We’ve all been there; expectant new mum determined to get it right, adamant that she will/will not do x, y, and z. We make plans, envision our mummy (soon-to-be-the-present) future, we conduct extensive Google research, read all the books recommended to us, and even begin to form distinct and unwavering parenting opinions.
Unwavering, that is, until our children are actually here. Until they are physically present on the Earth, in our arms and our homes, demanding attention, love, nourishment, space in our lives, hearts and homes. You will read blog posts, articles, and even chapters in books, which will matter-of-factly tell you;
“No matter how many opinions you form now, no matter how many things you swear you will or will not do, no matter how many parenting decisions you make now, inevitably there will be some you do not stick with”
You will read these things, friends and family will tell you these things, you will nod along and agree, but in your head you will know;
“Not me. I will stick with my beliefs. I have done my research, I will not budge. I know that I have found the right way”
You’re Not Wrong
I’m not here to tell you that you’re wrong, and I’m not here to tell you that all your parenting beliefs, opinions and choices will go out of the window as soon as the baby arrives. I’m not here to say “You just wait!” while wagging my finger and grinning knowingly at you.
What I am here to say, though, is this. Don’t beat yourself up. While your parenting opinions, beliefs and choices may very well not change in the slightest, there may be times when you do not meet your own expectations. And this is ok. It is ok to be tired, to be hungry or grouchy. It is ok to need a break, and it is ok to want to be you. It is ok to relax, to slow down, and to take the parenting hurdles as they come.
You’re not failing. You’re not a bad parent. You’re human, and that is exactly who your child needs you to be. Because humans are not flawless, and that is what makes us amazing. We learn from our mistakes, we learn by doing, by practising, and by experiencing different approaches. It is ok to be human, to not be flawless, and I for one know that this is a knowledge that I want my children to have.
You Wouldn’t Wish It For Them…
When your little one is facing their first set of school tests at the tender age of 5 would you, as an attentive and loving mother, wish for them to feel a pressure to achieve weighing down upon them with such force that they feel like they’re sinking?
When they reach 16 and they are studying for their exams would you, as a nurturing and caring parent, wish for your teen to feel so overwhelmed by the pressure to perform that they work into the small hours leaving themselves too tired to function properly?
When your beautiful child lands a part in a school production at the sweet age of 8 would you, sitting in the audience bursting with parental pride, wish for them to feel so acutely their need to make you happy that it causes them to burst into tears when they stumble?
You don’t need to feel like this either.
You’re doing great.
This post first appeared on Happy New Mum