Yesterday I had one of those days! One where you can’t catch your breath, when every muscle in your body aches from the tension brought on by frustration and fear (yes I do fear my kids some days). I was so desperate to escape I found myself in the gym at 7.30pm in a bid to escape the tortuous routine that is bath/bedtime.
This morning however, my lovely doula client sent me this perfectly timed picture.
It was a simple show of support from one mother to another. So, today I would like to extend that support to you. A virtual hug and a gentle reminder (for me included) that……. ‘It’s OK’!!
It’s OK if some days you HATE IT
It’s OK to feel resentment towards everyone else in the world who seem to having a fantastic time whilst you’re sat in 3 day worn pjamas covered in jam drinking a cold cup of tea coated in a glassy film
It’s OK to silently question when you see that mum on Facebook who seems to have ALL her sh*t together ALL of the time (FYI, I don’t buy it)
It’s OK to feed your baby in whichever way you feel is right for you, from where I’m standing the baby’s getting fed right?
It’s OK to occasionally dodge the 5 portions of fruit and veg in favour of a Happy Meal when you realise that just like Old Mother Hubbard your cupboards are bare
It’s OK to STILL be carrying the baby weight 2/3/4 years after the birth
It’s OK to tell your partner that you have to pop out for much needed essentials and then hide in Costa with a copy of Heat magazine, a full fat mocha (with cream) and an oversized Jaffa Cake
It’s OK to fake sleep because you’re too tired for sex (again)
It’s OK to watch Loose Women and pretend they’re your friends and that you’re still having some form of social life
It’s OK to feel like you’re failing and it’s Ok to say it out loud
The expectations for this generation of parents are far too high. We’re under some illusion that we can raise our young with no issues spilling over from childhood and therefore securing them as happy issue free adults. We are bombarded with parenting idealism, stating we have to parent a certain way to be seen and accepted in society as a ‘good’ parent. There’s heaps of psychological research showing us what happens if we do it wrong. To sum up today’s parenting ‘ it’s bloomin’ scary’!
For me (and it seems I’m not alone) I think it’s an unachievable goal and that’s OK! Humans are complex creatures and we as parents cannot protect every fragile facet of the little humans that we are raising. For one thing we don’t even know all of their facets (and probably never will) to enable us to safeguard them from what’s to come. And for another thing, we parents are merely normal human beings, we are not Superhero’s, we do not have an endless supply of ourselves to give, we cannot keep up this expected standard of parenting up every single day for 18+ years! So can we not filter the ideals down to what works for us as individual parents for our individual children? Not tie ourselves in unnecessary knots trying to achieve the parental gurus suggestions as to what will make for good parenting?
Childhood is a rite of passage; it comes with a myriad of twists and turns. All we can do is our best! Be mindful of our roles and what parents we chose to be, be realistic with the parenting goals you set yourself, and when you feel you’re struggling and finding it hard to catch your breath allow yourself the space to say “It’s not OK” and always remember the words ‘Today is A New Day’