Pressures of Being a Modern Mom
Updated: May 19, 2018
These days having a baby (or two) comes with more than just congratulations, unsolicited advice and a copy of Goodnight Moon. It comes with the silent (or not so silent) expectation for you to be the perfect "modern mother". And let's be honest, it's not easy to ignore these expectations put on us by our communities, our society and ourselves.
So, what does being a modern mother entail? While it has so many good components, it also comes with a few not so good ones as well. Modern mothers are often expected to have it all AND to do it all. We are expected to have careers, raise socially, environmentally and politically aware children, maintain a constantly beautiful home and appearance, run a household, be involved in school/afterschool activities, have independent incomes, have something "for ourselves" aaaaand do all of this while not loosing our shit. I mean, seriously? How unrealistic is that?? It's totally unrealistic! And while I am not going to discuss every side of this issue with you guys today, I will list a few tips that you try out to help manage these pressures.
Stop adding to this expectation. Find ways in your life to demonstrate that you are not buying into this whole "moms need to be everything all of the time" mentality. The messages we send out carry weight, so make sure the ones you send are full of support and realistic expectations.
Stop apologizing. If your house is a mess when someone swings by, or your kids ate mac and cheese every night this week, don't apologize for it. You are more than welcome to share your annoyances about it to a trusted someone, but please don't apologize for it. Apologizing adds to the idea that you are not doing enough or not being enough. And let me tell you, you ARE enough.
Remember that Wonder Woman is fictional. While I'm all about the current girl power movement, take it easy on yourself and your self-expectations. We are fed the idea that a strong person does everything, does it all by themselves and is rarely vulnerable. This is simply not true. There is immense beauty in the strength of saying no, delegating to others and owning the truth that you are NOT everything to everyone.
Share your thoughts and feeling about this societal pressure. Talk creates change. The more you talk with people about these pressures the more understanding they can gain around the subject and the better chance there is of changing someone's view. Create conversations and let your voice be heard.
Take pride in the things you are doing, one at a time. Seriously. Being a mother is some of the hardest work in the world and days can be difficult. So learn to tell yourself that you are doing a great job, and be proud. If you learn to take pride in the little things, you will stop feeling like only the big things are important.
Change your self talk. This one comes up again and again in my blogs. Our self talk is what drives our thoughts, beliefs and actions towards the world. If you find that you are haunted by negative self talk, begin focusing on one thing that you feel that you are good at and grow your positive thinking from there. Do this daily and say it out loud. Your physical and emotional brain need to hear it.
Watch your mouth. The expectation of anyone to be more than who they currently are, is unacceptable unless the person of topic is asking for and desiring change. Telling a mother that she "needs something for herself" or that she should really "spend more quality time with her kids" is simply not ok and perpetuates the notion that a mom needs to always be everything. So, please, watch what you say and gently help others to see how damaging these comments and expectations can be for a mother - especially a new one. We are all doing our best to be our best selves and to keep it together while undergoing this multi faceted stage of life that is raising children.
This is a complex topic and one that many of us mommies struggle with often. I know that the above list is just the tip of iceberg, but hopefully it can serve as a starting point for you. Please feel free to continue this conversation with your loved ones and see where it takes you. And as always, feel free to share, comment or connect with me if you would like to discuss further. Till next time my amazing mommas!
With much love and much light,