There are so many things about becoming a mother that no-one tells you. The antenatal parenting classes teach you about breastfeeding, changing nappies and other general stuff, but no-one tells you the truth. Not even your friends who already had kids, because they’re so caught up in their own daily lives.
What is that? Why don’t women speak up? Why aren’t we honest and give each other the real insights into being a mother for the first time?
I had a hard enough time with my pregnancy and the serious health complications that followed after Ava was born. I had absolutely no idea that along with becoming a mother, comes feelings of guilt. Nearly every day I feel some kind of guilt associated with being Ava’s mum.
Here are just a few things that come to mind on a regular basis:
Did I spend enough quality time with her today?
Why did I have to yell at her when she wouldn’t do what she was told?
Why did I not get my act together to cook a proper dinner with lots of vegetables?
I wish I was more patient with her.
I wish I could be more present with her.
I didn’t do any creative activities with her this weekend.
I worry about being impatient and short-tempered. I worry about always rushing her around – seriously what’s the rush? On work days, it’s fair enough but I find myself doing the same on weekends. I think it’s just habit and we’re all so busy these days. Much more so than back in the day when I was young. Why do we feel the need to fill the calendar with extra curricular activities and social events? I’m totally guilty of this and wonder why I’m so tired by Monday.
BUT, you know what. I know I’m a good Mum. In fact, I’m actually a great Mum but some days I have trouble believing it and owning it. I’m constantly beating myself up for not doing a good enough job. I wish I had the ability to see myself through someone else’s eyes because I’m sure I would think differently if I had the chance to observe. And perhaps that guilt would subside a bit.
I wonder if my Mum felt the same when I was growing up. I must ask her. And I wonder if that guilt will always be there. I sincerely hope not.