You just had a baby. Congratulations!
Welcome to the birth of you as a mother.
And fortunately for you, you’ll be bombarded with an overwhelming amount of opinionated information, all of which you’ll need to process while being emotional and sleep deprived. You’ll get an abundant amount of advice from your friends, family, politicians, and your social media feed on how best to care for your child. Your own high expectations and anxiety may not suffice. You’ll get advice when you ask for it and when you don't. You’ll listen and internalize all of the information because you care, because there is no real, solid road map to motherhood, and because you want to prove you're a good mom.
You may spend your time looking around for validation on how you're doing. Some of the voices around you may be validating, while others may become a burden. There may be things you want to do but don't because of these voices, and conversely, there may be things you don't want to do that you end up doing. Other people’s opinions may cause you to question everything you're doing and how you're doing it, which may be unnerving, alarming, and inauthentic. Trying to reconcile everyone else’s opinions may be too much to bare.
We understand. We’ve been there. What if you were able to take a moment to really listen to yourself as a new mom and trust what you hear? What if you could choose what to do based on what you feel is best for you and your family? What if you could post a picture of your child eating a doughnut and not be chastised?
Motherhood is a journey. It does not fit into a perfect, little box, and neither does your child. Most of motherhood is about letting go of what you thought you knew, redefining who you thought you were and creating a new version of yourself that will grow and change as your child does.
We live in a world where it often feels like, as mothers, we’re expected to be perfect. We’re expected to raise perfect children and maintain a happy family. Then we’re supposed to post pictures on social media to prove it. But the truth is that our children were not made to be perfect, and it’s not our job to make them that way.
So why do so many of us strive for perfection and chastise those you don’t?
When did we become so obsessed with how our kids are raised and what kind of childhoods they are or aren’t having?
When did screen time and treats become heresy?
Yes, too much sugar is bad for children, but so is depriving them of all sugar. Where did moderation go? And where did moms supporting other moms go? When did we decide there was only one right way to parent?
Because, the thing is, we're all great moms. Even me, a mom who gave her kid a doughnut for breakfast and let him watch cartoons before bed.