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Posted by on Jun 25, 2008 in Diary of a Supermom, Featured, Parenthood | 3 comments

“Pecking away at our confidence”: Mother hens and the quest for validation

“Pecking away at our confidence”: Mother hens and the quest for validation

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As a new stay-at-home mother of two, I have found that one of the things I most desire is validation…Yep..not help with diaper changes, not a barrage of meals from family and friends, not even a nap…What I want most is someone else to say, “Yes! I understand what you’re going through!” and, “Don’t worry, I feel that way too.” or “You’re not the only one.” and “My child also…fill in the blank.”

So many people are quick to offer “advice”, and so-called “encouragement” to mothers..Why anyone feels compelled or in the right to do so baffles me…Would you walk up to a mechanic and give him tips on engine maintenance? Would you tell the cashier at the grocery store a better way to bag the groceries? Of course not…you don’t tell people how to do their jobs, or feel the need to shower them with cliches and pithy advice. However, people seem quick to forget that a stay at home mom is a full-time job, and perhaps one of the hardest jobs a person can undertake.

I think though at times a mother, especially a new one can end up feeling isolated and completely invalidated by these “well-meaning” comments. One of the things I remember ladies (especially older “churchy” ladies) telling me is that, “Being a mom is such a blessing.” or “Your children are the greatest and most precious thing imaginable,” and other such saccharine pith. Don’t get me wrong..both of those statements are absolutely true..without a doubt. My children are a blessing, and are two of the best things to ever happen to me..However, when that is ALL people tell you, you can sure end up feeling like a louse for ever feeling tired, stressed, or..gasp..like you need a break from your kids..Good heavens, did someone just say that??

With all of the “mother-hens” breathing down our necks, and all of the pressure to be super-mom, we can feel as though we are in the wrong for being aggravated that you have to get up at 3 in the morning, or like the worst mom ever for just not wanting to play Play-dough right now, or feeling really selfish because all you really want is just five minutes of quiet. Its okay to feel like that…You’re not a bad mom for craving balance…for being human…

So don’t allow yourself to give in to the negative thoughts that are eating away at you…Don’t let other people’s words take away your confidence as a mother. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. IT IS OKAY. We’re great mothers…we do the best we can for our kids every single day…but, we’re human, and that’s okay too.

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3 Comments

  1. I’m so happy that you wrote that. Being a stay at home mom myself is wonderful, yet sometimes exhausting! I sometimes feel overwhelmed, and lonely, when the only person I have to talk to is a 6 month old. I love him to death, but sometimes I just want to get away for a while. Then that makes me feel guilty, because I feel selfish for wanting “alone” time. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way.

  2. I agree Bekki, I had so many moments when my children were very small that made me sob when I got home. I remember trying to unload my groceries onto the belt with Logan standing up in the cart attempting to climb out, I tried to get him to sit down but he just wouldn’t. The lady behind me said, “Do you know, it is a major injury just waiting to happen when you let him stand up.”

    She couldn’t say, “Can I help you unload those so you can stand with your child?”

    Or when he was just a baby and SCREAMED all the time. He was never awake and not crying. Total colic. I had to go to the UPS store, and the woman waiting in line behind me said, “I have never heard a baby cry like that before. What are you doing to it to make it cry?” Talk about feeling about an inch tall!

    Now that my kids are older and in school when I go shopping most of the time, I always keep my eyes out for stressed parents and, at the very minimum, say “I remember those days so well, my kids used to do exactly the same thing! I promise it will get better.”

  3. I have a 2 and a 4 year old and I am 44. I am…exhausted, I am not “more patient”, I grab every “me” moment I can get, and wonder where all my friends went. They are a blessing, but they are also a huge responsibility and it can be so scary at times. Especially when I see things in them I swore I wouldn’t let happen! Yes, I love all the little jabs too, but I also remember when I was without children and all the glares I would give mother’s who couldn’t get their kids “under control”! WOW, am I rotten! Challenging season, for sure. Good thing their so cute!

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