When I started this blog, it had little focus. It was just a collection of thoughts I imagined would be helpful to others. Over time, it has become more narrow focused and undoubtedly there are those who no longer feel it relates to their lives, and that’s ok. I took a very long break from the blog, social media and the internet in general over the past 18 months. During this time I started to re-read some of my old posts and it was strange because I hardly recognised the woman who wrote them. So much of my own advice was like new information and as strange as it sounds, I encouraged myself. I realised that even if I was the only person who benefited from these posts, then that was a good enough reason to write them.
In light of this, I want to say something to you Lila – and all the other women who are just like you. You have nothing to prove, lose or hide in your parenting journey. It’s easy to let the mummy guilt creep in when you compare your life to that of another woman. How often do we hear young mummies struggle with guilt and despair over breast feeding/bottle feeding; going back to work/staying at home; providing home-made meals/convenience freezer food; paying for sports clubs/music lessons/ballet/designer clothes; use a dummy/don’t use one; attachment parenting with co-sleeping etc etc etc
It’s exhausting and if we look at theses types of discussions, the ultimate goal is not the wellbeing of the child – it’s what our parenting looks like to others! We boast on facebook about our child reaching developmental milestones, we take instagram pictures of baking with our kids, we hide our bad days in fear of being thought of poorly. Many of the things we do in our parenting journey our totally for the benefit of others because we are trying to prove ourselves and not the benefit of our children. The fear of losing our credibility as a good parent can prevent us in admitting when we need help – how many mothers do you know who hide their post-natal depression for fear of what others would think?
Let me ask you some questions that might help us gain some perspective.
- Do you provide for the physical needs of your child – ie. food, shelter, protection from danger?
- Do you love your child and show affection through your words and actions – ie. do you hug your child, say I love you, give kisses, show kindness to them?
- If a social worker was to enter your home today, would they say your child is adequately cared for and safe in your home environment?
If you answered yes to all of these questions then CONGRATULATIONS! You are doing a great job.
What I’m trying to say is, if you are truly doing the best you can, loving God and raising your family – then you have nothing to lose, prove or hide. You are the best, you are enough and you are succeeding. Be proud, encourage others and smile!