I recently wrote a blog about Why You’re A Crap Mum.
It was beautifully summarised by a comment from henriettamross14, “Dammned if you do, damnned if you don’t.”
From the moment you get pregnant you will find that decisions you make, believing them to be the best for both yourself and your child, are WRONG. Completely wrong. No matter what it is, somebody will be unnecassarily offended by the decision you’ve made.
The pressure can be overwhelming and all consuming. Trying to please others whilst staying true to yourself. Trying to do what you believe is best whilst trying to not offend others.
Of course, some people genuinely do things that are dangerous whilst they’re pregnant or raising children, things that are incomprehensibly cruel, which is why tragic cases of child abuse and neglect appear in our headlines and shock us so much. But the fact these headlines truly are shocking implies the majority of us, the huge majority of us, would never hurt our children and truly want to do what is best, what is right. Of course, our best and right is the polar opposite to someone else’s best and right, and therein lies the problem.
You’re always wrong and that gets so very hard to hear. You’re fighting a daily battle to make sure the screaming, wailing, tantrumming, monstrous creature that exhausts you, stresses you, and makes you ponder whether you can actually do this, is happy and healthy. You fight the best fight of your life. You do the best you can do. You struggle and you cry, you question yourself constantly, and you manaage it. You survived the day, your child survived the day, and for the most part everyone’s happy and healthy!
So. Very. Wrong.
Whatever choice you made to achieve your remarkable successes was wrong. Because it wasn’t what someone else did to achieve the same end result in their child.
But they’re wrong. Not you. They’re the problem. Not you.
Why You’re A Crap Mum was my most successful post to date, and one I am incredibly proud of. I’m proud of it because it has been read, I’m proud of it because people have said nice things, but mostly I’m proud of it because of the impact it has had on the lives of other mothers who fight that daily fight.
I read some of the comments on the shares of it. I read comments where it was posted to online mum communities like Babycentre.
This daily battle is hard and the constant criticism makes it harder. Sometimes we need the reminder that we are OKAY. That what we’re doing is just fine. The response shows that more of us need to be told that.
Mothers crying because they’re exhausted and doubting themselves have saved that post to reread again. Mothers broken down by cosntant criticism have read it and felt more capable of finishing the day. Mothers who have caused that doubt in others have hopefully read it and recognised what hurt they have caused and vowed to stop.
To write is my lifelong dream, and to make and impact on people’s lives with what I write is an honour. A true and complete honour.
So thank you. Thank you for finding my words, thank you for enjoying them, and thank you for sharing them.
I truly hope that more women are told that they are great mums from this day forward, and more of us back off from the constant barrage of criticism.
Different doesn’t equal wrong.
Freedom to choose your own path is the true definition of freedom. Respecting the decisions others make, even if you wouldn’t make them yourself, is the true definition of respect.
Give mothers freedom. Give mothers respect.
They’re doing a damn hard job and they’re doing it bloody well.
You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.
Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!