Author Brene Brown hit the nail on the head when she wrote:
“Shame is the most powerful emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”
And I believe this is how many of us feel, especially when we first become parents. It seems almost too indulgent to give yourself a pat on the back - your feelings of pride somehow pale in comparison to the privilege of raising a child, keeping them safe and happy and secure. Expecting thanks in return often feels trite.
But we disagree.
We believe in self-love to get you through - the power of being kind to ourselves. That's why many of the writers in our Parenting blogger community, MummyPages Voices, write about how proud we should be of our amazing role.
Here are all the reasons we need to celebrate being awesome mamas and why we think we should Be Good to ourselves. At the end of the day, this is a tough gig, and we are doing a great job.
Victoria Lawlor is a mum and life coach. She writes about the importance of being kind to ourselves in her piece on beating the January blues:
"Do something just for you this month. Maybe it's a film that you wanted to watch or a long walk on your own. Don't forget the importance of prioritising your own happiness"
Cork-based, Irene Halpin-Long wrote a touching piece about embracing everything that motherhood may bring...
"You know, it’s okay to admit that you are lonely. There is nothing to be ashamed in admitting that you feel alone. You’re not moaning. You’re simply being honest. Loneliness is part of the ebb and flow of life and of parenthood. There are practical things we can do to help ease loneliness and it can diminish with time. The most important thing to do, first of all, is to be kind to yourself. You're doing the best job you can and that is enough xxx"
Michelle Partington is mum to two little ones, 11 months apart. She says we need to rally against the label of being 'the perfect mum':
"We don’t need to be “perfect”, we don’t need to be “honest” we need to show our kids how to be accepting and compassionate to others no matter their differences as everyone is just surviving the best they can. Parenting is not a competition so let’s not separate ourselves further by categorising mums you don’t know. This isn’t even just relevant to perfect and real this even applies in other areas such as how a baby is fed or sleeps. Just leave the parents to be parents in a way they feel best."
Michelle Greaves is another of our Mummy Voices. She is mum of two boys, writer, photographer, traveller and secondary school teacher. She says being good to ourselves is one of the most important parts of motherhood:
"So even if you don't have the luxury of lots of "you" time, you can adjust your expectations. In those first few weeks and months, it is important for you to register what has just happened. You have grown a human being. There is nothing in this world greater than that; well done you! Now you are entrusted with the role of continuing to grow them and care for them in this noisy world. Forget about the laundry, the cleaning, the lists of what you need to do. Slow down, sit down, start asking for help. Even if it is small at first; a glass of water, a sandwich, help with the laundry, or the dishes. You are not failing because you need help. You are helping your own recovery by not trying to do it all."
To all the new mums, tired mums, guilty mums, soon-to-be mums, working mums, stay-at-home mums and struggling mums out there - please, Be Good to yourself. You've got this.