I used to be that self-righteous, judgmental first time mum. I had the perfect baby boy, and I knew exactly how I was going to raise him. He was never going to hit, swear, would be polite and I was always going to handle his outbursts with calm and confidence. I couldn’t believe how other people would let their toddlers carry on in public. And mothers that yell at their children? How could they, clearly their child needed to be spoken to like an adult. I was determined to raise a child that was kind, empathetic and intelligent.
I would criticise mums that would let their children cry-it-out at night. I judged every one; mums that formula fed, mums that had elective caesareans, mums that smacked, mums that fed their child processed junk food.
I had all the answers.
Or so I thought...
And then reality hit.
My perfectly baby boy turned into the most challenging toddler and preschooler.
I had NO IDEA what I was in for.
I am now “that” mum.
The one that has the out of control children.
The one that looks like she hasn’t worn makeup in years.
The one that avoids playgroups for fear of what her child will do.
The one with the child that hits, spits, swears, throws sand.
The one with the child that runs across the road because he decided to run off whilst she was carrying his (large) younger brother.
The one that occasionally yells.
The one that has smacked out of desperation.
The one that feeds her child a packet of chips because she wants 5 minutes of silence.
The one that has left her 4 month old alone to cry in the cot because she didn't know what else to do.
The one that sits on her phone at the park because she's dying for some adult interaction, and text conversation with her sister in law is the only thing keeping her sane.
The one that locks herself in her room and cries because she can’t handle her 4 year olds outbursts.
Yep. That’s me.
I did everything (almost) that I judged other mums for. Now on the other side of the fence, I’ve gained perspective. And I’M SORRY.
I’m sorry I have ever judged any mother for any choice they made.
Motherhood isn’t easy. It’s downright exhausting and lonely. Motherhood is worse than High school. Worse than an all-girls Catholic High school (I should know!)
You never know why a mum makes the choices she does. I have one wish, I wish that mothers can drop their judgements and preconceived ideas about what an ideal mother is and reach out.
None of us are perfect. We are all trying our hardest, with what we know, to raise children.
Sure, you may not make the same choices, but unless you know that mothers story, you really can’t assume.
That mum with a 3 year old throwing a tantrum in Coles needs a pat on the back, not a disapproving glare.
That mum sitting alone on her phone ignoring her child at the park might need some company because she's been home alone with her child all week.
That mum who’s posting “desperate” posts on Facebook every hour may need some support because she has no other way to reach out for help.
Let's come together.
Let's realise that we aren't perfect, no one else.