Being a Mum can be isolating, lonely and overwhelming! Waking up each morning with that yucky feeling in your tummy as you contemplate a whole day with a little bundle and very minimal adult interaction... For a lot of Mums, this is their reality.
Each day is long and exhausting as they are at the whim of a tiny bundle who may decide to play along so they can shower, eat, have a much needed caffeine hit or get out of the house to connect with another adult.
Or bub may be 'off' and all plans, breaks and general grooming can go out the window. There is, at times, no break to the monotony and no break for Mum to remember she exists beyond being 'mum', baby comes first and this means mum can lose herself.
I am thankfully on the other side of this abyss, but remember the feeling with a vividness that makes me want to wave, introduce myself and sometimes even hug the new Mum I see at the supermarket or cafe looking frazzled as she guzzles down a coffee, before bundling a fractious baby back into the car. I know that is quite possibly her only outing for the day. And I know that she may want to burst into tears once safely en-route home and vow that the outing for a simple coffee wasn't worth THAT stress.
I often wonder, if I did go and introduce myself to that Mum what would I say? And was recently asked what has been my biggest 'take away' or lesson from motherhood so far. I was caught off guard by the question but I think my answer was perhaps exactly what I'd say to 'that' Mum or any Mum really...
'Being a Mum is hard! Very hard! It is equally the hardest and most rewarding role you will ever have. Nobody prepares you for the stress, the anxiety and the loneliness. But keep on keeping on, because no stage is permanent. Keep pushing yourself to get out, even if it is for five minutes, get yourself that cup of coffee or that yummy sandwich, even though it seems all too hard a task when safely at home.
Don't judge a book by its cover... when you catch yourself watching other mums and thinking 'but they look ok? and like they have it all under control, in fact they make it look easy! What am I doing wrong?' STOP! and remind yourself there is always more to a story. ALWAYS!
And when you are the mother of the upset baby, the toddler tantruming or the threeanger giving you and everyone who looks at them attitude, don't think the eyes you feel on you are judgement, feel they are other mothers willing you to look up so they can smile at you, nod and show you they understand.'
To the new Mum who is frazzled... 'We get it!'
To the Mum battling a wilful toddler who has just screamed the walls of the shopping centre down or the threenager who has just scowled at the nice shop assistant who gave them a treat... 'We get it!'
To the seasoned professional who has two, three or more under their belt, smile at that new mum you see struggling, let her know that you get it. A simple smile of understanding can lift the spirits and give a lonely mum a sense of connection to hang onto for the day. Oh and you too 'Get it!'
They say it takes a village, to raise a child. I love this statement and truly believe it. So Mummy's be kind to each other, and show we aren't here to judge (we do plenty of that to ourselves) but here to lift each other up when times are tough! Show all other Mums that you're on their team... you really do 'Get it!'
At Hands-On Heads we also 'Get it!'. We provide a welcoming, empowering environment where you can come and get piece of mind around your child's early development.
Visit our website to try a session or subscribe to our mailing list and receive weekly 'tips and tricks' specific to your baby's age.