“I am a f**king incredible Mumma, and I always have been.”
There never used to be a doubt in my mind of that. The thought that I was any less than the best damn mum I could be, honestly didn’t even enter my thoughts. Not only was I always confident in my parenting, but I also worked with children for ten years, and god damn it, I was brilliant at it.
So, why do I question my parenting so much nowadays?
Why do I continually do my own head in, feeling guilty and stressing over my decisions?
Why do I feel as though I could be doing so much better?
Lately, as I’ve reflected on my years as a mum so far (sixteen years and counting) - and work through some very intense emotions in the process - I’ll be honest in saying that I haven’t felt nearly as confident as I once was, and frankly, it feels very, very uncomfortable.
I’m well aware that as a parent, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of feeling as though you’ve failed or have let your kids down somehow. I’m fairly sure every parent on earth has felt that way at one time or another. (Would we be real parents if we didn’t?)
The thing is though, when you have the added pressure of trying to juggle single parenting and running a business from home, all the while doing your best to heal from an abusive ex and process all you and your kids have been through, the anxiety does tend to kick in a little. The guilt, worry and fear felt in regard to the type of parent you have been, are, and will be in future, is of course, amplified.
It’s not like I don’t have support. I do. My family and friends remind me of what an incredible job I’m doing as a mum all the time; and more importantly, so does my eldest son. But still, the inner turmoil continues.
“How did I allow that to happen?”
“Could I have handled that better?”
“Why wasn’t I strong enough?”
“Have I been too soft/harsh?”
“Is this all my fault?”
“Am I doing this right?”
And the list goes on...
It took a family support worker who I met with for the first time this week to remind me who I am as a mum. And my god, I am so grateful to have met her.
Even though your loved ones can tell you all they want, sometimes it takes a brutally honest conversation from a stranger to get the message through. Someone who knows their shit, has seen it all before, and has no reason whatsoever to blow smoke up your arse, to remind you that you, as a Mumma, are awesome as f**k.
So, I’ve decided my insecurities need to stop right here. I know that my kids chose me to be their mum, and they did it for a reason. Whether or not everyone agrees with the way I do things isn’t my problem. I take my role as a mum damn seriously. Always have. Always will.
While naturally, I’ll always wonder whether I’m making the right decisions for my children (coz that’s what mums do), I am no longer allowing myself to sit in a place of anxiety about it because of what’s happened in the past.
Today, I am making the best damn decision I’ve ever made for my children, and that is to remember that not only do I have sixteen years of pretty bloody good experience as a parent up my sleeve, but what we’ve been through has only made me a much stronger, wiser, and compassionate parent. I know that, but it took a bit of a gentle kick up the arse for me to acknowledge it.
So now, I’m saying with all of my being: Hell yes, I am a f**king incredible Mumma, and I always have been. And that is the truth.