I was thrilled to get an email stating that I was successful and that I was going to become a guest blogger for Parent Survival once a month. What an honor! This was really going to help me in going forwards of following my dreams of becoming a writer.
No sooner had the excitement kicked in, but the nerves soon followed. Could I produce content that was engaging and exciting once a month? Could I really do this? And all of a sudden a familiar sense and feeling took over me; pressure.
Now pressure can be both a good and bad thing, in this case, it’s a good thing as I really want to prove myself and move forwards as a writer and this is an excellent way of doing it. But pressure can be a bad thing. It got me thinking about the pressure I feel as a parent. I am always worrying if I am a good enough parent or not. I am always putting so much pressure on myself to be the perfect parent.
Who else checks their social media and compares? I do. It’s one of the worst habits I have. I know that as soon as I have seen other Mums doing fabulous things with their children, serving up the healthiest home made treats, or doing the most fun adventurous things on a weekend, that I will feel pressure to step it up in my home.
I feel pressure all of the time. To make sure that my children are eating well, whinging less, are more grateful and polite and generally well behaved. I feel the pressure to be perfect.
The more pressure I pile on though, the less perfect I feel.
Take this week for example, I wanted a perfect start to the new half term. I wanted to, quite frankly, boss it. So what happened Monday?
Half way through the day I realised I sent my Son in with a pack lunch when he had school lunches. He called me a silly Mummy when he came out of school.
How had that even happened? I checked the school lunch system TWICE that Sunday, but I was making my youngest his pre school lunch, whilst thinking of the huge list of things I had to get ready like PE Kit, polish shoes, check homework is in the bag, that I made 2 lunches. And I was really pleased that I had them all ready for Monday morning. I tried to be so perfect, that in reality I became silly.
I always put too much pressure on myself. I am a stay at home Mum, I spend whatever hours I can writing, but mainly I am non stop doing washing and cleaning and just generally chasing around after two small humans and a husband. I love it, but because I am at home, I pile the jobs on because surely if my husband is at work, I should be working just as hard, if not harder at home? Only when do I get breaks? As Mothers, we usually just don’t. So I have no idea why sometimes I just don’t give in and read a book for 5 minutes, or watch TV, or go on a walk, or have that bubble bath. Because I am sure that after a little me time, I will start feeling less pressure and more relaxed. Funnily enough, I achieve more results when I am calm and content.
I think, as parents, we do expect too much of ourselves. Whether that’s due to our upbringing, our individual personalities, whether its because we’ve compared what others do on social media or because we just feel bad if we aren’t perfect. I just think though, that we need to stop and reflect. I am sure we are all doing our very best, I am sure, we are all perfect in our children’s eyes. No one can achieve it all. Social media is everyone’s highlight reels and I think we need to remember that. And so what if something goes wrong? We need to learn from it all, or find the silver linings. To reflect and move on. Appreciate and learn. We need to stop piling on the pressure and start piling on the positives. We can only do our best and that is more than good enough.
Gayleen has a personal blog post about parenting and mental health. If you would like to follow her you can check our her blog here. You can also follow Gayleen on instagram to stay up to date with her too!