Ever feel like once your a mum everything needs to be perfect? Everything should be done at the right time in the right way and if it doesn't then all hell will break lose?But what is "the right way"? How do we become the ultimate perfect mum? With the New Year here and so many of us making new year resolutions, here's my guide to help you in your mothering journey.
After many years of working with families, seeing the inspirational women in my life and becoming a mother myself last year, I have finally found the recipe to be the perfect mum and I'm ready to share it with you! Let's get started.
1. Self Care
How often do you spend time for yourself? Do something that you enjoy? That defines you as you and not as Mummy. Many of us forget about us and our own needs, focusing all our attention on our baby. I’m not saying baby isn’t important, and yes for those early months it probably can feel that all your time and thoughts are consumed by your new role. But why do we continue this as time goes on.
Take time out for you, even if it’s 10 minutes a day to do something relaxing. Leave the dishes, clothes or whatever needs doing for 10 minutes and spend that time to do something you enjoy. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to continue with whatever you were doing with a little more energy.
2. Stop Comparing
Love you and your baby as you are. Every individual is different and we should celebrate this; not be comparing ourselves to other mothers and babies. It’s good to encourage yourself to try something and to help support your baby along developmentally, but not at the cost of your mental health. It’s not a race guys, it’s about enjoying each moment, each step and cherishing your time together.
Think about it this way; have you ever seen another mum in a store panicking with a crying baby and think "I feel you love! I've been there." Well that's most of us. Most of us have been there, most of us have experienced similar situations so talk about it and share it with others. It's about collaborating and making a support network. It's not a competition, there is no finish line, there is no prize.
3. Let it go
As said so well by Disney’s Elsa. She really knew what she was talking about. Look at your expectations, on yourself and your baby; are they realistic? Pushing yourself is good to a limit, but not over that limit. There also may be moments in your new life as a mother where you may not agree with things, others impose their opinions on you or have expectations of you. It can be so hard to not try and meet all
these and somehow still do what you would like. So let things go. Smile and move forward in the way you wish. Trust me, having the biggest best toy will not matter in 10 years, remembering you enjoyed your parenting journey will.
4. Talk it out
It’s never a good idea to bottle up your feelings. Talk about what’s going on for you with someone you trust. If you have a partner, communicate what you are happy with, what makes you unhappy and admit it if you feel overwhelmed. It’s OK to have days where you don’t have things together, but talk it out, release those emotions and give yourself time to heal. You are only human and you are allowed to feel all these emotions. Trust me when I say you are not alone and so many other mum's out there have felt or are feeling the same. Reach out and you will find that just knowing you aren't alone in this journey will make you feel better. Remember- build your support network, build your community.
5. Slow down
Live in the now, this time will not come back. Your baby is only this little once so slow yourself down and enjoy each moment. If you feel pushed to stop doing something that is working for you and your family because others think “you’re spoiling your baby” or “you’re making a rod for your own back” take a step back and remember you are the parent, you are living with your baby and you know what is right for you both. Listen to advise you think it constructive and can help you, and filter out the ones that aren’t.
How do you know what's right? Well if you find yourself worrying and repeatedly questioning yourself, you’re probably not happy with the idea and feeling compelled to follow through for others. Others do not live with you, others do not know your baby, so again, smile, thank them for their input and once they leave do as your please. It’s your choice, your baby, do what suits your family. (Plus, did you know that cuddles release endorphins for you and your baby- that happy love hormone is back and working it's magic!)
So what I’m trying to say here is, BE YOU. There is no secret recipe to be the perfect mum, because you already are the perfect mum for your baby. The thing is, you see, so many of us strive for perfection and lose sight of the main goal; to enjoy life. So let’s start this year by reflecting on ourselves, giving ourselves the much needed break. Be kind to yourself, break free from perfection and strive to be the best Mummy we can be to our babies.
You've got this Mama