As a naïve teenager starting teacher’s training, I thought working with children would assist me in being a better parent. While some teaching knowledge has been handy lately with homework and at times discipline strategies, I discovered pretty early on as a new mum that basically I knew nothing!
Does any expectant first time mother ever realise what they are in for? Or is there any preparation, both mentally or physically, for the sleepless nights, cold meals (I swear my babies knew exactly when dinner was on the table because that’s the exact moment they required feeding!), interrupted toilet and shower visits, restricted social life, as well as the new mental direction - never again truly putting oneself first? I am sure I am not alone when I confess that there are probably a hundred ‘When I am a parent I am not going to …’ promises I have broken. Now I just laugh at how silly I was!
However, motherhood has been a wonderful privilege. The joys have definitely out weighed the lows. Some of my personal favourite moments included holding my children’s hands, the endless string of cuddles and kisses, the excitement of witnessing the firsts (first steps, first haircut etc), sharing stories, playing games and without a doubt the indescribable bond I feel when looking into my child’s eyes. (I would love to hear your favourites …)
That being said, there have been times, many times, when just getting through the day has been my ultimate objective. One of my dearest friends gave me some invaluable advice as a new Mum. “You will find there will be at least one day a week which is just terrible. When it comes, just accept it. These days happen to everyone.” I can’t tell you how helpful this has been to me.
My days, my thoughts, my energy mostly revolve around my family. That’s what it is to be a mother, right? Isn’t that what we all do? One big juggling act - with the occasional ball drop. As mothers we are so hard on ourselves. It is very hard not to compare ourselves to other mums, especially when we see another mum handling one particular aspect of parenthood seemingly effortlessly. However, we do not see what’s happened the rest of the day in that mother’s life or the struggles she has taken to get there?
So here’s my challenge: Let’s be on the look out to praise our fellow mums – those we know well, as well as those we could know better. Motherhood is a really hard gig and a few kind words of praise could really make a difference to someone’s day.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!