This is a line that has been trotted out to me a lot over the years.
By a man..
I shouldn’t talk about finding parenting hard work. Every other woman manages.
I shouldn’t mention how exhausted I am some days. Every other woman manages.
Shouldn’t moan that it all overwhelms me at times. Every other woman manages.
It’s been repeated to me so often through the years that half the time I do it to myself. Every struggle I come up against, I tell myself I’m not allowed to moan because every other woman manages.
I know that.
The beginning of the the year started on a low. Not ideal because EVERYONE knows you’re meant to be better in January. I had a crisis of parenting confidence, I was filled with self doubt and in a right old strop with myself about how much of a rubbish mum I was . I should stop blogging too, certainly. I mean how could such an awful mother comment on parenting.
Then I realised.
Every parenting blog I love is written by mums who occasionally get it wrong or find it tough. The ones who don’t claim motherhood to be one long skip in the sunshine. That it’s hard work and full of self doubt.
I’ve always said my parenting style is one of “making it up as I go along” It works for us the vast majority of the time. I have four content, happy, bright, polite, quirky kids. They’re mostly clean (the teens can be a bit hit and miss). Well fed with nutritious food (though we did have pizza last night ) They’re good, kind people (except to each other on occasion)
So that’s OK isn’t it?
Why on earth should I hush about the hard bits?
More to the point why should I be letting a man hush me about my experience of motherhood?
Motherhood is hard.
From growing tiny humans in your actual body, to getting them out, to keeping them warm and fed and safe. Through school runs and parties and teenagers. It’s all really, really hard.
Every other woman manages?
Yes they do.
We absolutely deserve our spaces to talk about the days we don’t manage so easily, to talk about our struggles though. To find support and encouragement and empathy.
Someone a bit wiser than me told me during my brief flirtation with a meltdown this week “show me a parent who’s never made a mistake and I’ll show you a liar”
Very true words.
You know something else too. When parenting is a nice place there can often be an ‘all in it together vibe’. You can confess a mistake (that in all likelihood you’ve blown out of proportion) and some fine soul will tell you a worse one they’ve made.Let’s face it, the ex PM of our country once left his kid in the pub. I have NEVER done that!!
So here’s to talking about the tough bits. Here’s to the mum confessional. Here’s to non judgemental spaces . Here’s to knowing that actually behind the social media supermum act we all try to convey ( if it’s not even a tiny bit of front then well done to you…I’ll raise my post witching hour glass of wine to you) some days aren’t fun and that’s ok because some days really are. Let’s face it , if we all told the truth about motherhood and family life on social media it’d be a pretty whingy place. I love seeing all your happy family photo’s and being able to share peoples good news.
On the shit days though , if you want to offload that today’s been a bit tricky…I don’t mind! I’ll not judge. Maybe we should have a special offload Facebook page…just as a time out from the happy family stuff!
Having children really is a blessing , but even the most precious blessings drive you nuts some days.