We no longer have a village

In today’s society there is so much pressure put on us mums. Or, is it simply us that have put this pressure on ourselves. Why must we feel the need to do it all? Be a good mother, a caring beautiful wife, continue to excel in our profession, all while raising a small household. In my experience something has to give and it’s normally us Mothers that end up suffering.

We no longer have a village around us to guide us when it comes to breastfeeding, sleeping or mothering in general. Most of us no longer are friends with everyone in our street. So gone are the days when your neighbour would bring over a home cooked meal or watch your kids play while you took a nap. We are either isolated from our extended family or they are working full time jobs and therefore are no longer able to help out as much as they would like. Sure they can call and give us advice but is it really the same as having someone there?

So instead, we get our information from health professionals, internet forums or good old Dr Google. In my experience, this just sets Mother’s up to fail, as it all becomes rather overwhelming. Every stage our babies go through is viewed as a problem and there is always a solution on how to “fix” this problem. But if that doesn’t work for you and your baby, you are left with a feeling of failure. This way of thinking can easily make you feel like your spiralling out of control and not a fit mother. But we have to find a solution because need the sleep, we need them to eat and we need a quick fix to their behaviours because we have to get back to doing it all. So we buy all the books, try all the programs, in the hope that we can ‘fix’ it and continue to do it all.

I tried this with my first baby. When he didn’t sleep I googled it, I read books, bought two programs and joined forums but nothing seemed to work. He just didn’t sleep. So I was left thinking what have I done wrong? Did I hold him too much? Teach him bad sleeping habits? I eventually realised that I needed to parent and respond to my son in a way that worked for us. If I had to get up and reassure him three times a night, then that’s what I did. If he needed to come into our bed at 3am, then that’s what we did. I decided to take a step back from work and give my full attention to being a wife and a good mum. This doesn’t mean I left work or didn’t fulfil my job. I just made sure that my family came first. I took away the pressure to do it all and give it all 110% and I’m so glad I did.

This time is so fleeting and before you know it, they will no longer need you like they need you today and that’s the day that I will go back to giving my profession all my attention. This time really is a blimp in the scheme of your life, so choose what makes you happy.

So mamma, hold your newborn as much as you want to. You won’t spoil them. Your toddler will go through stages of not eating anything but cheese and past, they won’t starve and it won’t last forever. {Just try not to cry when they say the meal is horrible or looks disgusting!} When it comes to sleep, some babies find it extremely easy and others it takes a lot longer, and that’s ok. They will get it eventually and it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you or your baby! And above everything else, go with your instinct. Listen to all the advice, but do what feels right for you and your baby.

To your children you are the perfect mother, so what ever you need to do to get through with a small amount of sanity left, do it. Eat the chocolate, drink the coffee, binge TV! Look after yourself mamma, because you deserve it.

xx

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