I love Instagram and all social media, it’s introduced me to so many amazing mums. Friendly helpful women who are ready to message you with lovely words of encouragement and support. Women who I’ve got countless advice from, and in turn give back when asked. Although paired with this comes the mums who look flawless, with a well dressed baby/child, posing effortlessly in a picturesque background smiling away. The ones who look like they always have it together. If you are one of them, can I please ask your secret? I scroll through and see this, look at myself and the fact Jack is still in his pyjamas at 11am and feel guilty then I remember social media can be played to hide anything you want. So if you ever feel like that, please try and keep in mind how easy it is to put up perfect moments instead of nappy explosions and tantrums.
So anyway, mum guilt. The whole point of this blog. I feel like we have so much pressure on us to be perfect all the bloody time. To do everything right all the bloody time. It’s ridiculous. I also feel like there is so much trashing of other mums, especially online which is the sad side of social media. Aren’t we all supposed to help each other and show our support? Instead of dragging other mums down for their own parenting choices.
I often find myself explaining my choices to people, sometimes even strangers. I remember one time when Jack was about 7 weeks old I found myself explaining why I stopped breastfeeding to a random girl in the changing/feeding area in a shopping centre. I walked away from there feeling so angry at myself for feeling like I had to explain my situation. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t have just said he was formula fed when she asked. Instead I felt like I had to tell everyone I tried my hardest to breastfeed and it wasn’t my fault. That I cried for days straight and I tortured myself for months after I stopped. How silly.
I’m currently also battling with the fear of going back to work at the end of April. I’m so stuck on how I should feel. Some days I feel guilty that Jack will be in nursery for 2 short days a week, then other days I can’t wait to get back into some sort of routine and then I feel guilty for thinking that. It’s a never ending vicious cycle! Deep down I know that nursery will be a wonderful thing for him, I’m sure once we start I will begin to feel better.
It feels like everyday I have at least one of these running thoughts in my mind.
I didn’t get the housework done today
I didn’t go for a walk today
I failed with breastfeeding
Sometimes I put on the tv to entertain Jack
I didn’t do enough tummy time today
I didn’t read enough to Jack today
I haven’t joined enough Mum and Baby classes
I don’t do it the way others are telling me is the right way.
I don’t do it the way others do.
I’m not following the official advice.
Most of the time it’s just me during the day trying to get everything done. My family all work full time and mikes don’t live that close. It’s a tough job trying to entertain a baby all day while planning and making meals, keeping on top of the hoovering, washing, dishes, everything that needs done around the house whilst also getting out so I don’t loose my mind. It’s the hardest job I’ve definitely ever done. Luckily now I’m slowly starting to not care if I don’t get the hoovering done, or if we don’t get out for a walk one day and stay inside instead.
Mum guilt is a real thing, a dangerous thing and to add to this as if we aren’t feeling under pressure enough apparently we have turned on one another. Tearing each other down to make ourselves feel better. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent and I think the sooner everyone realises this (including me) the better. Unrealistic expectations aren’t a good thing to try and achieve, so I think we should also be a bit kinder to ourselves and accept that mum guilt is an inevitable part of the beautiful game we play everyday but it doesn’t mean we have to dwell on it.
Lots of love x