How do we know what “being a good Mum” really feels like? For first-time Mums especially – we may spend the first months trying to be ‘Super Mum’, only to realise that we can’t do it all! So, what do we do then? It’s easy to say “prioritise” what needs to be done… but here are my tips for making meaningful choices that fit into your unique vision of a winning Mum:
YOU are the only one who knows what means the most to YOU, as a Mum
Don’t base your decisions on a parenting article you’ve read; the advice of a well-intentioned friend; or even your own Mother’s measuring stick. This is intensely personal. This must feel right for you…
Prioritise what matters most and give yourself a “pass” on what doesn’t…
Think deeply about what you can comfortably “live with” at the end of the day. Beyond feedings, clean clothing, love and cuddles, and providing a safe environment for sleep and play – what can wait? You’ve acknowledged you cannot do everything... so what stays on YOUR list (Mummy needs to do this) and what are you willing to delegate or forego?
Only you can decide what feels right for you.
For example, if bath time is an intimate source of connection and joy for you – and you’re not the one doing it – your contentment with feeling like you’re a good Mum will be affected. And if bath time isn’t as important to you, and there is someone else who can bathe the baby – accept help! Or, share a bath schedule if that feels right for you.
Feeling like you’re “Being a good Mum” is exactly that - a FEELING!
For most of us, the drive to be a “Good Mum” is primal. It cuts to the core of our being - and is so important that if we feel we are not that person, it is hard to keep everything else in balance. No matter how much thinking and planning we do with our "heads" to provide a great life for our children, our contentment with ourselves as Mothers comes from, and lives in, our heart.
When you put your head on your pillow at night, your CONTENTMENT is the measure that matters
Sorting through the things that mean most to you may take some time – it’s a trial and error process. See how it feels and decide what you want to do more of, or less of. (Do be mindful you can’t keep everything on YOUR must-do list unless your vision of being a good Mum requires you to collapse on the couch every night, gasping for breath!) In the example above, your baby will be lovingly bathed every day regardless of who does it; so being content with your choices is the key to feeling like a Winning Mum.
What does the Winning Mum tackle next?
After you have your role with the baby (or children) in balance for you - at least in theory – the rest of the ‘hats’ you wear will be the subject of my next blog. How do you prioritise time with your partner; time with extended family and friends; time for your own personal wellness? And then, there’s the world of work!
Are you wondering how you’ll transition back to the working world and keep all the balls in the air? You may want to read about some of the ways I help Winning Mums make choices around work that fit with who they are as a Mum.
Until next time,
Sarah Gonzalez, ACC, CPCC