When some women think about allowing themselves to be “human,” they feel a sudden panic that they will slide into behaviours of selfish or “bad” motherhood. But, you have to trust that if you love your baby, you won’t just stop caring for him, love will win when you just go with the natural flow.
New motherhood is also a good opportunity to reflect on what may be a lifelong pattern of critical perfectionism. I’m here to tell you: perfection is an impossible goal; it’s not possible in any job or human relationship, and it’s certainly not possible in parenting.⠀
Rather than spending time judging yourself and wondering if you’re getting an “A” at parenting, try to aim for compassion and authenticity when you’re with your baby.
That compassionate and authentic parent is the person your baby is going to love, and the model that your child will learn from as she grows up. Since motherhood is such a hard job, we’re all going to fail at it sometimes.
But to be good enough, all you have to do is to brush yourself off and try again. It’s your effort and caring that your children can feel and need most. Trust me: they need the hugs (and the dinner, and the bath, and the shared giggles) and they’re not grading you on the quality of your performance.⠀
Besides, that perfect mother isn’t a healthy model for them either, because she’s so self-depriving. Would you want your own child to learn that neglecting her basic needs in the context of a relationship is something to strive for? Sometimes you have to put yourself first — and you should.
Self-care is not selfish — it’s simply a requirement for psychological (and physical) survival. There may be times you have to go to the bathroom and leave your baby crying for a few minutes in her crib. As soon you pick her up and hug her, she’ll forgive you. I encourage you to also try to forgive yourself.”⠀Credit to Helen for the lovely Illustration. You can find more of her work @helenetheillustrator on Instagram