Before becoming a mum, I had often heard about this thing called parental judgment which is often imposed on new Mums. I perhaps shrugged it off, not fully understanding. However, having now experienced such judgement, I now truly understand the impact it has.
The scary thing is that this judgment does not only come from other mothers. I have experienced loaded questions, opinions and sometimes unwelcome advice from those who have no desire to become a mum as well.
It’s literally everywhere…
My son is now twelve months old! Can you believe that? Where does time go?
I am not a perfect mum. I don’t make perfect choices. Nonetheless, my son is my world and I love being his Mum more than life itself. For me to be the best Mum I can be, I need to be true to myself, and so I have to balance motherhood with the person I was before I became a mum. That is important to me!
What does that mean? I enjoy motherhood, and I enjoy my life outside of being a mum – my career, my friends and of course, my relationship with my husband! Yes, things have changed since our son arrived and our priorities are different. However, for me it is about finding the right balance.
I knew even before starting our journey towards parenthood, that I could never be a full time, stay at home mum. This was my personal choice, and every mum has different priorities and family situations. We all have to make our own choices based on what is right for us. Whether it’s full time or part time work; alternative options like home working; or even not working at all; the only person that matters is your family – it really is no one else’s business.
Yet, despite my decision, I still get loaded questions about my choices. ‘How do you cope?’ ‘Aren’t you exhausted?’ ‘Don’t you feel guilty?’ ‘Why have a baby?’ ‘Aren’t you missing out?’
There are so many more, I could go on all day. It makes me smile to myself; there is no right answer, and until you live in my shoes you will never truly understand.
I’m sure the stay-at-home mum gets their own judgment too! No one is perfect. Either way it is a tough gig, and we all do it our own way. In the eyes of those judging, we Mums can do no right.. no matter what.
At the end of the day, I love being a mum. I wanted my son with every ounce of my heart and more. However, my choice was to go back to work, and focus on balancing my priorities. I knew that I would become a better mum for being completely true to myself.
The judgement doesn’t stop there. Whether it’s about birthing choices, feeding options or even the development of your child; it seems everyone has an opinion. But who is right? Worse, still, is there a wrong when it comes to raising your own child? My answer is no!
So, what I want to say to all those new Mums out there; those who have struggled to become a mum, or those who feel ‘guilty’ because of other’s impositions. Know that your choice is your choice. You are the best mum you can be. Your child/children, will love you no matter what. Walk away from the loaded questions and the judgement, it’s not worth even giving them air-space.