There is a quote which is my personal favourite that goes "Just because you become a Mother it doesn't mean you lose who you are." I think Beyonce said it...I always knew she was one of the smart ones. There is deep meaning packed into that one statement which I am sure every Mother can relate to personally. I know I can.
I have always been a person that never lets any one thing consume me; this included having a baby. It is of course very easy to make that statement - most things are easier said than done. Two months after my son was born and the hashing out of sleep patterns, feeding and colic issues etc were done, I decided it was time to grab the bull by the horns and start getting my life back on track. So I went out drinking. My son was mostly bottle-fed right from the beginning which made things much easier for me. I threw on my favourite LBD with the highest heels I could find, packed some makeup onto my face and I went to meet my friends for a few glasses of my all time favourite Yellow Tail Rose Champagne. At the bar I bumped into many people who congratulated me on the birth of my son and of course there were the inevitable one or two 'judgey' people who looked very surprised that I was out and about already and not at home with my baby.
6 months later, there was another person who seemed very concerned that I had gone back to work when my son was 8 months old and that it was extremely sad that he was going to 'grow up without a Mother.' Their eyes and comments said it all!
The next day at 9 am, one of my closest friends messaged me on WhatsApp to let me know that already those one or two 'judgey' people had (maybe for a dearth of interesting events in their lives) told a few others that I was not a very good mother for having left my 2 month old baby at home and I was out partying with friends and moreover GASP! WITHOUT MY HUSBAND who was home taking care of the baby.
Now I bring this little story up as an example mainly due to the fact that like me, moms all over have experienced different versions of this. It is the general belief that mothers support mothers and that there is no right or wrong. If you work hard or go out a lot with your friends, you are not spending enough time with your baby. If you spend a lot of time at home with your baby, then you have no life and it revolves around your child. Being human, I believe that everyone has a judgmental bone in their body. It is impossible not to be judgmental at all; although I am sure many people claim not to be.
What is the definition of a 'perfect mother'? Is there one? People choose their own paths once they have a baby. Some prefer to stay home all day with their baby and are perfectly happy. Then there are those who need a balance and make sure they go out every single day so that they don’t lose their minds. Some work all day - some because they want to and some because they have to. Hey, each to their own. But trying to get your life back to normal and not let motherhood overpower and consume you is not wrong. Not wanting to eat, breathe and sleep your baby 24/7 is not wrong.
This goes well beyond wanting to go out and have a good time with your friends. To me, having a baby is not the end of your life and the dreams you have. You can be a kick-ass mom, work all day and party till you drop.
So to all moms out there - be happy with who you are and what YOU believe is the right thing to do and will keep you sane. No one else will ever know better than you.