As a new Mum there were times I thought I was failing especially when I compared myself to some mothers. Their baby slept through from day one; breastfeeding was easy (it took me 6 weeks to master it); their baby settled straight after every feed; they weren't tired; they found time to exercise and I couldn't see them waiting at the front door for their husband to arrive home from work, so they could 'hand over' the baby because they needed to go for long walk to clear their head.
I would often watch these 'Perfect Mums' and silently be thinking 'Are they just really lucky? Are they lying? or Am I not a natural Mum?
It's interesting how at times we just assume others are 'better' than us or find it a lot easier, when reality might be very different.
My mothers group went out on a girls night recently and we decided to talk about our first meeting and what we thought of each other that day. We have been close for nine years so we could be honest with each other - there was a lot of laughter as we were suprised by each others answers. Every mother walked away from our first mothers group meeting thinking they weren't coping as well as everyone else.
One of my gorgeous mother group friends told me she noticed I was wearing make-up; my nails were painted; my 5 week old son was wearing shoes and evidentially I mentioned I had put my son's name on a waiting list for high school. She decided right there and then I was one of those 'Perfect Mums' and unfortunately she thought she wasn't in the same league as me.
I was so suprised she put me in the 'Perfect Mum' category I laughed, however, I was also horrified to think such a beautiful soul who was a new mother felt that way after spending only a small amount of time with me.
If anyone had asked me how I was finding 'motherhood', I would have told them I was like a duck: 'Calm on The Surface But Paddling Like Hell Underneath'. The ironic part about our first meeting is I had put my new friend on a pedestal, I thought she was a natural mother, very calm, laid back and a brilliant cook (I was impressed she found time to cook before the meeting).
Shoes: I had been given the baby shoes as a gift, it was our first outting, so though I might as well get some use out of them while my baby was tiny.
School: I can't recall mentioning I had put my son's name on a wait list; however I had registered him, so I must have mentioned it. My only intention for telling the mothers group, would have been so they didn't miss out on the school of their choice.
Make-up and Nail polish: is just part of my personality: pre or post baby.
Our perception of someone (especially when we are sleep deprived), might be very different to reality. Don't judge yourself on what others 'appear' to be, remind yourself every mothers circumstance is different, due to different incomes; number of children; birth experience; their baby's health; husbands/partners and their support network (eg grandparents etc).
We are all on different playing fields with our new baby, we all do our best with our personal circumstances. As long as our baby is loved, fed, warm, safe and we as mothers are easy on ourselves and each other, we will get through the tough times and celebrate the beautiful moments of motherhood.
I love the quote: "There is no way to be the perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one"