrive at it.
Thriving takes time. It takes years. It take experience, patience and failure.
You’re doing your best for right now and one day, possibly 9 years on, or less, you’ll reflect and think, ‘You’re doing good mama, you’re doing good’. Then you’ll f*** up again and will find yourself shouting at your kids again, because that’s life.