As mums we spend the majority of our time berating ourselves for not quite meeting the mark. Pressurising ourselves that despite giving it our all, it never quite seems like enough. All whilst comparing ourselves to others. Wishing we could do things better, quicker, smoother and covered in less baby crap.
Motherhood is a total bitch. It sends us a long list of daily challenges and a huge dose of hormones and insecurities, so even when we conqueor these challenges we don't have the energy or confidence to shout from the rooftops "Hey you, I have managed to keep my tiny human alive for a whole 24 hrs AND I only got covered in shit once today. I ROCK at this!".
Every day mums face new battles. From potty training to getting through the day with Post Natal Depression. Mastering breastfeeding to mastering the steriliser and formula amounts. Planning a play date to planning on how to move on from a traumatic birth experience. And everything in between, from burping your baby to regaining the confidence to feel sexy with your partner.
No one tells us that there is no minor fete when it comes to keeping a tiny human alive. No one tells us that there is nothing insignificant in dealing with the physical and mental fallout us mums deal with after having a baby.
For me the last 18 months of motherhood have been a mix of the magical, terrifying and downright loathsome. I have been taken to some of the darkest places and had some of the sunniest of days. I am not afraid to say that at times I have wanted to throw in the towel and give up. I have questioned my abilities as a mum, wife, friend and person in general. It has been bloody hard!
So why do we find it easier to downplay or simply not mention our achievements? Instead poking fun at meeting our daily mum goals, playing down how much they mean to us and the blood, shit and tears it took to achieve them?
In a society where we are brought up to believe that talking about our achievements can be misinterpreted as arrogant or bragging and that motherhood is a natural skill all women have in abundance, is it any wonder that when we become a mum and start to achieve the different baby milestones we do not allow ourselves to bask in any "Holy shit we are awesome at this" glory for fear of being seen as a competitive and smug mum or as boring as hell because we are proud of something that surely is a given or appears mundane?
BULLSHIT! Celebrating these daily mum milestones is the only thing (along with a nice, cold glass of vino and the adoring faces of our tiny humans) that keeps us battling through the Groundhog Day of dirty nappies, sleepless nights and sore nipples.
Ladies, persevering until your baby can latch on is a huge achievement. Expressing milk on the hour every hour until your milk comes in is a huge achievement. Successfully transferring your baby to bottles and formula is a huge achievement. Getting through the night feeds and then the full day ahead is a huge achievement. Surviving the sleepless nights for what feels like a lifetime until your baby finally sleeps through is a huge achievement. Enjoying a glass of guilt free wine with your partner is a huge achievement. Being brave enough to leave your baby for the first time is a huge achievement. Getting dressed, showered and with your teeth brushed before midday is a huge achievement. Don't allow yourselves to feel otherwise.
Feeling proud that my once screaming banshee is now finally sleeping through the night is one of the happiest and relief filled moments of my life to date. I am proud of the fact that when my second child came along I was able to breastfeed her. I am proud of the fact that with my first child I did not succumb to feeling guilty or negative about feeding her formula. I am proud of myself for finding time to exercise and get back into my pre pregnancy clothes in a time that felt right and healthy for me. I am proud of the fact that I got through a difficult birth and survived 18 months of PND. I am proud of myself that regardless of how crap some days are that at the end of them I have two amazing and happy little girls tucked up in their beds sleeping (for the time being!). And why the hell shouldn't myself and other mums be proud of ourselves each day for surviving as best we can and doing brilliantly well at this motherhood game (despite at times us thinking otherwise).
None of our motherhood wins are minor. None of them are inconsequential. All of them are worth acknowledgement and it's about time we started seeing them for what they truly are - Proof that we are actually F*&$ing AWESOME!
For all of you mums out there who are feeling like shit, feeling inadequate and not quite up to the mark. For all you mums out there having a fantastic few days after conquering your own mum battle but just haven't shouted about it then this is for you.
Ladies it's about time we started celebrating all of our achievements and mum victories. None of them are mundane or unimportant. They all MATTER and are living proof that "We ROCK" at this thing called motherhood.
Want to discuss how you are feeling about being a mum, warts and all, NO JUDGEMENT? Come join the No Bullshit Mum Revolution and pop into The Confessional to chat to other likeminded and straight talking mums, follow us on Twitter @thebabybible, find us on Facebook and join us on the closed Facebook Group by sending your email address to Olivia@the-baby-bible.com All mums welcome!