My Letter of Confession About Being A Mother

Dear Fellow Mothers, 

I wanted to address my fellow mums, in particular the mums out there that are struggling, or the ones that worry and don't think they are good enough. I wanted to write to tell you that it's ok. You are more than good enough, you are amazing. To put this point across, I have some confessions. 

I see the picture quotes online, the ones that say things like;

"You created life. You are amazing." or "Choosing to be a Mum is choosing to forever put someone's needs before yours" etc etc. 

These quotes make you feel amazing, but maybe just for a little while sometimes. What about those of us that feel guilty about the way we gave birth? I for one have, my first labour was long and in the end I had an epidural and forceps. I took weeks to recover, it was horrific. During those weeks, I was wracked with guilt and felt so low about myself as a person, as a woman for not being able to deliver naturally. 

My second birth was even worse, after a long labour again, I gave in and had another epidural. Thank goodness I did; I was whisked away again into theatre and had an emergency cesarean. I lost a lot of blood and ended up having blood transfusions. I looked like death for a while and yet again, those first few precious weeks of my babies' life were tainted, not only because the recovery was hell, but because I felt that guilt all over again. I came across an article once that basically said that those who've had c-sections aren't real mothers or women. It said it was an easy way out, but I can assure you, it wasn't. 

As if the guilt of my deliveries wasn't enough, I also didn't breast feed for varying reasons, so you can multiply the guilt I felt for the way my babies came in to the world by about 10. Once, I was buying milk in boots and the cheeky chap on the till told me I couldn't get points on my card for the milk. I nodded, I didn't mind but what I did mind was the lecture that then followed. 

"It was the governments choice, but its to encourage you to breast feed because breast is best and has so many nutrients etc etc" 

I cried on my way home, I cried because he made me feel like a poor excuse of a Mother. 3 years on from having my eldest, 18 months on from having my youngest and did the way they came into the world or the fact that I bottle fed them make them different from any other boy or girl their age? 

No. No. No. 

I gave them everything they needed. I give them so much love and affection and they are two beautiful bright boys. Since those early days though, the feelings of guilt and judgement don't stop there. 

I'm 25 and look a lot younger, so when I'm out pushing my double buggy, I get those weird stares. I know these are followed by the typical assumptions and judgements are always made about me. Yet, here I am, mature, happily married with two children that were indeed planned. But if none of that were true, would it really matter? No. As long as the children were healthy and happy, why would it matter? 

With each stage of my child's life, I will always be comparing my parenting to others. Whether its because of Facebook advertising an article on how to feed your child healthy meals, while I serve up a plate of turkey dinosaurs and alphabet potato shapes, or whether another Mum has shown me how much better it is for your child if you do a, b or c. I also make comparisons in the playground while I wait to drop my eldest off at pre-school. I compare, I feel bad and then I feel guilty because my children deserve the best and I know I am not good enough. 

I do know something though, I'm human and humans make mistakes. I try my best within the limits a certain situation gives me. One day, the children will be behaving and we will take long walks through the forest and bake, pinterest style. Then the next day, the boys will be testing my patience, fighting each other until I finally snap and scream the walls down. We shouldn't feel bad about ourselves when we've had enough. It means that yet again, we've probably pushed ourselves to get the housework done and are stressing about 267453643276 things while having children making constant demands. It's ok not to be that perfect Mother sometimes and to just break down. 

What will it teach our children? 

1. To behave or mummy turns into a mental mad lady. 

2. That its ok to let our emotions out. Out loud. Don't bottle things up, you feel so much better letting it all out. 

It's ok to bribe your children with chocolate/ the naughty step. It's ok that your cupcakes don't look like they've come from a magazine. It's ok that you didn't get round to taking them out the house today because you had so much housework and washing to do. Why? Because we do what we can. We love and give and work as mothers around the clock without any breaks, (because lets face it, when we're not with our kiddies we worry like mad about them). A typical worker under these conditions in an office would go mad, so it's ok that we do. 

It's more than ok, as long as you are giving your child attention, affection, love, a home, clothes, food and a bright future, it's more than ok. It's amazing. Go you, go us for doing so much for others and enjoying it most of the time. Parenting is the best job ever. It's also one of the hardest but thats when the benefits are better. Its awesome to watch them take their first steps, first words, are polite in public and give you a hug and say that they love you. When they do that, you know you have done more than ok. You've done brilliantly. 

So why am I writing about all of this? 

I am confessing about my flaws and own demons with the past because I wanted to let you know that you are not alone. If we stick together as mums, dads, carers and support each other than yes, the world would be a better place. If less parents showed only the good side on Facebook, but also wrote about their child being a terror, if more mums showed pictures of their tot up screaming at 2am rather than boasting of them sleeping like an angel all of the time, then I believe more mums would feel less alone, less upset and more confident that they're doing the best job they can do. 

Every child tantrums, every child has a preference for food they probably shouldn't, not every child sleeps through, not every child behaves like an angel, they all grow and learn at different speeds. Let's not let them grow up into a world where we only show our best bits to boast about our life. Let's show them now that not everything is perfect. What makes everything perfect is wine and support (maybe leave out the wine for the children). Support, caring for a fellow mum when they are at a wits end, letting people vent, acknowledging the bad with the good. We are all the same. We are all doing the best we can. If someone's life seems perfect, its probably because the bad bits are filtered, they feel embarrassed. Embrace the strops in the supermarkets, tell all your friends and laugh about it. Get it off your chest, not only will it help you feel better but it may make another Mum feel better.

Every Mum is amazing. We made life. We now have this life to care for until we are on our death beds. Lets enjoy the good with the bad and not worry what others think, because usually everyone is doing the worrying themselves and not paying attention to your child and if they are then embrace the bad times with confidence. Say it with me; 

I am amazing, more than good enough. I do my best and that is the best for my children alone, not anyone else. 

Do you find social media pressurises you with your parenting? Have you brought your children up feeling guilty? Pop a comment below, I'd love to hear from you. 

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