As a mother you have days that are tough beyond words and on those days, here are a few truths I rely on to help get me through.
All they want is you, not your “idea” of the perfect mum but you
With technology, a million mummy blogs that portray an ideal world and a pulled together life, all those around you who seem to have everything together, perfectly; you feel like a huge disaster, a failure. We often see other parents and wish we were more like them. We make comparisons and tear ourselves down in the process, wanting the best for our children but not realising they are completely oblivious and they feel like we are all those wonderful things and, so much more. Remember, your child doesn’t see all that, they don’t want the perfect pinterest mum, or that mum you admire, they want you; they see you and the perfection that you are. So the next time you feel like a failure, look into your child's wondrous eyes and remember this truth - they are looking into your eyes and seeing the perfection that is their mother, the perfection that is YOU.
Each experience will help you grow and make you stronger
As a mother you are always facing new experiences and some of which may be challenging, but keep in mind that each of these new experiences regardless of how challenging is teaching you and helping you grow as a parent and become stronger as a mother. During these moments you’re unaware of the lesson you’re learning but as time goes by, the experience and the lesson learnt remain and, in time you can reflect on each experience with a fresh mindset and new knowledge. So, when you have a rough day remind yourself that this experience is making you a stronger mother and better parent.
You are NOT spoiling YOUR baby
I am a firm believer that it is impossible to spoil a baby. The endless cuddles, the talking, the rocking, or the smiles, your baby learns from these actions and loves them so how is that spoiling them? Communication and companionship are key to the development of your baby and providing them with as much of these as they desire is beneficial to their development, your bond and the little person that they’re becoming. So if they need to be cuddled all day and feel your love, hear your voice and see you smile, just know you are not spoiling them - you’re nurturing, bonding and teaching. You are being the best mother in the world.
Everyone has an opinion but you are the only expert on your child
This is something I wish I had learnt earlier! When you have children everyone believes they’re experts, they offer you endless advice and opinions and they mean well however, no baby is the same. You are the expert on your baby and nobody else knows them better than you do. Yes, listen to feedback and grow from it but don’t be discouraged if it becomes overwhelming or begins to feel like other people know more than you, be thankful and remind yourself that you DO know what you are doing and you know your baby.
This will pass
Some days are rough; there is chaos, tears, mess and madness beyond belief, but just remember, “this will pass”. Time flies when you have children, the days rapidly morph into weeks and before you know it, months have passed and this moment, this maddening moment is forgotten, or remembered with a dull haze or a forgiving smile. It is just a moment that will pass and become a distant memory. Throughout parenting “this will pass” becomes a mantra that is on repeat and you should truly keep it in mind for when days are tough. Know that tomorrow is a new day and look forward to it with a promising smile and the knowledge that each moment that is tough passes and brings you closer to those moments of indescribable joy and love.
Motherhood introduces you to many new experiences that make your days long and your nights sleepless. There may be days of despair, chaos or a sense of uncertainty but remember these truths and go forward with confidence in your abilities as a mother. The rough days will pass and bring you wonder, the knowledge you gain is immeasurable and the love you share is that without comparison, it is true and pure. You can get through anything, just believe, love, smile and, breathe.
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 comedic relief. Rebekah lives in Auckland, New Zealand.