Being a mom isn’t just about filling traditional roles of motherhood

Being a mother isn't about filling traditional roles | Tyranny of Pink

One of the hardest things about being a new parent is figuring out the balance. You want to do everything perfectly but you also can’t let yourself go insane. I KNOW you know what I’m talking about. As a mom to be, I set out making sure everything was just perfect in anticipation of my son’s arrival. His room was ready months in advance and I had read as much parenting material as I could. I knew exactly the kind of mother I was going to be. I knew exactly what I wouldn’t do and when and how.

And then my son was born and absolutely nothing went the way I had planned it.

Being mom | Tyranny of Pink


Instead of the calm natural birth I had planned, I was rushed in for an emergency C-Section. My plans had already started falling to pieces and my son wasn’t even born yet.

This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.

The next few weeks were the same. As things happened differently to how I had planned them, I put more and more pressure on myself as a mother to perform. I just had to do things perfectly and make sure it was all in my control.

The truth is, life isn’t in your control. You can lay the best plans possible and things still happen exactly how they need to. I’ve learnt over the course of the last 6 monthsΒ of being a mom that being a mother doesn’t have to mean giving birth without an epidural. It doesn’t have to mean natural labour. Being a mother doesn’t mean breast-feeding. It doesn’t mean being the main caregiver to your child at all. It means doing what is best for you, your baby and your family.

Being mom | Tyranny of Pink

My situation was much harder than I could have ever dreamed up. I spent the first month of my child’s life in hospital and countless days since then. Instead of late night feeds with my son, I spend my nights recovering from numerous surgeries. Instead, my husband has assumed the role of “mother” making sure our son is fed when he wakes during the night. My husband is the one alone at home with the baby when I’m in hospital. My husband is the one who does all the things that are expected of me as a mother.

Some days I feel like I got a really bad deal. Some days I can’t help feeling like a failure of a woman. I so desperately want to remember the tiny details but the truth is, I’m too exhausted most of the time. Instead, my heart is filled with guilt about not being there, not being good enough, not being enough of a mother.

I worry that my child won’t know I’m his mother. I worry that he will love his father more than me and that I won’t be as important. I worry that I have failed.

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Being mom | Tyranny of Pink

The truth is, when I hold my son and he snuggles into my neck, I’m just as much of a good parent as his father is. He loves me. He may not associate me with bed time, or middle of the night feeds but he knows I’m his mama. When he’s scared, I hold him tight and he calms down in a way that no one else can achieve. When he wants to play, I know just how to make him squeal with delight. When he holds my hand, it fills my entire heart. I carried that child inside of me for 9 months. He knew my voice, my heart beat before he knew anything else.

No matter what I expected of myself, no matter what other people expected of me, all I can be is myself. All I can do, is love this little boy more than anything and do the very best that I can for him. I may not always get it right but I will always be me and I will always be his mama to the very best of my ability.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be a certain way to be a good mom. You don’t. You just have to be the best mom you can be for your child. It doesn’t have to look like a carbon copy of anyone else. Just be a mom the best way you can.

Being mom | Tyranny of Pink


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9 Discussion to this post

  1. Robyn says:

    Oh, this post! β™‘ I dreamt of being a mother since being little – Y’know like most girls do about their dream wedding. Everything was going to be perfect. And them my daughter came 15 weeks early and I just felt a failure, my body hadn’t kept her safe. The nurses did all the important stuff, my husband held her, fed her, changed his nappy when we was allowed. Its horrible to admit but I just didn’t want to be there, in the hospital, being of no use to anyone, least of all my sick child. It took almost 4 months until I could say I actually loved her, but when it happened, when I saw her squidgy little face staring up at me, needing me to teach her the ways of the world. My heart just exploded with joy. There’s no such thing as perfect when it comes to being a parent. Its about you and your child learning this whole new way of life together. As long as their clean, fed and happy… you’re doing the very best you can. xx

    • Robyn, I just get this! Seriously. I struggled so much – instead of being a mom I was busy fighting to live and I watched everyone around me nurse my son and take care of him. I hadn’t held him properly and I just felt like a huge failure. We put so much pressure on ourselves. My son is 7months old and I still compare myself to my husband. Except that he’s healthy and strong and can do much more than I can. We put so much pressure on ourselves instead of just loving them and accepting that we are doing just fine. Thanks for reading! xxx

  2. Jessie says:

    Hello! I nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger Award. πŸ™‚
    Have a wonderful day! Xoxo, Jessie

  3. Chev says:

    Beautifully captured. The essence of motherhood is in how we embrace the challenges when our “perfect” plans fall apart. You are rocking motherhood!

  4. I love how you share what you are going through, Janelle! Mummy-guilt is such a universal thing and I’ve experienced a huge amount of it myself. You are a good enough mum! The fact that you care about your son so much tells me you are a wonderful mum too. I’ve been wrestling with what balance looks like with y 10yr old, 7yr old and 4yr old this last week. Because they are always changing and I am changing and growing it’s something I find myself having to address periodically! I created my second video (sound not perfect) about this just yesterday. Feel free to have a little look…and you’ll see I’m definitely not perfect! I’m at a different stage of mothering having older children but it might spark something. Blessings! Elizabeth from Unravelling Mysteries.

    • Hi Elizabeth, thank you so much! Just watched your youtube video and completely relate, thanks for sharing it. I love the idea of taking yourself on a date and think it doesn’t even have to be out the house. You could just schedule some time alone for you and it would do the world of good. As mothers we are so quick to just drop our needs and put our babies first and then we end up running on empty. Mothering really has to be done to the best of our abilities. I’d been struggling a lot with mommy guilt and dealing with feelings of inadequacy but I’ve started accepting that I can not be everything to my son and thats okay too! Thanks so much for your encouragement! Helps to hear it! xx

  5. Bonnie says:

    And after everything you have been through you are still a wonderful mother. When I look at that healthy little boy with those chubby cheeks…. . Oh my heart. There is no perfect mother on earth but you are the perfect mother for him. Love you xoxo β™‘ β™‘ β™‘

    • Thank you mom. It doesn’t always feel like it so it’s lovely to hear it sometimes! If nothing else, I love him more than I knew possible. Hopefully that counts for something! xoxo

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