This Mum’s thoughts on “The Motherhood Challenge”

Let’s face it, in the hum-drum of everyday life, we all love a bit of a hoo-ha, something different to have an opinion on, and if needs be a jolly good moan about!! The ‘Motherhood Challenge’ doing the Facebook rounds at the moment seems to have provided that and has certainly divided opinion.

I saw it a few days ago and thought ‘ah that’s nice’… I then saw a few posts and articles about people getting their knickers in a twist about it and how it perpetuates the pressure to portray a perfect family but I didn’t think about it too deeply… I went as far as to think about what pictures I might choose assuming I’d probably get involved at some point… and then… no-one nominated me…!!

At first I was a bit put out that this social media ‘craze’ (if we can call it that!?!) hadn’t landed at my door… but it also made me consider, why do I care?

Do we need other people on Facebook to nominate us to validate us as a ‘good mother’…?

While, in all honesty, I can’t say we don’t sometimes need it, I know for sure that we shouldn’t.

The journey of being a parent isn’t about other people thinking you’re an ace Mum, that you’re on the ball all the time, that you have perfect kids with perfect manners and discipline… It’s not about looking and acting 100% great all the time… It’s not about never losing your shit in public and being a poster child for everyone else… It certainly isn’t about making other people feel inadequate in their own parenting and trying to play catch up with everyone else who, on the surface, is doing a better job than you…

Whether this is raising the bar, or to some maybe lowering it, regardless of what anyone else thinks, today I know I am a good Mum because:

I’ve told my kids I love them (numerous times) and also, more importantly, shown them…

Everyone made it out the door on time this morning, fully dressed in the correct uniform and with matching socks…

There haven’t been too many tears or tantrums and we’ve got through the day unscathed…

We have sat down and eaten together and laughed and talked about our days…

I’ve managed for once to fit in reading practice with my five year old before he’s too tired to concentrate…

The house may currently look like a bomb site but it is warm and secure and ours…

But most importantly, today I know I am a good mum because everyone has gone to bed happy. The children are sleeping soundly in their beds and they are healthy and safe.

I may well look through some photos later on and pick out some favourites and reminisce about the early days of motherhood, of ‘firsts’ and good times. I will certainly be taken aback by how quickly my babies are growing up and changing, and will more than likely mutter “I can’t believe how small they were!”, “Look how much they’ve grown”, “Look at his gorgeous face”.

But this time, I’m going to keep these moments for me. Despite being a bit of a social media addict, on this occasion I’m not going to join in. I’m not going to accept the “Motherhood Challenge” and display photos that show my ‘perfect children’. I don’t need to be part of this to continue doing my best, and when my best isn’t always good enough, to at least keep trying. And because I’m doing my best and striving for it every day for them, that alone tells me I’m a good Mum, and it should tell you all too.

So whatever side of the fence you’re on with this one – share or don’t share, join in and post your photos with pride or don’t – know that all Mum’s are good Mum’s every day of the week. Because we show up, we try, and we keep going. Because we love our kids and they love us back. We don’t need social media to empower us or tell us how to act or feel. We are enough. And we are awesome.

xx

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PS: this obviously goes without saying for Dad’s too, but as it’s about the Motherhood challenge, I’ve kept this about Mum’s this time as frankly I’m too knackered to muck about with the tenses for pural parenting!!

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Happy Birthday

happy birthday

I was at a birthday party recently with my son and while speaking to one of the other Mums, she said to me that she always says Happy Birthday to the Mums too as the day is also a celebration for them too.

And I thought, bloody yes!! I’d never thought of it that way as birthdays for me these days are all about the child and the party and the friends… but now, as a Mum myself, I can see how it is a celebration each year of that Mum having performed a miracle.

So next time any of your children has a birthday, cut yourself an extra large slice of cake and wish yourself a happy anniversary birthing-day because a little of this day is for you too.

For that day is the day you became a Mum.

The day you gave yourself completely without fear (well maybe a little bit!) and without reservation to deliver a miracle and make everyone else’s lives that little bit better (well a lot better actually!)

The day your life changed, maybe for the first time, maybe the second or third. Each time is pretty amazing.

The day you first discovered you could love harder and more deeply than you ever thought possible. Or the day you discovered you could love like that again, just as much, and have enough love for the new one and any that came before them.

It’s the day you discovered you are stronger than you knew, and braver than you think.

The day your body performed an astonishing act that it had been working hard for nine months to prepare for. It was all you and no-one else.

The day your priorities and outlook on life changed.

The day you made your husband or partner a parent too. Your own parents Grandparents. Your brothers and sisters Uncles and Aunties. Your other children siblings. You changed so many lives and gave them new focus and meaning.

On this day you added another person. Someone who will go on to live and love. Who will (hopefully!) achieve great things, be successful, spread happiness, discover, innovate, inspire, explore.

For some Mums it is a hard day that may end in heartache, fear or sorrow. These days, and these Mums, matter too, whatever the outcome.

The day you gave birth to your child is the day you changed the world.

And that my friends is the best excuse I’ve ever heard for having a large slice of cake and an ever bigger glass of wine.

I applaud you all, with love xxxx