Motherhood means something different for every mother, but I think we all can agree on one thing…there is a tremendous amount of pressure in motherhood. Pressure to do things just right so you won’t end up damaging the innocent little lives you created. Pressure to be the mom that bakes and cooks from scratch, pressure to stuff your kids full of nutritional foods and pump their minds with knowledge of the world around them and acceptable behaviour. Pressure to have a clean home and pressure to look good while you do it all.
There are so many articles out there that tell you how to be the perfect mom, what decisions to make about certain things. The “proper” ways to do things. Don’t spank your kids, don’t ever tell them no, don’t take away toys when they’re being bad, don’t do this, that, or the other because you will damage them forever.
It’s no wonder so many of us are buckling under the pressure. Motherhood is this endless battle of wills…your will against my will, because for some reason, we can’t all get along and play nice. We have to give advice and click our tongues with disapproval whenever we disagree with some mundane thing, like food.
I look at my mom friends, posting their “highlights” on Facebook, and I can’t help but feel insecure and bad about myself because I’m not doing those things. Even though I know that we all just post our highlights on Facebook, I can’t help but compare. I feel bad about all the activities I’m not doing with my kids.
I feel bad that my kids haven’t been in swimming lessons yet, or on any sports teams. I have every intention on enrolling them as soon as we have the funds to actually do so (and, you know…get there for each lesson).
I feel bad that I’m not a creative cook, that I don’t even have the energy to try because what’s the point? My kids cry at the sight of half the important food groups.
I have this tendency of being my own worst enemy. I often think that I would be a thousand times happier living in the middle of the bush with solar electricity and no Internet connection, because I wouldn’t get distracted with what everyone else is doing and compare it to what I’m not doing.
It’s a double edged sword though, I love being connected and seeing what my friends are up to. Sometimes, I even get ideas for cheap activities to do with my own kids. I’ve gotten better about the comparison thing, but I still put pressure on myself.
So…about this pressure. I’ve decided to relieve some of it. I volunteered to be the social media rep for a fundraiser and I really wanted to do it, but there is so much involved in it and I barely have enough time to do the things I’m doing (and not yet doing, but will need to do) now. I bowed out, because any time I would think about it, I would get overwhelmed with anxiety about all that I need to do and I don’t even have time now. I’m soon going to be solo parenting and I can’t even walk or stand on my heel for longer than like a minute, which means every small task of cleaning my house and preparing meals and managing kids will be not so small. I can do it (I hope, I think), but I can’t do it all.
Every time I back out of something, I berate myself. Other mothers would find time. Better people would do it. That one reader that hates your guts was right – you have terrible follow through. But I’m going to go ahead and ignore that voice, because sometimes you’ve gotta throw some stuff overboard before your ship sinks, and the stuff I threw overboard wasn’t going to be my family or my own happiness and sanity.