Self care

When you’re beating yourself up as a mum, look to your child and not to the world

I know I’m not alone when I question whether I’m doing enough for my child and with my child.

I’ve been asking myself (and Sam!) these questions a lot this week.

The list of things I’ve had mum-guilt over seems endless. Plus, Henry and I have both been sick and cooped up inside because of the rain, which never helps.

So many negative thoughts have stemmed from this week alone:

I don’t pay enough attention to Henry.

I need to play with him more.

I should be doing so much more with him and taking him out more.

Maybe I should put him in child care so he has more interactions with other children.

I don’t think we have enough toys to assist with his development.

Maybe I’m not cut out to run a business and be a mum.

What are other mums doing that I should be doing too?

These thoughts have been snowballing and they’ve left me feeling completely drained. I’m normally a very positive person but this week I’ve been feeling pretty depressed and defeated.

I’ve spent a lot more time than usual on social media this week too, because of my new business. I’ve no doubt that this increased engagement hasn’t helped my mindset. With each scroll on Instagram, it seems like there’s perfect mum after perfect mum, raising their perfect families, with the perfect mindsets.  When I sat down to write a post for today, I reflected on the week.

After weighing up the week’s events objectively, I’m feeling more positive. Has it been a hard week? Absolutely. Has it all been bad though? Absolutely not!

Amongst the fatigue, the sickness, the rain and the mum-guilt, there’s also been heaps of laughter and great quality play time. We’ve read what feels like a million books and there’s been heaps of affection between us. Henry’s learned new things and so have I.

Upon reflection I can see that positive things have happened this week much more frequently than negative things.  It’s just that the negative things are what I’ve chosen to focus on and I’ve allowed them to be the dictator of my mindset.

I took Henry out of the shower last night and took him to the nursery to dress him. He was giggling and being cheeky as ever. I looked at him and took in his smile. I ran and grabbed my phone, realising that it was a moment that needed to be captured.  It was in that moment, you see, that I came to understand a very simple thing…

When you’re beating yourself up as a mum, you need to look to your child. When I did that last night, I saw a little boy with a beaming smile. I saw a happy, outgoing, safe, loved and intelligent little boy.

In that moment, I didn’t see myself through the eyes of the world. I didn’t judge myself on how I’d allocated my attention to Henry, work, myself and my marriage.

In that moment, I saw myself through Henry’s eyes. And to him, I am the greatest. To him, I am funny, involved, entertaining, loving and comforting.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We all lack balance. We all manage our priorities wrong at times. But that doesn’t mean we’re not good enough. It doesn’t result in our children loving us any less. It certainly doesn’t mean that we should waste precious time beating ourselves up.

When you’re beating yourself up as a mum, don’t turn to the world to give you feedback – the world is not a position to do so. Look to your child instead. They’ll show you and tell you what you need to hear (whether you want them to or not!).

Have a great weekend everyone!

Beth x

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