Wednesday 11 September 2019

To The Mum Who Is Wondering If She Is Enough.

Becoming a parent does this funny this to you, it makes you doubt all the things you thought you knew. Not just about being a parent, but about the in general. About the person you thought you were, the parent you thought you would be and about the world you thought you knew so well.

It doesn't matter how prepared you think you are, when the place that tiny baby into your arms it will feel like in that moment the world shifted on its axis. But at the moment, what you don't realise it that that feeling is forever. Life will never quite feel the same again and you will often look back and wonder how you ever knew life any different than you do in this moment.

You will suddenly start spotting dangers you've never seen or even considered before, feel feelings you didn't know existed and you will find parts of yourself you didn't even know existed.

When I first became a parent I remember the feelings of self doubt creeping in very quickly. I remember feeling like the whole world was watching, waiting for me to fail. Was I carrying my baby right? Feeding him right? Was he too hot, too cold? Could people see just how much I really loved my baby or were they doubting that too?

Looking back now I think I spent the best part of that first year more concerned about what others thought than anything else. That feeling is all consuming, it eats away at you and even when you try to push it away it comes back full force, stronger than ever. It leaves you wondering if you as a person, a wife, a daughter, a mother are good enough at all. And let me tell you, that place is dark and unkind and its so hard to come back from.

I remember doubting everything I did, never feeling adequate, always comparing myself to everyone else. I would convince myself that no matter how hard I tried it wasn't good enough, that I wasn't good enough. That I needed to spend more time, more money, more effort and that no matter how much love I could give it never quite felt enough.

I became to afraid to ask for help, worried that if I really opened up to people about how I felt they would suddenly start noticing those flaws even more and that people would doubt my ability as a parent. I pushed away friends, worried that they wouldn't want to be hanging around with me now I had a baby. I pushed away family and even my husband in a bid to separate myself from the world.

Looking back now I wish I could have shown myself how things would pan out. How a little bit of self belief, self love, time and experience. I wish I could have been kinder, more patient and a little more willing to trust my own instincts. I wish I could have just enjoyed being a parent, having a new baby and everything that comes with it. Allowing myself that time to adapt to becoming a parent rather than putting all that pressure on myself to be perfect the minute my baby arrived.

I wanted to write this post because I think this feeling is more common in mums (and dads too) than we really think. I wanted to share that feeling this way is normal and that you are not alone but please don't feel like you can't ask for help. Whether its a friend, doctor, midwife or even an online forum you don't have to feel alone. There are people to talk to, people who can help.

If you take just one thing from this post I want you to know YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! On your best days, your worst days, the days you have it all together and the days you ask for help. On those days you feel exhausted and spend the day in pjs and on those days you feel like throwing in the towel but you don't because YOUR BEST IS ALWAYS GOOD ENOUGH! And never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Don't let anyone, including yourself steal this journey from you because whilst every journey is different they are all special and they are part of what creates us. That journey forms us as parents, the good, the bad and everything in between. It doesn't matter how we get there, just that we get there and know that we did it!


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