How I Got Over My Insecurities As A Mother. 🤰🏻👨👩👧
When you become a mother without any previous knowledge of handling kids and at that living a carefree life on your terms independently, it can get a bit overwhelming and nasty when you cannot fulfill your own expectations of bringing up a child. Every Mom has plans and learns from her own mother as well as elders around her of how to take care of her kid, but there are moments when everything turns upside down and you only have your judgement to trust. I regularly shared Flora’s journey in her first birth year as things happened so quickly. Now I have learnt to slow down and give myself the encouragement to trust the process I am following. I planned to pen down these feelings today as I felt optimistic about growing as a mother and felt proud to see the child I am raising with the help of my parents and husband.
I often wondered, was I doing good enough?
Was I being a good role model?
Was I a perfect mom?
Am I raising her in the right way?
But then something clicked me strongly. I was chosen to be Flora’s mother. She was given to me because some supreme power out there knew that she could be raised by Kris and me. In all this I will never ever deny the excruciating pain that both Flora and I went through in the early days as I suffered from post partum depression and even struggled with breastfeeding her. But the times passed, we emerged stronger and better. An angel was already there in our lives and she made sure I became a good mother. Flora’s grandmother has always been a guiding light in my parenting journey and I give all value credit to her.
Most mothers begin to question their ability of raising their kid as we have so much pressure and social media gives you some unrealistic expectations which should never be followed. If anybody tells you that you are not a good mother or doing enough for your child, stay strong and show them a deaf ear. You do not need anyone else to give you a feeling of inadequacy and inferiority. This is not a competition of who is the better Mom. It is a learning process and we all must support each other.
Many a times we see young mothers struggling to cope up with their feelings of insecurity and it is in such times that comparison is not the solution. When mothers share a picture, video or write about the achievements of their children, don’t go on that post or video and start sharing how your child did something better or earlier. Instead first appreciate and encourage that mother on a particular milestone and then share about your child. You could turn the whole post into a conversation about better suggestions and fun moments. Bragging about your children all the time and downtrodding others only shows what kind of mentality such people have with no humanitarian instincts. In today’s world where people are struggling to get quality education for their children one small help rendered to a mother can change her life.
I wanted to write some very distinct details in this post as I always get messages about my parenting style, the material I got for Flora, where I enrolled her, left brain and right brain training modules etc, so I wanted to be frank about from where I sourced certain things and pave the way for other young mothers to get some help and share my journey of overcoming some insecurities.
Motherhood is a very demanding job. It includes a lot of permutations and combinations to find out what works best for your child. It is very imperative that we all understand that each child is different and unique. No one is born with the same brain so there is a need to cap down our expectations as per the needs of our child. They have their own pace and learning styles. The first insecurity that may crawl in the early months is that of missing your child’s milestones. Don’t fret over it if you miss anything, instead be surprised in a good way and take in the milestone positively that your child has achieved it.
Despite all that young mothers go through it is absolutely foolish to engage in self-criticism and constantly judge yourself. You need to be a confident mother that knows she is doing the best for her child.
For working mothers there is a constant fear of detachment after the maternity leave gets over. The best way to overcome this is to plan your leaves and spend quality time on the weekends or evenings with your kids. The feeling of guilt of leaving your child with caretakers or not giving them enough time is real. But the only solution here is to keep your working hours flexible as much as possible. Hiring part-time, full-time household help or taking help of grandparents in the initial stage if required should not be looked down upon if it keeps your anxiety at bay. Having a career and children together is only possible with a strong support system and we must focus on building it. If someone is making fun of you for not doing it right or alone, bluntly ask them to lend a hand or be in your shoes. We must learn to understand that every mother fights her own battles.
Most mothers have questions about bonding activities with their kids. A simple thing like reading a book, messy play, pretend play with kids, doing a painting together, involving them while you cook or do a household activity, taking them for a walk regularly, getting a pet, watching a children’s movie, playing indoor games and solving puzzles together can make a drastic difference.
One thing young mothers need to accept that they will get frustrated, there will be vomit and pee all over, there will be smelly bedsheets till one year or until your child is potty-trained, there will be meltdowns, there will be eating tantrums, there will be times when you wished your child spoke earlier so that you could know what is going on inside their petite head. However you need to simplify your routine and lifestyle.
Learn to find your tribe in these times and speak to them. Be in constant touch with these ladies or even men if you prefer. Make some time for yourself, at night or early in the morning to exercise or do some physical activity like dancing, yoga, zumba, cardio or anything fun. Although an important milestone has happened in your life do not ever forget who you were before you had a baby and always have conversations with your younger self. Trust me it sounds weird, but has worked wonders for me. Don’t shy away from talking about anything and search for support groups or communities that encourage you to open up. One most important thing that helped me was to completely relax my housecleaning standards. People who know me close enough will vouch on my OCD standards and trust me when I say this, they are highly extreme. I have given my everything to tone them down and focus on moments with Flora rather than the mess around.
Coming back to the activities and getting to know Flora better I let her explore with anything and everything under the sun. One fine day I even showed her the periodic table when she was 18 months to check if she was interested 😂😂😂.
It was a foolish move that time but six months down the line I realized that she remembered the names of certain elements 😮. I was totally dumbfounded at the idea that her sub-conscious mind worked so logically. After that Eureka moment I have learnt to try out all the reasonably priced activities and topics. Instagram helps me a lot to explore the trending learning styles for toddlers and what works best. I follow certain hash tags wherein regular updates about new products, new learning processes, right and left brain learning modules, pretend play ideas and messy play ideas are given.
After I opened my instagram account for my start up I also made connections with many early childhood educators who help and give suggestions. Basically networking helps you any day. Additionally in the blogging community it is crucial to keep a connected space to have a thriving community.
Hope this piece of article helped you in some way or gave you a clear picture.
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©Rucha S Khot