Modern motherhood is a challenging experience. While earlier generations had their own real and valid struggles, nothing quite compares to raising a child during an era when not only does everybody have an opinion, but everybody has the ability to broadcast their opinions to the world.
An act as simple as posting a photo of your child online can result in hundreds of strangers telling you how awful a parent you are. It is bewildering and utterly exhausting, leaving many new mums feeling burnt out before they’ve hardly begun.
Try following the simple steps below to help tackle the troubles of modern motherhood, and, hopefully, empower you to parent in the best fashion you know how.
Stop reading everything
The internet is full of information on how to parent. From psychology journals to mum blogs and everything in between, it seems that everybody has something to say on the subject.
While the mothers of previous generations were able to shut the door on these voices at the end of the day, the modern mother is bombarded with “suggested articles” from the moment her baby is born.
You can easily find yourself losing hours scrolling through posts on motherhood, and for the most part, they will not make you feel any better. Try not to read everything that pops up on your news feed. The internet is wonderful for finding solutions to specific problems, but if you’ve read five articles in a row about the most ethical way to change a nappy, perhaps it’s time to log off.
Accept that no one knows for certain
Psychologists have been studying childhood for years, and they still cannot agree on much.
No one knows the winning solution for raising happy, healthy, resilient children. You can only do your best with the tools you have.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you they’ve got it all figured out; they probably haven’t. Only time will tell whether you did it right, and you have to get on board with that.
Find your tribe
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that can be true but even more importantly, it takes a village to support a mother.
Finding other mums who parent similarly to you can be a game-changer. A chat with a friend who’s going through the same things as you can help to keep you sane in the chaos of motherhood. It doesn’t just have to be other mums either.
Your oldest friends can be just as brilliant at supporting you (you might just need to tell them how to help). Find people who make you feel good and spend time with them; they’re worth their weight in gold.
Prioritise yourself (because no one else will!)
If you are going to look after anybody else, you need to start by looking after yourself. Make sure you are well-fed, hydrated, and rested before even parenting your children.
Nobody will check that you’re looking after yourself but it is imperative to being a good parent. You don’t have to spend 24 hours a day with your children, and you will burn out fast if you try to.
Self-care is important to keep you feeling capable of the enormous task ahead of you − raising a human! You can’t pour from an empty cup, so make sure you are regularly engaging in activities that you enjoy. A quiet walk with a hot chocolate in hand can make a huge difference when you feel overstimulated.
Navigating modern motherhood can feel overwhelming and, at times, depressing. With so much to remember and so many online reminders about what you’re doing wrong, it’s easy to fall into a pit of despair. Taking a step back can be helpful to give you space and help you realise you’re doing a great job already.