To the new mum. You will encounter over the coming years the divide that women place between one another, the comments, the inferences, the looks.
Why? Because you’ve done something wrong? No. Because you are not caring for your child properly? No. Because you love your child less than these other women love theirs? No.
The reason for the comments like, “I work to set a good example for my children” and “I didn’t have kids to put them in child care” are nothing to do with you, the choices you make or the way you parent.
The reason these comments are made is doubt. They are made because mothers instinctively berate themselves. Question every action and every decision and compare the choices they make to others. Others who have completely different lives, different needs, different drives and others who in turn, question themselves and their choices.
All this damn questioning and doubt and guilt feeds the need to justify. To believe that the choices we make are for the best, that they are better, that our way is the right way.
The truth is, what is best, what is better, what is right, is exactly what works for you and your family. There is no wrong way, no one size fits all and no perfect solution.
To the mum who is staying at home full time. Your child is growing up with a strong, hardworking role model. Being at home is HARD. You are doing an amazing job.
To the mum who is working full time because they felt they needed to go back to their career. Your child is loving nursery, they are playing, they are happy and so are you. A happy mum means a happy child. You are doing an amazing job.
To the mum who is working nights to cover childcare in the day, surviving on a few stolen hours sleep. Your child doesn’t notice how tired you are you are not letting them down. You are doing an amazing job.
To the mum working shifts and juggling an ever changing schedule. Your child is secure and happy, they don’t need the ridged structure others tell us they do, because they have you. You are doing an amazing job.
To the mum working part time to in a job they perhaps didn’t plan on doing. You are not “selling yourself short” you are doing what is right for you and your child. You are doing an amazing job.
To the mum doing it all single handed, every meal time, every school run, every bill to pay. Your child is not missing out, they are not without, because they have you. You are doing an amazing job.
Whichever way we parent, whichever way we raise our children, the reasons, the drivers, they are all unique to us. What is universal is that every scenario, every decision, every action is made with unimaginable love. How you feel for your child, how you scrutinise your decisions, pain over the best option for you and your family, is the exact same way the mother next to you at baby class, at soft play, in the queue for coffee or on the bus to work feels for their child.
We are all, each and every one of us, joined together in our desire to be the best mother we can for our children. What that looks like, how it plays out and is juggled day to day is unique, it is not wrong, it is not less than, it is not imperfect. It is love unending finding a way through the challenges of real life and it is beautiful and perfect in all its forms.
Don’t listen to the comments, know that they come from a place of self-questioning and guilt which we need to work to eradicate. Know that you are doing an amazing job in the uniquely perfect the way you are.