We Question Ourselves
As the silly season takes our collective sanity through acid wash, and our kids pull down all the artwork with the end to their school year, we find ourselves in a place of uncertainty. For my family, who doesn’t enjoy change, this pressured crossroad in time causes much tension. Despite my comfort with change, my love of celebration of any kind, plus my capabilities in a crisis, I find myself in a tough place which many other parents share.
Carrying a virtual fire extinguisher around to diffuse whatever explodes next, I find myself questioning my abilities as a mum. I’m not the only one either. It seems to be something that I see lots of mums doing right now. Maybe there were pushed to their limits. Maybe they are looking back at the year and worried their child didn’t progress enough. Maybe they are being asked too much by relatives, who tend to swarm around at this time of year. It might even be because of the opinions of others, others who are most likely spinning with the stresses of questioning themselves, then sending their fears outwards. Whatever the reason, mums question themselves, and it intensifies at this time of year.
Let me first reassure questioning parents that this very activity of questioning yourself demonstrates how much you care about your child. If you didn’t care, it wouldn’t occur to you that you mightn’t be doing the best as a mum. I don’t mean a passing thought when your child yells “I hate you” for the first time.
The good mums question themselves when their children are hurting. Good parents love until it hurts. Good parents get so overwhelmed, even yell sometimes, because they are so dedicated to doing their best that they expect themselves to be way more perfect than they would ever expect from their kids. Good parents stress over choices, even the little ones. They worry about some choices like they might determine their child’s entire future. Good parents cry when they think they’ve done the wrong thing. Good parents care so much that it overwhelms them sometimes.
It strikes me that short of a movie about a drug addicted, abusive mum who suddenly gets retrospective, mums who spend hours questioning themselves do so from a place of intense love, and if this is where you are right now, please know you are a good mum! Give yourself a break. Have a coffee, put your feet up for half an hour. Call a friend. Remember that looking after yourself makes you a better mum, because it helps your child learn how to take care of themselves too.
Most of all, know that when you’re questioning, crying and hoping that you’ve done the right thing, you’re doing this because you’re a good mum!
What do you think good mums do that society doesn’t tell us?
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Please be respectful of others at all times. We are all on different journeys.
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