The perfect mum
I recently sat down for a coaching session with a new Mum, battling with the decision to continue staying at home with her little one (who is just over two years old) or to continue with the awesome career she had before the baby. She told me about the guilt she feels because she misses her job, and the worry she experiences that any time spent away from the little one will mean she’s not the "perfect mum”.
I wrote her this email after our session, from a personal perspective (we are also good friends), and she thought it was helpful and asked me to share it on my blog as personal advice for all new Mums/ stay home Mums/ working Mums.
I have been all of the above to two lovely boys who are now (mostly) grown and while we had our ups and downs we have had the best relationship and an enormous amount of FUN.
You are all your child’s perfect Mum! Don’t be so hard on yourselves!
My Dear Friend,
The way you feel about being a mum is – in my experience – like a lot of women feel.
All those diapers, all those games played, all those books read, all those sitting on the floor being a "mummy kitty". I truly get it. I was never a “picture book mum”. I missed being a successful and respected business women. I missed being an erotic, spontaneous women and wife. I missed being cool, independent and crazy. But I loved my boys! And I felt often ashamed or guilty because of how I felt. I felt inadequate in many ways.
But there were those boys that loved me so much and I would have done everything for them. So every day I took new decisions depending on how I felt that day. Because I found out that there was space and time for everything. I realized that I would always be the perfect mum for my boys because I was their mum and loved them. It was ok to not be a “perfect mum” all the time, it was ok for me to tell them that I did not wanted to play a game right now but they could play by themselves and I would “do my thing”. It was ok to tell them that I had to go somewhere and they would stay with somebody else, because I knew when I got back I was in a much better place.
I truly think you are a wonderful mum and you don’t have to feel guilty or bad about anything. Your boy will always love you and don’t be afraid to miss anything with him, because there is so much ahead of you with him, don’t think you have to spend every minute because there is a lifetime with him ahead of both of you.
You are so hard on yourself. You are in a rough situation and you are doing really good! Try to cherish how strong you are and all the good things you are doing. I don’t want to tell you what to do because I am not in your shoes, I know though that you are a wonderful, beautiful, strong, smart and loving lady. You can make small changes and they will help you. If you don’t take care of yourselves you cannot take care of the others.
I love you a bunch and wish I could be there for you more.
Take care and be YOU because that is the best you can be!