About a week ago, I was asked for advice on how to be a good mum by my friend who is expecting her first baby.
It got me thinking, is anybody really a ‘good mum’?
I know from personal experience that we can all be guilty of having those selfish moments when we hide out to eat that chocolate biscuit that we don’t want to share or in that moment of despair, lock our children in their rooms with a selection of toys and a DVD while we steal five minutes for a shower to wash away the snot, poo and other bodily fluids that we have been covered in that day.
With my little boy being three years old now, I feel like I finally have enough knowledge to bestow some on any new mums out there.
Without further ado, here are a few.
Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of
It does not make you weak. In my opinion, it makes you stronger for realising that you cannot do this alone and it proves that you are willing to do whatever you can to look after your baby.
There is absolutely no shame in putting your own needs first if only for a short period of time. If you need to call somebody to sit with your child while you take a nap after three nights of cluster feeding and days full of catching up on chores while your baby sleeps, do it. You are not wonder woman and people will understand. If you ask for help, you will more than likely receive it without judgement.
It is completely acceptable to cry
My partner was in the army when our son was born, so for 5 out of 7 days, I was alone with this tiny little stranger who cried, pooped, slept and threw up majority of the day.
I remember feeling exhausted and alone. Sometimes were hard, sometimes were boring and sometimes things were very difficult, especially when he developed re-flux at around 7 weeks old and wouldn’t keep milk of any sort down.
I remember sitting and just crying.
You have just been on this humongous roller-coaster of carrying a baby, then giving birth. Nobody is going to judge you for crying.
There are no awards
You know that one parent who’s child had pretty much won a Nobel prize before the age of two?… Ignore that bitch.
Your child develops at their own rate. Do not feel like you or your child is a failure just because they’re not doing as much as Susan Jones’ little girl down the road.
Celebrate when your child reaches their milestones, small and big. Their minds are constantly working to figure things out.
It is not a race.
Celebrate your small victories
Whether its a warm shower or a hot cup of tea that hasn’t been microwaved and forgotten about seven times, celebrate it.
I remember in the first few months, I could go days, forgetting to eat breakfast or lunch. Those days that I did remember, I gave myself a pat on the back.
As I’ve said before, my son is three now so those first few months are a little foggy now.
I remember feeling alone, confused and bewildered a lot of the time, but overall we had more good days than bad days.
Motherhood is an adventure for you and your child to conquer together. You are going to hit some bumps along the way but don’t forget that there are so many people that are around to help you.
So for new mums out there who are having a terrible time and feel like they are doing the worst job ever, remember these words.
You are not a bad mum, you are a good mum having a bad day.