10 Jul You’re Not Wrong Because You Do It Differently
By Courtney Rasche
Being a parent in today’s world is extremely difficult, like balancing working full time while helping with homework, getting to sports practices and making dinner. Research shows that being a Mom is equivalent to working two and a half full-time jobs. Moms often work a paid full-time job plus must be the full-time parent when we get home. We know this is not every case, and every family looks different.
What makes it even harder is the amount of pressure that society places on us. Moms see Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and compare themselves and their abilities to the posts they see. It. Is. Overwhelming!
As a mom, do you ever feel overwhelmed with expectations, like the ones below?
We are supposed to work full-time like we don’t have kids and raise our kids as if we don’t work full-time.
You are doing all of this because your heart is centered around your family and your kids. You are doing an amazing job juggling all that life throws, but sometimes a break is needed.
Idea: Check in with your mom friends to see if they need a sitter for the night, or maybe you could grab something at the grocery store for them and save a trip of buckling all the kids in, getting them out, buckling them back in, and getting them out again at home.
We are expected to be an equal contributor to our family financially but are expected to still cook dinner and clean around the house in addition to running the kids to and from sports.
Figure out a system that works for YOUR family! Every dynamic is different, and if it works for you, then that is all that matters!
Idea: This may mean having to tag in the help of grandparents and other school parents to share pick-ups with. Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness. Strong, secure people know their capacity and know when they can use a hand.
We are expected to breastfeed, but not in public and sometimes in places that aren’t clean or are meant to store cleaning supplies!
Feed your baby. If you nurse, bottle feed, formula feed, on a schedule or feed on-demand, this is between you and your baby.
Idea: Support new mothers, regardless of how they choose to feed their infants. If you are an employer of a nursing mother, you can help by making accommodations so that she doesn’t have to nurse in the bathroom stall or the supply closet.
Lose the baby weight, but don’t take time away from your kids to go to the gym.
You cannot pour from an empty cup. Taking care of your own health and happiness are vital in being able to be your best self for your family.
Idea: Call up a mom friend and go on a walk together or set goals together at the gym. Self-care is not selfish!
Be active at your kids’ school. But not TOO active.
Find a balance that works for your family’s schedule. That could be serving as room parent, or not being able to make any field trips. There is no right or wrong! Don’t let the pressures of what other parents are doing make you feel inferior to them. Pinterest is great for ideas but comparing your full movie reel to their highlights won’t help anyone.
Idea: Talk with your kids about a reasonable level of you being active at school.
Keep your house clean! But also save time to continue making memories with your kids. And clean up after them.
With all the other responsibilities that parents have on their shoulders, sometimes cleaning house is the last priority. And that is okay!
Idea: Trade-offs can be a creative way to share tasks and build community. If you enjoy mowing the lawn and your neighbor likes cooking—trade off one night a week and share chores. And when the kids are old enough, get them involved in helping around the house with dishes, cooking, clean-up, and laundry.
Get off your phone! Be active in your child’s lives! But always be available by text, chat, or email.
Maybe the playground or swim practice is the one time of day where you are able to catch up on emails or pay bills or simply have 30 minutes of quieter time with kids not asking for snacks 500 times!
Idea: Finding that balance is really important and also really tough. Again, there is no right or wrong way to let your kids go to the playground. If you want to get out and play with them, GREAT! If you need some time to decompress and text a friend while keeping one eye on your child, GREAT!
Regardless of where you live in the US, these are common expectations of mothers today. How about, instead of continuing to break ourselves trying to meet these “standards,” we do our best to love our kids with our whole hearts, keep them safe, and teach them life lessons.
Idea: RAISE EACH OTHER UP! Just because bloggers and social media trolls want to make memes about moms, doesn’t mean we have to let them get to us. Help another mom out. Let them know that when they aren’t able to make a field trip, you will be there to take pictures. It does NOT make them any less of a loving mom.
Instead of wearing ourselves down trying to keep up with what society tells us is “right,” sit down with your partner or kids or by yourself and figure out what is RIGHT for YOU! It is YOUR parenting journey. It doesn’t have to be Instagram perfect and Pinterest worthy to be good enough.
We ARE good enough just the way we are.