As mums we are way too hard on ourselves on pretty much a daily basis as we race through life worrying that we are getting it all wrong.
Modern mamas have so much to handle every single day. We’re still doing most of the child-rearing and holding down a job, because these days one income doesn’t cut it, and we’re also keeping our house looking relatively in order.
I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to dwell on the negative way too often. I think about all the things I haven’t done, all of the things I didn’t do very well today.
We often lose sight of the fact that what makes us a brilliant mum is that we care so very much about getting it “right”.
So I say we stop whatever negative train of thought has gripped you today, and read these reasons why you are an amazing mum, no matter what happens.
1. You’re like an octopus without the additional arms
Forget Inspector Gadget and his Go Go Gadget Arm, you don’t even have the extra arms but you can still juggle half a dozen different things all at once.
Comforting a crying baby, while cooking three different types of dinners, while wiping crayon off of the walls, while answering your toddler’s inane questions about clouds. You can do all of that and even tie your hair up into a mum bun and change a nappy. You’re like a superhero.
2. You can survive on minimal sleep
Remember the last time you slept through the night? Are you even a parent if you can?
No matter how much sleep you had last night you still get up and put the little people or person in your life first. That makes you amazing, even if you do need to neck coffee every hour on the hour to do it.
3. You kept everyone alive today
Regardless of what else happened today, everyone is safe in their beds and that’s because of you.
You might have accidentally elbowed your toddler in the face when they snuck up behind you hard enough that you’re pretty sure they’ll have a black eye in the morning. You may have forgotten to pack your baby’s formula for your trip to the park. You might have served up the most awful-looking veggie pasta that you thought would be super tasty AND healthy but actually looks like it belongs on a toxic waste dump.
But, you all made it, you all survived.
4. You can multi-task like a boss
So in the next hour you need to wash a mountain of clothes, feed two starving children, run the vacuum cleaner around the house, get play doh out of the carpet, write a birthday card that needed to be posted yesterday and reply to five work emails. But you’ll get it done, because you’re awesome.
5. You withstand pressure from every angle
Job, child-rearing, bills, housework, paperwork, your relationship, friendships. There’s a ton of pressure to keep on top of a million different things at once.
But you suck it up and you do it. The pressure may get to you sometimes. We all need to have a good cry in the shower at certain points of our life. But we don’t crack, because we have no choice but to just keep on going on that treadmill of life.
6. You laugh in the face of mess
The cat might have puked on the floor, the baby might have pooped through three sets of their clothes and one of yours and your toddler might have drawn their own version of a Picasso on the wall.
But you’re not phased by this range of bodily fluids (although the cat sick is slightly more gross). This kind of special splatter is a non-event since having kids so we roll up our sleeves and clean it up without batting an eyelid.
7. You get back up
No matter what you face, you are right back at it again every day.
You might receive judgemental stares from others when your kid is throwing an epic supermarket tantrum because you won’t buy the Peppa Pig jelly. You might be tutted at for daring to give your baby a bottle of formula. You might be trolled on the internet for making a passing joke about how f**king irritating your kid’s behaviour has been today.
You throw a metaphorical middle finger to the world in general and you just keep going.
8. You take the shortcuts when you need to so that you can take the long road when it matters
Yes sometimes you take the so-called easy way out. You skip the housework, you cook fish fingers instead of a fabulously healthy, organic meal from scratch and you rush through that work task as fast as your hands can fly over the keyboard.
Do you worry that you’re getting it all right and perfect? Yes, of course you do. But you know it’s a matter of choice. Do you put all of your time into everything and get nowhere. Or do you prioritise so that you can claw back as much time as possible with your children. You know what’s important.
9. You recognise your own struggles in fellow mums
There are very few judgemental mums, and those that are judgemental tend to be told to stop that s**t pronto.
Everyone has their own way, their own opinions and every mum knows their baby best. But there are similarities everywhere in parenting, particularly in the first year when we’re adapting to being a parent for the first time.
I’m amazed at how being a parent can automatically bond you to someone you only just met two minutes ago. You already have so much to talk about and you’re sympathetic to each other’s struggles.
When you meet a fellow mum having a bad day you nod along, you listen, you smile, you tell them they’re doing great.
10. You love them and they love you
No matter what happens, you love your kids so very much you want to squish them between your arms and smother them with kisses until they beg you to stop.
And through all of the tantrums, the times they say “I don’t like you Mummy” and the days when you’re at loggerheads the entire time, they love you. They’re the only critic you should be listening to, and when asked to give their real opinion, they would give you a rave review every single time.