Something’s been troubling me lately, actually it’s been playing on my mind for a while but have never thought to write it down, until now…
I’m constantly surrounded by amazing mums, these mums laugh with their children, play with them, feed them, keep them warm and love them unconditionally but given the opportunity most of these women beat themselves up for not being good enough.
I was out last night at a Mother’s Meeting event with H&M and the conversation (as it inevitably does, when mothers get together) came down to our kids and parenthood. Again and again, I heard these amazing women say things like “I work too much”, “I get too frustrated”, “I’m always on my phone”, “I feel guilty for…”
If I’m being honest, I have some of these worries too. I often lie in bed wondering why I got so angry with the girls or why I didn’t make more of an effort to read with them, that ONE night. But maybe we‘re all asking the wrong questions and focusing on the wrong things. What if we asked ourselves “Do my children feel safe and loved?” or “Are my children happy?”.
The answers to these questions are always YES, which is all that really matters. After all, who cares if we had chips and chicken nuggets for supper? They ate it all up and loved it. So I didn’t read with them tonight, I’ll do it tomorrow night and the night after and the night after that. Is it bad that Lili and Poppy watch TV every morning while I lie in bed for an extra half hour? Well, I did the same as a child and I turned out just fine.
The main thing for me is that my girls look back on their childhood and remember that we had fun and that they were loved. I want them to remember our crazy kitchen discos and silly family pile-ups, singing way too loud in the car and massive group hugs.
I think we all feel the pressure to be a ‘perfect parent’ but who is the ‘perfect parent’? Nobody, because it’s a myth, a fairy-tale, a figment of our Instagram-fuelled imagination.
So let me ask you… Are you a good mother? Don’t measure yourself against an unrealistic perfect persona that doesn’t exist. If you’re still reading this post, I can tell you that you almost certainly are! I know this because you love your children, because you do whatever it takes to keep them safe, and because when they fall and hurt themselves or feel sick it’s you they want. Nothing makes them feel better than a hug from you.
At the end of the day, the perfect parent for your child is YOU because nobody will love them like you do.