The Journey is the Reward; Motherhood is not a Competition.
With the advent of social media and technology, we have access to all the information we need; about literally everything. While this kind of easy access may be beneficial for us, it can also act as a double-edged sword. This myriad of online information can negatively affect our mental equilibrium and it is more prevalent in the case of new mothers. It is a perceived rat-race virtually projected on the web, which slowly and eventually creeps into our personal lives and minds.
From the time you are pregnant to the time you deliver and some years after that, mothers are constantly bombarded with stories of how every other woman in the neighborhood or a close relative has supposedly had a flawless pregnancy and how efficient they were raising their children and so on. This constant indirect comparison leads most moms with an inherent feeling of guilt of not being competent enough as mothers, and witnessing the supposed ‘perfect’ mothers on Instagram and Facebook makes things much worse! Constant stress, anxiety, and the burden of skyrocketing expectations at all times may have become your second nature, but relax, you are the mother, and you know best. Even if you don’t, it’s completely okay! You are, after all, human.
It’s not a Competition.
You, me, and all mothers should understand that perfection is an illusion; if you always attempt to achieve it in your journey, you will end up disturbing your mental peace. The thing about motherhood is that there is no fixed rule or process to be a mother. A child has no concept of good or bad; it just understands connection; it wants your warmth, love, and care. There is no point in wasting energy in finding out the perfect dress, toys, school, schedule, i.e., the ideal upbringing. You will end up putting a lot of pressure on yourself, which might, in turn, affect the upbringing of your kid.
Your friend or a close relative who delivered at the same time as you have somehow managed to lose the baby fat within no time and get a lean body. Her child also had started walking before yours did. While such a situation may easily make you compare yourself with them in agony and self-blame, you should realize that you and your child are unique and perfect the way you are. Every child is different and has their own pace of learning. This feeling of competition and comparison may put undue pressure on your child. As people, we make individual choices according to what the situation demands, which may impact our lives, and not every person is the same, we all are unique with respect to finance, physiology, and general living situations and so it’s not a scenario of one size fits all.
While the world may always try to put you under the competitive scanner, it is essential to know that most of them are oblivious to the struggles that a mother has to undergo to raise her child. Hence it is futile to waste your precious brain cells on them. It is entirely your prerogative of what kind of mother you want to be and how you want to bring up your child. Remember, motherhood is not a competition with any other mother; rather, all mothers’ stories are unique and beautiful in their ways.
This Journey is a Reward.
This competitive culture surrounding motherhood needs to be nipped in the bud, and you can be the orchestrator of this change. All new mothers need guidance, confidence, and motivation like you once required; you can shower them with these, always keep reassuring them that everything would be okay, and all problems are temporary and shall pass. Always remind them that all mothers are sailing in the same boat as them and there is no competition to be better than the other.
Don’t fear making mistakes, to err is human after all. Rather than being stressed about external factors and people, try and gain happiness from your own house. Enjoy the moments of joy with your little one. See him walk for the first time. Cry happy tears when he calls you ‘maa’ for the first time. Rejoice to see him play and roar with laughter. Your young one will not remain young forever; hence make the most of these moments. Be patient with yourself and your child; you will learn things along the way. Always remember you created life. Can anyone else match up to this feat?
This achievement has no prize; the journey itself is the reward; the journey of witnessing your child blossom into a perfect human being. Let life play its symphony; you dance to your rhythm. Motherhood is like acting in a play that doesn’t come with a pre-defined script. You would have to react and improvise according to the situations it throws at you. This play has numerous other actors, but you will always be the hero. The stage will display your journey as you evolve into a better person and a more amazing mother. Remove all self-doubt and let your child direct you into giving a flawless performance! The applause awaits you at the end.