Becoming a mother is a beautiful. It’s a happy occasion, and you feel so incredible that you were able to bring another life into this world. However being a mom isn’t all fun and games. With a child, comes many expectations of the parents and especially the mother.
Aside from some of the obvious expectations of being able to feed and clothe your baby, society puts on expectations of how a mother should act. A mom should be strong and protective they say. A mom should be able to predict all the baby’s needs in a timely fashion. She should know exactly how to soothe her baby at any moment. The list goes on and on. On top of all of this, the mother should also be organized and running a perfect household. She should be happy for the mere fact that she is a mother.
These crazy expectations are just some of the crazy, unrealistic ideals that society puts on mothers. These myths of motherhood are tearing fantastic moms down who believe they are in some way failing, when in reality they are being the best parent they can be. They internalize those unrealistic expectations and lose confidence in themselves.
Most mothers are absolutely enthralled with their children and are happy to have the family they do, but they also all struggle. They may be exhausted from running a household, crack under the intense pressure of pretending to be happy all the time, or be anxious about if they’re make the right choices. All of this is perfectly ok, and comes with being a mother.
Here are some of the worst myths about what should be expected of a mother, and the truth behind them.
"Moms must put their kids first."
Many moms feel incredibly guilty if they don’t put their child above themselves, but this simply is a terrible practice that mothers should never be judged for. It’s easy for moms to forget to shower or feed themselves when their knee high in diapers and laundry, but this can take a negative toll on your mental health. You have to give yourself time to relax, recuperate, and do things just for you. In order to be the best mom you can be, you must also learn that it’s ok to take care of yourself.
"Moms that need help are lazy."
It’s hard enough to be a parent as is without being judged by others for asking for help. All moms are going through different situations in life and we have no right to judge another without knowing the full story. The low-income, single mom that asks help from the WIC office isn’t lazy. She’s probably one of the most hard-working parents out there, and is doing whatever she can to make sure her baby gets everything they need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, because only you know the true situation you are going through.
"Moms are responsible for a child’s bad actions."
No one gives a mother praise for the great things their child does, but as soon as the child makes a mistake everyone is quick to point the finger back to her. Even when a father is present in the child’s life, society likes to think the parenting rests solely on the mother’s shoulders and therefore is responsible for everything the child does. However there are tons of reasons for why a child decides to do the things they do and the majority of them don’t direct back to the parent. Be sympathetic to mothers with misbehaved children, because they might be struggling.
"Moms shouldn’t be single."
Single moms get beaten on way too often. They are seen as less-than because their marriage didn’t work out, or they created a child out of wedlock, or whatever the reason may be. People judge them that they are raising their child in an “unsuitable environment.” This simply isn’t fair to another mother. It’s incredibly offensive, and we choose to support these mothers for being the best parents they can be! The number of single mothers in the U.S. has risen over the last 50 years because women are demanding better for themselves and their children, which we think is incredible.
Motherhood is hard; it’s as simple as that. Society has all these tough expectations of what a real mother should be, but the reality is that these expectations are impossible to achieve. No mother is perfect. Everyone is going to make mistakes and that’s ok. Mothers shouldn’t allow themselves to be subjected to such negative criticism and instead should stand up for themselves and their family. Only you know what is best for your child and you have every right to be the mother you think they need most.