Good advice is not real support.
Motherhood has many faces. The first is beautiful, full of smiles and joy, filling every cell of your body with happiness. However, there is also darker, more difficult, and more demanding that is hardly talked about. It is related to the fact that the mother, apart from being a mother, it’s also a person. Motherhood – like a medal – has two sides.
How to reconcile them with each other and how to balance them?
When you have a baby, life takes on a new meaning, strategies change, and so far, the first alternative to fun fades and walks down from the stage to make room for a whole range of emotions with motherhood. Because it’s beautiful! Suddenly it turns out that the center of the universe is right there, sweetly smacking your lips while you sleep. You want to give this little human the best of everything. You want to provide him with safety, peace, love, satisfaction, joy, and happiness, and protect him from evil. As a superhero, you’re ready to go.
When mom is weakening …
After a shorter or longer period of time, you start to feel bad: you’re showing the child difficult emotions and meanwhile, you are frustrated and angry yourself. You are tired, sleepy, neglected. You don’t remember the last time you combed your hair carefully, bought yourself something nice, or put on makeup. It’s about me that superpowers are not fully, and you are far from being a cartoon superhero.
Good advice is not a good help…
We are surrounded by stereotypes. In this case, being a mother that is not basic to any other life role, whatever we fulfill – each one is burdened with a package of norms and beliefs. Throughout the centuries, whole families have been involved in raising children, which has contributed to our culture with an illusory consent to the so-called “good advice”.
The advice of mother, older sister, aunt or neighbor, is often characterized by criticism and even evaluation (it may happen that they are unconsciously or in so-called good faith) and contribute to perpetuating harmful beliefs about the role of the mother, for example:
- A good mother is the one who puts the baby first.
- Being a good mom involves giving up your needs.
- I am a good mother when my baby is always happy, smiling, and polite.
The Mother gives up many things, not from compulsion, but from the desire to be with the child and for the child, out of love.
Is worth reminding young mothers is that they found the strength to think about themselves.
If we want to give a child the best we have to go first. To go with good energy, you need to change yourself first. We humans are not perfect. It is completely unnecessary to be ideal.
Is there an ideal parent?
According to common beliefs and stereotypes –an ideal parent would probably always be happy and smiling, devoting time and energy to the child in one hundred percent, self-control, total lack of anger, and rested.
The perfect parent to be is the one who never loses patience, cares about the needs of the child, always patiently explain, at the same time care for home, cook a meal for the child, look beautiful and give the child one hundred percent attention engaging in conversations, activating play, and loving care. This is probably still a limited vision of the ideal.
Let’s look at it rationally – if you say: “Honey, I’ll read you a book later, now I want to rest for a while”, does it mean that you are a bad mother? If you are angry and tell your child about it openly, does that mean you are unfit for your role? What if you raise your voice? When guests have to slalom avoid toys just after crossing the threshold, does that mean you are not coping?
Nothing could be more wrong. It is impossible to achieve the “ideal of parenting” because there is no such thing. Moreover, a child does not need a flawless parent. The child needs authenticity. It is worth answering the question: what do I want to equip a child for the future? What to tell him? Can I now, by experiencing certain behaviors, give him competencies that will help him in adulthood?
Authenticity is more important than perfection
The child builds his image in the parents like in a mirror. It absorbs their reactions, their ways of coping with various situations, imitate their strategies, and learns emotions.
If you get angry, don’t hide it under a smile. Allow yourself to be angry, sad, frustrated, and tired.
Explain to your child what they are. He needs to understand emotions. As you hide what you feel, you will teach them that real emotions should be hidden. If you do not forgive yourself and do not allow weaknesses, the weakness will never forgive itself. If you cannot rest and you always want to show that you are in control – it will not allow itself to rest either. If you demand too much from yourself, do not let go, and do not care about your needs, you do not set limits – paradoxically you will learn to close the negatives within yourself of this little man whom you want to protect against all evil.
Dear Mother, you are already ideal for your child.
Show him now how to be human. Teach them to regulate their emotions, not hide them, learn to admit mistakes, and accept weaknesses, not to deny them. Nobody, like you, knows your needs. Mom, take care of you and you will take care of your child’s needs in the best possible way.