How to Handle Pressure from Other Mums
Is the pressure to be a perfect mom getting to you? Do you feel guilty and ashamed for not mothering a certain way? You’re told that you ‘should’ breastfeed your infant for 12 months, or that you ‘should’ leave behind your career the moment you give birth and so on.
A research study was carried out on 3,000 first-time British moms, it had revealed that about 9 out of 10 (88%) new moms felt pressurised to be perfect, stating that media’s portrayal of motherhood in newspapers and magazines (47%); image of moms on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram (33%) and celebrity moms (28%) were the main factors contributing to this pressure.
What all mothers should realize is that, you do not have to follow the rules society has listed out to prove that you are a good mother. Other moms might be doing exactly what the society expects them to do, and everyone around them would believe them to be perfect. However, every mom has a different perception on what motherhood is. Just because it’s different, it doesn’t make it wrong.
Motherhood is stressful as it is, why make it more complicated with rules and expectations?
Pressure from other moms is particularly an issue for women who have jobs or are career oriented. “How can you leave your 3 year old son at day care and go to work?” “Do you even spend time with your children?” “Why waste money on babysitters, when you can look after your own children yourself?” These are some very common questions bluntly asked from working mothers.
Your children will not count the number of times you baked cookies for them. They will not care whether the laundry will be done today or tomorrow. Quality matters, not quantity.
Mothers should be considered as superwomen; they juggle between work, being a good wife and parenting their children. However, you do not have to be a world class cook, or an accomplished seamstress to prove your worth as a mother. Using a breast pump or giving your infant formula does not make you an irresponsible mother. It is a very efficient way of making sure your baby is always fed on time.
There are numerous other rules that a mother ‘should’ follow. However, you have to remain confident in yourself. Tell yourself that as long as your children love and respect you, you are doing a wonderful job.
If you feel guilty for not parenting a certain way, confide in your spouse. People who see you every day and know how you are with your children will give you their honest opinion.
Do not compare yourself to other moms, they may seem perfect, but everyone struggles and we all need help once in a while.
Acknowledgement of the fact that no two mothers’ paths will be the same is necessary in order to avoid feeling pressured by other moms. Moms should stick together and support each other while they’re walking on their own separate paths to motherhood. Talk about your failures and come to the realization that they are in fact not failures. There’s a learning curve to this demanding job.
Be the mother your children want you to be. Not a mother society expects you to be.
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