Mothers Day. Chickie style.
Calling all smile chickies! Mother’s day is almost here, and I’ve got a suggestion to make for the most excellent of presents.
You can give it to every single mother that you know… and it’s FREE!!!
So here’s the thing,
Not everyone’s a mum, but we’ve all got one, and we all know one. And yes, being a mum is one of life’s great adventures. There are the kisses and cuddles, the belly-laughs, the love… There are also some not so shiny, sparkly aspects that come with the job. For all of the joy that motherhood brings, it’s also a tough gig!
When you’re sitting on the couch in your oversized t-shirt at 2am, with a crying child who has just thrown up all over you and your bed linen (he was in your bed because he had already thrown up all over his…) It certainly doesn’t help to turn on the TV and see the media consistently portraying glamorous, “celebrity” mothers who manage somehow to effortlessly juggle it all, do it all, be it all and still maintain perfect hair and airbrushed abs.
To be blessed with the gift of a brand new baby is generally such a happy, exciting time of our lives. Suddenly we are responsible for a precious, gorgeous creature that we love so much that it hurts. Armed with our own personal history, and NO instruction manual, we want to do the best job possible. To be the best mum that we know how to be. Lots of us are also exhausted, overwhelmed and terrified that we will stuff it up Sadly, from the moment you pee on the stick and announce to the world that you are expecting, what also seems to turn up uninvited with its suitcases, is a truckload of unsolicited, well meaning advice. This advice is usually served with a side salad of judgment.
Yep, no matter what stage of motherhood you’re at, there’s invariably someone around to judge your motherly performance. To let you know that you’re:
- doing it wrong
and that they:
- are doing
- have done
- are going to do it…
Now, I’m not claiming to be an expert. I’ve managed to make it through 19 years of this motherhood stuff. There’s been a couple of courses of anti-depressants and lots of rips and tears in the wonder-woman suit, but I’m still standing!!! I’m still not there yet, and I’m pretty sure that when my kids are long gone, I’ll still be judging myself harshly on the job I did (and maybe they will be too) But do you know what? I will live with the fall-out because I know in my heart that I did my best. That the choices I made were mine, and that I made them with the best of intentions.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only mother who has sat in shame at mother’s group watching their child pick their nose and eat it, while the other kids are all crawling, walking, doing cartwheels and being generally perfect…
So far, the ‘school of life’ has taught me this much:
- If your child is toilet trained and sleeps through the night before anyone else’s, lucky you!
- If they can play a musical instrument, recite the alphabet, count to 999 and speak 5 languages all before they hit school, congratulations!
- If you are able to breastfeed your babies until they are 1, 2 or12. Good on you… but don’t make someone else feel shit because they tried, got mastitis 4 times in a row and said “enough’s enough”.
- If you had a caesarean or a ‘natural’ childbirth, if you are married to Tom Cruise and did it silently, managed it drug free or emptied out the whole drug cupboard in the labour ward and STILL screamed the house down…. It is no one else’s business, and PLEASE don’t show me the photos!
- If you don’t believe in dummies… or if you do… if you’re a control crier or not, a sling or a baby bjorn, naughty corner, time out or free range…. whatever works for you chickie.
Trust me, no matter what you did, one day your perfect child WILL come home with nits, bite another child, swear loudly in public, throw their healthy school lunch in the bin and buy a bucket of chips instead, they might even decide to get a tattoo, or something pierced that you had no idea a needle would fit into. None of these things will happen because you are a terrible mother; it will be because THAT SHIT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE KIDS. And you will do what every mother has to do… you will deal with it, and move on.
Which brings me back to the most excellent of mother’s day gifts…
This Mother’s Day lets give our chickie mother friends the gift of ‘A BREAK’!!! Let’s take the unsolicited advice and the feeling of being judged out of the equation.
Let’s make a conscious decision to take it easy on each other. Let’s bite our tongues and not give unsolicited advice. Let’s choose not to judge each other. Let’s support and nurture each other instead.
Let’s respect each other’s right to raise our own kids our own way.
If a chickie wants advice she’ll ask. In fact, she’s more likely to ask when she knows she won’t be judged for not being perfect. Life is not a competition to see who is the best mother and who has the most perfect children.
Live and let live I say.
- Be the chick who turns up with the box of tissues and the bottle of wine when it all gets too much.
- Be the chick that volunteers to babysit when they clearly need a break.
- Understand that your friend is time poor and can’t do all the things she used to do with you, even if she still wants to.
- Cook a meal, do a load of her washing, watch the kids so that she can have a shower in peace!
- Reassure her that motherhood is a tough job and that nobody (and no body) is perfect.
- That each stage is just a phase and that they will get through it.
Be a friend.
A good friend is one of life’s greatest gifts.
I say motherhood is tough enough and we should be helping each other out rather than tearing each other down.
Is anybody with me?
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” - Dalai Lama