So recently I’ve been told I put Grace to bed too early, asked how I expect to get her to take milk when I stop breast feeding if I won’t keep trying her with a bottle, that I need to learn to put her down, and that it’s my own fault it’s difficult.
That last one I was talking about my pregnancy being harder than when I was pregnant the first time round but my friend thought I was talking about Grace and her, I guess you could call it, dependency on me.
These things have been said by friends, colleagues and even members of my family. I think that’s what is the hardest part, feeling like I need to defend myself to people I know. I think it would be easier to deal with the feeling I was being criticized if it was by strangers, I would still dwell on it but then I could forget about it knowing I was unlikely to see them again. Self doubt and Mum guilt ever present, Oliver tonight told me I only ever cook chicken nuggets or fish fingers. Way to go, really pull on that last thread holding my confidence and sanity together! Now I totally feel like a rubbish Mum! I mean I know he’s only eight, but isn’t it children who tell the truth most often???
I thought us Mums were meant to support each other, accept how our friends parent their children (even if we don’t agree with it) and cheer each other on? Where’s my “tribe”, my “squad”, the ladies who support me through the good days and the bad, the days when I’m feeling like I’m the boss of my life and those when I want to curl up in a corner and eat my weight in chocolate? It’s nice I guess, that these people feel they can be honest enough to voice their opinions, and not just nod and smile, but isn’t it hard enough when as a Mum you constantly second guess yourself without feeling like you’re being judged? Why can’t other Mums empathise with your struggles, offer help and suggestions if you need them, or at least just keep their criticisms to themselves. We’ve all been there, we all know how hard being a Mum is, and doubting everything you’re doing becomes second nature. I know by now I should probably have a better idea of what I’m doing, with an eight year old and a six month old, but each week comes with new challenges and new doubts.
I guess I could very easily be responsible for making another Mum feel as rubbish as I’ve felt recently, and this experience has definitely made me rethink how I’ll share my opinion and particularly how I would phrase things when I speak to other Mums. To anyone whose feelings I’ve hurt, I’m sorry. But let’s change things, let’s be more supportive and accepting, and just be there for each other! What better day than today to make the decision to be kinder, after all who runs the world? Girls!