I have been wanting to write this down for about a year now. It’s long and many of you won’t read the whole thing. But this is close to my heart…
After I became a Mum and started blogging and working again I received so many well-meaning comments on being a "Supermum" which really got me thinking.
I think every Mum is Super. It's kind of the definition of being a Mum, don't you think?
(and the same goes for Dads. They are all super, the breadwinners, the stay-at-home dads and all the ones that do a bit of both!)
Mum's aren't any more or less super because they work besides being a mum or not.
Generally, I would think that you are a better Mum the more time you spend with your children.
But again that is debatable if you have to be a breadwinner or need some breaks to fill your cup to be a better parent than that's what you have to do. We are all super. That is the point I am trying to make.
I personally want to spend as much time as possible with Faye and didn't feel very "super" when I was working and breastfeeding her on the job. She physically needed me and I did make it work, but I am not proud of it. I am ok with it. Personally, it would have made me proud to work even less.
Another time we get awarded with the Supermum title is when we are looking magazine cover ready. Groomed and styled to perfection, yet being a Mum. Why is that? Isn't the Mum with unwashed hair and an avocado stained t-shirt just as worthy of being a Supermum, too?
She probably spent more time playing and cuddling with her bub that morning and decided to prioritise this. Just as super if you ask me.
We are held to crazy high standards all the time.
It's great to refill your cup and very important. But there are many different ways of doing this.
It can be nice to go to the hairdresser, dress up etc.
To me, all this just adds unnecessary stress to an already packed calendar. I am ok to let go of appointments that don't really serve me. To not schedule in anymore and work out appointments around my toddlers schedule.
I don't have to look perfect all the time, especially not during this time of my life, where I am a young Mum. I know I have all the time in the world to do these things once Faye is older. There is a right season for everything.
It's time to let go of unrealistic expectations that others have but also the sense of entitlement that women feel to have all the time to themselves for beauty appointments, fitness and shopping while having to look after a baby. Life changes when you become a Mum. You change. You were reborn at the birth of the child and that is ok.
I might not make myself popular by saying this, but what did you expect? Of course, you have less time to yourself after becoming a Mum. It's a basic mathematical fact. The day doesn't get more hours once you had a baby, yet you have more to do. What you spend your time is your choice.
You can outsource tasks if you have the support or can financially afford to do so. You can get others to look after your child, your household or both. Everyone has to decide how they want to live their lives if they are fortunate enough to do so. The catch is that every decision you make as a Mum is also going to affect your child in one way or another. But maybe you don't have a choice in a lot of things and you just have to go with the flow and juggle to the best of your ability.
In any case, letting go of perfectionism, accepting of what is and not complaining is actual self-care.
Self-care is looking after yourself and it can look very different and cost a lot less than what people make us believe. My self-care is to NOT go to the hairdresser. But to have a cup of tea and read a book that enriches me. To talk to a friend or to sit still and listen to own my thoughts. Maybe I need time to do something for or with my brain other than decorating it. It’s important to check within if the things we are longing for are actually coming from ourselves or if they are only the expectations and ideas of others. Maybe some supermums have other needs than looking pretty. And while I love beautiful clothes and believe that looking clean and nice is a sign of self-respect and self-care the extent of what seems to be expected goes beyond what is realistic for a young Mum. And I won't buy into it.
I am leading small business and looking after my toddler full-time, so for me, there is no time for these things. If I make time for them I have to sacrifice time for something else. So I have to weigh it up.
What I have learned about being a young Mum
Being ok with and accepting of what is. I am enjoying the moment and not resenting my child, motherhood or my partner for the time that I don't have to myself. I do speak up and make arrangements if I do need a break and feel comfortable with my decision if I so. Self-care is important but I feel the hype around it leads to an unhealthy and unrealistic sense of entitlement for Mothers. There seems to be this misconception of what self-care means and Mums need luxurious spa days and champagne all the time. I haven't been to the hairdresser for 9 months, so what? I haven't been to a yoga studio for 19months, so what. I groom myself at home and exercise when possible when my schedule allows. When it comes with ease. I do find time for meditation or a short breathing exercise when I need it. I know this is only a short time in my life and it’s ok that it is not all about me at moment. I had 33 years to myself, which is plenty. I am cool taking an ego-break. I love and respect my body and give it movement and care. I am gentle with myself.
I am accepting that I have to work and run my business and do it with joy in the time that I have set aside for it. I don't stress if not all emails are being answered immediately. I don't stress if the cleaning gets done a day later. I find it beautiful and rewarding to spend my time with my daughter to give maybe that little more than I thought I was capable off. To love just a little bit harder. To keep calm a little longer. I embrace all the lessons I get to learn from my little one. To go beyond my comfort zone again and again. Life isn't all easy and comfortable. No job worth doing is. But working hard and with inspiration makes me grow and learn. Isn't that what life is all about? Isn't that super?
The more I let go of unrealistic expectations the more freedom and joy I gain.
In my yoga teacher training, I learned and practised being comfortable with being uncomfortable and I feel this is the key to a happy life and happy motherhood. Pregnancy, birth and motherhood aren’t comfortable but you can embrace them and be comfortable with what is.
New Years Resolution
So my only new year's resolutions are to sweat less about the small stuff and to recognize what the big stuff actually is. The big stuff is being patient with our little ones, not to rush them. To take a deep breath more often and to remember to be grateful for everything we have. Doing this job with ease and grace even though it's not easy. To listen more spending time with my little one is so precious to me. (Some parents in my community recently suffered child loss and while their pain is unimaginable it is a reminded me that you never know what is around the corner. )I always ask myself if I would have been happy with my life if I was going to die the next day and I am doing my best to live my life the way that the answer to this question is always: YES!
Life itself is magical, wonderful and yet very fragile. You are stronger than you think! You are already super.
Happy New year, everyone.
I leave you with our happiest memories of this year: Our little Hawaii Film: