How I’m Embracing The Imperfections Of Motherhood

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In collaboration with Medela

When I had Elliott back in 2011 I tried to be superwoman. I didn’t accept help from anyone because I felt it was a sign of weakness and showed some sort of inability to be a good mum (stupid, I know).

The stress and exhaustion consumed me, but I still didn’t give in. That teamed with undiagnosed postnatal depression meant that I was in my deepest darkest hole of my life.

That which does not kill us in motherhood makes us stronger

There’s a lot I have learnt from those hard days. There have been plenty of times when I’ve been sad for the memories I lost during the early days of Elliott’s life because they were consumed with negative emotions all the time. But with baby number two, I’ve come to appreciate that the worst time of my life has helped me overcome challenges and enjoy motherhood.

I am a big believer that my experience has made me stronger and more resilient. I feel more confident, capable and mindful. This is not only great for me but awesome for my husband and kids. They get to see the best Eva I can be (most of the time).

Practising mindful parenting

Yes, I’ve had a number of days plastered to the couch breastfeeding 24/7 but when that used to drive me crazy with my first child because I was always thinking about the things I should be doing, this time, I tell myself that those things can wait, the most important thing is my daughter right at this very moment.

There have been many days when my house has resembled a war zone but when that used to bring me to tears with my first child, now I try to remind myself that I’m raising a family here and mess equals family.

This second time round I’m happy to say I’ve learnt to accept the things I previously didn’t, and I feel much better for it.

I…

Remind myself that there will be good days and bad days. I try to live for the good days.

Remind myself when I look at my messy house that a young family lives here and we are happy.

Embrace my mum uniform and realise I can’t look fresh and fancy all the time.

Don’t feel guilty for saying no when I’m not up for a visit or going somewhere.

Acknowledge mummy guilt and the fact that it’s there but also understand that I’m the only one feeling guilty, my kids are OK.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of online information on what I should or shouldn’t do and instead seek the advice from a midwife at the hospital baby clinic.

Accept help when people offer

Seek help when I need it.

The imperfections of motherhood

My support people

My mum and my husband have been my absolute saviours. My mum calls me every day without fail, to see that I’m doing OK. We have been doing coffee at our favourite café every Saturday because she knows it’s an opportunity for me to get out of the house and relax a little, as well as doing some much-needed mother-daughter bonding. It’s the best medicine.

My husband, well, I am probably a little too tough on him sometimes and if I need some time out or have a baby that simply won’t settle for me, he, without any qualms, will take her off me and tell me to go and relax. They are definitely my two most important support people who I’m extremely lucky to have in my life.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows

In saying all of this positive stuff, it’s not always all bright and rosy. Motherhood is hard, damn hard. You don’t need me to tell you that but I know you can relate.  I’ve found myself sitting on the couch, tears welling in my eyes wondering how I’m going to get through the tough times. But I do and the next day is usually a better day.

I still experience bouts of mummy guilt, I think it’s an inevitable part of being a mum. I feel horrible when I bring Elliott home from kindy and when all he wants to do is play and have some attention, I have to breastfeed Mila or console her because she’s crying.

Though, the times when I have Mila in my arms and Elliott cuddling us both definitely makes up for the mummy guilt.

Let go of the ideals

As much as this sounds a little cliché, and I can only write this based on my unique experience of motherhood, but I’m working on the idea of letting go of perfection and instead embracing imperfection because nothing else matters but my wellbeing and my family. Not my house, not the way I look, not how someone else feels because I cancelled a coffee date.

The childhood days are fleeting and I sure as hell am making the most of the last time I’ll likely experience them with my kids.

And lastly, here’s a reminder of how motherhood is so different for everybody. You just can’t compare.

Medela carried out a survey with 4000 Australian mothers to get a feel for where mums turn for parenting information and support and considering the plethora of information online, the results are quite interesting.

medela-infographic

How do you overcome the challenges of motherhood? Where do you seek support and information?

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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5 Comments

  1. September 30, 2016 / 8:18 am

    Information and support are hard to come by for new breastfeeding mums. Most women have no idea, before they have a bub, about how much of both they might need. So much dodgy, conflicting advice out there. I was shocked to learn that GPs don’t do any training in lactation and yet they are often our first point of contact for help. Glad you are taking it easy and being kind to yourself xx

  2. September 30, 2016 / 8:49 am

    I remember those days, man were they hard! You feel like you have just been thrown in the deep end and everyone automatically expects you to know what to do! My girls are nearly all grown up. One is an adult now, just turning 18 and I wonder where all that time has gone. Even though they are difficult days, embrace the joy because it flies by so fast. Before you know it your house is filled with teenage boys……. and they aren’t yours, if you get my meaning! Gah!

  3. September 30, 2016 / 8:53 am

    Support people just plain old key for life, I think.

  4. inthegoodbooksblog
    October 1, 2016 / 8:50 am

    I place a lot of pressure on myself to be a great mum, but I am learning that I am still a person too, and need to be kinder to myself. It is not easy to do though!in

  5. October 6, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    You’re doing an awesome job, Eva. You have a beautiful happy healthy family and it’s wonderful to hear you have your support network with your mum and husband x