Mum-of-four Rebekah Hoeft busts some common motherhood myths, and reminds all mamas, you've got this (yes really!)
Motherhood welcomes each mother differently, provides us with different experiences and creates opportunities to learn and grow. Motherhood is also full of expectations, guidelines and, many myths that can be handy, hilarious or, wrong. Here I will bust a handful of these myths and hope that in doing so, motherhood feels that little bit more achievable.
There is a right way to parent
There is NO right way to parent, there never was a right way and there never will be a right way. What there will be though, is the right way to parent for you. Every parent has different beliefs, values and ideas that make it impossible to have a set right way however, if your child is safe, loved and cared for that sounds right to me.
Asking for help is a sign of weakness
To ask for help is not weakness, it is strength and it is admirable. To acknowledge that you need help is great, it means you are aware of what both you and your baby need and are ensuring you can meet those needs. Asking for help should be commended and more mother's should feel safe in doing so.
You should enjoy every single moment
Yes parenting is full of amazing moments but there are also moments that cause heartache, anger, and frustration. Days that are mediocre where you long for some normality or feel the absence of your old life and miss it and, that is okay. Yes, enjoy each moment if you can, but when you can't; accept it, take a breath and, don't punish yourself - it isn't always easy, days aren't always great, and to be frank, not every moment is enjoyable.
We must provide our kids with every resource available
We have access to so much information and technology and often feel the need to ensure our children do too. With good intentions we provide them with all the resources and tools they'll need but in doing so, we inhibit their own desire to seek, to learn, to build their skills, fill their toolbox or find the resources they need. In order for them to grow, we need to let them learn.
Our children's choices reflect our parenting
We do our best to nurture and guide our children but the reality is, they're their own little person who has their own personality and characteristics. Yes, you can help mould them but, the choices they make are their own. We can just do our best to encourage the right way, their beliefs and nurture all their wonderful traits.
A good mother gives birth naturally with no drugs or medical intervention
During pregnancy you will write up your birth plan and in a perfect world it would go to plan however, the world isn't perfect and labour is no exception. If you give birth naturally, you are amazing; if you have every drug available, you are amazing. Do what you need to. I can relate - 4 kids, 4 different birth stories. Labour is unpredictable and to get through you may need pain relief and in some cases you may need medical intervention and that is okay, it doesn't make you any less of a woman, it doesn't make you a failure as a mother, it makes you a mother. It makes you a mother who makes sacrifices and does what is best for both her and the baby. Be brave, be strong and be proud of any decision you make throughout your labour.
All mothers will feel an instant bond with their baby
When pregnant you're frequently told stories of other mother's experiences, the instant bond or connection made and the unexplainable love you will feel. For some, this isn't the case and that is nothing to be ashamed of. The bond may take time and the love may need effort, enthusiasm and again, time. Like they say, “all good things take time” and the love you will develop is a good thing, the greatest; and, only time and trying can help it grow.
There are many myths you will experience throughout your motherhood journey but, take pleasure in knowing you and your little one are on this adventure together. Follow your maternal instincts, believe in yourself and do what works for you!
Rebekah Hoeft is a mama to 4 kids, Mokoiah, David, Madeline and Delilah. She shares her experiences on her blog, “Simply Six” and hopes to provide useful information, support, a good read or at least some comic relief. Rebekah lives in Auckland, New Zealand.