What do I know about being a good Mum? I was awkward with friends and families kids, never knew what to do with babies and made bad choices purchasing kids presents.
What I think I know, I picked from my watching all the wonderful Mums I’ve met throughout my life. Also, depending on when you ask me (and how honest I am with you) you might find I think I’m doing a terrible job. I believe that every Mother goes through this and really, it’s a sign that you’re a great Mum as you care so much for your child and what’s best for them, that is all anyone can ask for.
How do we learn about being a great Mum? It starts at home. Think of what you liked and disliked about your upbringing. When I look back on my childhood I feel quite privileged. I always knew I was loved and my Mum was involved in our daily lives.
I can’t leave out what I’ve learned from the Dads out there too. I know so many great Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles and Brothers. My hubby has an amazing way of sweeping in and making us fall into a giggling pile and not taking life too seriously.
There will be accidents to learn from. I know when Elise was little I screwed up. I made myself a coffee, put it down, turned around and she tipped it on herself. I immediately threw her in the shower and called for help. Elise was screaming in the cold shower and I was panicked. The ambulance turned up and we got a ride to the hospital. She fell asleep on the way there. It turned out she was screaming as I was panicked and she was cold. The ‘burn’ was no worse than a slight sun burn but I was so angry at myself for days.
Making a plan for my day helps immensely as I know what I want or need to accomplish. There are days where the plan all falls into place and you feel pulled together followed by days where there is an accidental poop on the floor in the kitchen corner behind the rubbish bin to deal with and you forget you had 2 appointments (this happened last week to me).
A lot of patience is required especially now my little one is a toddler and has her own time frame. The more I push her, the more she normally pushes back. I am working on how I phrase requests for her as sometimes just my tone or how I ask something deteremines whether or not she obliges such as making a game out of getting dressed in the morning or singing a song while getting her on the potty.
At some point (I can’t remember exactly when) I felt like I lost myself or my identity. I was only a Mother and a wife, I no longer felt like my own person or self or did anything purely for me. It’s taken me time away from my little one but I feel like I didn’t lose myself anymore, I have just added some layers.
Drop the guilt. This is one I struggle with. I judge myself quite strongly. I’m working on focusing on making the best decisions purely based on our families unique circumstances and sure I listen to others advice but they don’t walk in my shoes and no two children are the same.
We don’t learn Motherhood skills from the media. A lot of what I see on the TV or social media is what I think of as ‘the face’. Sure there are a lot of happy times but there is sad/tired/fat/depressed days too. Especially when a little one has been sick or teething or you are just trying to figure out what is going on as nothing is working. If you can acknowledge that fact it then can also become a great place for advice, tips and ideas especially at 2am in the morning. I know it was nice when I was breast feeding at some wee hour in the morning next to my sleeping husband to get on Facebook and see another Mum from my Mothers Group on there or get in contact with family in NZ as there is a 4 or 5 hour time difference.
Lastly some of being a Mother is gut instinct and comes naturally but if it doesn’t or you’re struggling, ask for help. There is support out there, you just have to keep searching for what works for you. Don’t focus on whats going wrong, focus instead on what you are doing right. My toddler is healthy, full of energy, curious but most importantly happy, what else can I ask for?
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