The day I became aware that there were mummy cliques out there was when I stood and looked around in a baby group. There they were all sat in categorised pockets, the ones that let their babies watch TV, the ones that didn’t. The ones that exclusively breastfed and the ones that were too nice to disagree with anything the other one said desperately trying to fit in or so it looked from the outside. So where did I fit? Well, nowhere really. I didn’t fall into one particular category, I am a mother who allows my child to watch TV, I also make sure we spend a good quantity of time away from the house everyday, I ensured that my child was getting his boob milk but I didn’t manage to exclusively breastfeed either, I don’t always agree with people and I have a tendency to be highly opinionated at times however, I will never make another mother feel that what she is doing isn’t right or isn’t the best for her child. Every mother has their own thoughts, style and opinions on how best to bring up their child so, to question her on her mothering skills I believe wholeheartedly is the wrong thing to do.
I felt a little isolated that day, It’s not a particularly nice feeling to feel your being judged by the very people who are most likely going through the same ups and downs as you are but I didn’t fit into any one particular group and it felt like I was silently being judged by each camp in the class, subsequently I came away feeling pretty low. Was I doing it all wrong? Should I have persevered with the breast? Should I not have told them that my child sleeps well? It’s trivial stuff in the grand scheme of things but I’m one to overthink a situation so as a result I fester on the thoughts and opinions others may have about me as a mother which is silly and it’s taken me awhile to realise that it actually doesn’t matter and to focus on whats important for both myself and Dylan.
How did I change my mindset? Well, it was a process that didn’t happen overnight but the start was to do just that, slowly change my mindset. Shifting your anxieties from what others may think of you is a hard and difficult road for some, me especially. I find as a mum you encounter so many people handing out stories of how they would do things. It’s lovely sometimes to receive advice from others and don’t get me wrong it can be very helpful yet other pieces of advice can be silently hurtful.
I believe that we shouldn’t sit back and judge people, not just mothers but all of us. We really need to help and support others without making them feel that they are inferior in any way. Don’t hold onto what somebody might say to you or how you think they might perceive you. Take it from a mother who regularly battles her insecurities, your doing great! Carry on as you are. Don’t feel bad if you stick the telly on for a while so you can have a cup of tea in peace. Don’t feel like you have to hide how well your child is doing at something in fear of upsetting other mums, be yourself and stay true to who you are. Remind yourself that bringing up a small human is an incredible job that comes with a lot of stress at times and no one should make you have to question your own personalised job role. We’re all winners here but, any chance of a pay rise?!
Be Kind Always.