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My Journal - Motherhood Guilt

Dear Diary,

An unexpected but repetitive conversation came up recently...."what exactly do you do all day? You're a stay at home mum!!!"....before you all get all hoity-toity about this question, it was one asked to me with a laugh attached to it. Part of a conversation that started as a joke but ended in me holding back tears.

It was one I had, in a group, with someone who knows first hand the hardship of motherhood, the emotional, mental and physical demands. Someone who 100% understands the endless patience, tolerance, understanding, giving and love required as a mother. It made me feel as though I was failing on some level. However it is questions like these challenge me in such a positive way. They help me to re evaluate and constantly challenge my parenting style. I am grateful for these conversations because it helps me to question, to constantly evolve and become the mother and person that I truly want to be. The person who posed this question to me is a huge influence in my life and someone I adore. In truth it was all said in joke and gest but on a day I was feeling particularly vulnerable.

Turns out my 3yr old stated she needed a little bit of alone time. An important thing to recognize I believe. She learnt that from me. Each morning I go into my room and shut the door (once the kids have been looked after) and I get dressed, brush my teeth and go to the loo ALONE for the only time that day. This is me time. It allows me to breathe and get sorted mentally for the day. It has happened that questions arise when this ritual of mine is exposed...'what do the kids do while you need to have this "me" time?' as well as topics of humiliation highlighting I am no domestic goddess....With this recent conversation I found myself later sneaking into my daughters room to check on her and whispering "I hope I am enough for you".

I realised that I never want to feel like this again and I never want her to feel as though her choices are suboptimal.

I feel that social pressures make us feel as though we need to drop EVERYTHING once we become a mother. It can often feel like there is criticism attached to every choice we make (probably from ourselves)...for devoting our lives to being a housewife, not being a housewife, for working OR not working, for needing time out, for not needing time out. It is the hardest, most relentless job in the world that never ends. And it's amazing!

But the criticisms, the judgements and the jokes can be left at the door as far as I'm concerned.

You can never tell how someone is coping or not coping and so I realise we need to support one another no matter what we choose.

We need to look after ourselves because when we don't; when we give up EVERYTHING, we give up who we are to serve others needs. But what about our needs? What about our life? When we are feeling aligned with our goals, our dreams and our passions we automatically become a better person, partner & friend, and most importantly a better mum.

I am hearing of so much depression, anxiety and sadness amongst young mums. We are caught in the transition of our mothers era where you live to serve your family and the new era or working, achieving and fulfilling our dreams as individuals whilst being a mum. It is so hard to find balance, without guilt and without self or external judgement. We need to get real. Real with our inner mother goddess. What is it that we want for ourselves as individuals? For our children? For our families? And can all be achieved? NOT forget that you were your own person before you had are that same person, but with a fuller heart, a happier home and a life that is bound for memories that will fill your heart and head for the rest of your days. Be you. Be brave. Be driven. These are lessons your children will see and aspire to be. Not a domestic goddess who can iron a mean shirt!

B xx

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