First you should feel good about yourself
“The day my daughter was born I was thrilled, but at the same time scared with the mission ahead of me. I wasn’t sure I could make it… Would I be a good mother? Would I be able to provide her everything she needs? Could I raise her well? That feeling was overwhelming and gave me a sense of vertigo. Even though I have always been a confident woman, without self-doubt, I started to question myself on what concerns my daughter. What I didn’t expect was that others would feel my insecurity and would start to question my decisions as a mother.
‘Would I be a good mother?’
One day I told my own mother I didn’t want her to give cookies to my daughter. She kept on giving it to her and what’s more, she did in front of me. I suppose she is convinced that, because she is older, she has more authority over her granddaughter. Still, even though I feel fortunate for having her support to take care of my kid, I needed her to respect my decision. So I had to scold her and stop talking to her to make her understand that it wasn’t ok to ignore me.
I have the feeling that people question mothers too much. I feel criticized all the time, since everyone feels that I should hear their opinion. I often get approached with tips on how to do things. Mothers point fingers among themselves, taken that not even them are sure about what they do. I’m all the time hearing ‘So you don’t do it like I do?’
‘We should rely more on our intuition’
Society should trust mothers more and we should rely more on our intuition. You can hear many opinions but let’s not forget that kids are all different. With that said, you can’t fully base your decisions on what others say. There are no perfect formulas or rules to raise our children. We learn to be parents on an error and trail basis. In my case, I have learned to trust my instinct, knowing that I might be wrong. There are moments when I am not sure and I regret a decision, which often makes me feel guilty. After all, everything I do will have an impact on my daughter’s life and that scares me to death. It helps to bear in mind that I do the best I can but I am not perfect and not everything will always go as expected.
‘Hunting perfection in our roles is living under the super woman illusion’
In fact, hunting perfection in our roles is living under the super woman illusion, which will only make you feel frustrated. Instead, I rather focus on trying to feel good about myself. It took me a while to get it but now it is clear to me: our kids need mothers who are in peace with themselves. Our demanding careers and everyday worries will be reflected on our kids’ growth. So if we are not at our best, we cannot make it up to them and compensate our absence. On top of that, when we feel good about ourselves, we deal with critics better. For instance, for me it is important to spend quality time with my husband, so we have decided to take one day of the week to be alone. Most of our friends don’t understand the fact that I leave my daughter with her grandparents to spend time with my husband. Yet I still do it because I am convinced that if I am not at my best as a woman, I won’t be a good mother to my kid.”
Read the Spanish version at Mom Reinvented – Life Coach