The pressure to be a perfect parent has never been greater that what it is now. What birth are you having? What pram are you pushing? Are you attachment parenting? Breastfeeding? The list goes on, and judgement is never fair away. Why be a perfect mum, when you can be an imperfect mum? and be the best parent for your baby.
We think Clare’s story is honest and supportive. There is no right or wrong way of parenting, because no child or parent are the same! Over to Clare to tell her story.
‘I’ve never been a ‘rule book mum’
Im an imperfect mum. I’ve never been a ‘rule book mum’. I never bought a single baby book, I didn’t go to one NCT or ante-natal class, and I’ve never really done what society tells me to do as a mother. I’m just me.
My journey as an imperfect mum started at pregnancy. My pregnancy was perfect, aside from a bad iron deficiency, there wasn’t a single thing I could fault about it. Unfortunately my labour and birth at 12 days overdue, was what you could call the worst days of my life. ‘How can I think that?’ I hear you say, ‘you had a beautiful baby at the end of it all’. Granted, I did, she was perfect, but when people say you forget all about it, for me it’s not the case.
My birth was horrific
Without going into too much detail my birth was horrific, and no NCT classes would have prepared me for it. In fact I know they wouldn’t of even touched on anything that happened to me. Everything they tell you should happen, never did. Skin to skin? No chance. Daddy cut the cord? Not if we wanted to delay baby being safe. That first family photo when you came into the world and we were a big happy family? Phones weren’t allowed in serious situations.
‘mummy needed to be selfish and think of herself!’
Cue me being in recovery and my nurses asking where my bottles and formula was – breast feeding was not even to be considered, mummy needed to be selfish and think of herself! To me, this was an absolute breathe of fresh air. They were the first and last people on my side to formula feed. I never feel like I’ve had to justify my feeding decisions because my girl is thriving, healthy and happy. Being an imperfect mum is fine with me as long as shes feeding!
Unfortunately, I had to go back to work early, when Ivy was 6 months old. Still to this day I am riddled with mum guilt about it. Ivy is 2 now and is delayed in her speaking, and I will forever blame myself that I wasn’t there to help with her development. When it came to weaning, we gave her branded bought jars – being 2 full time parents we did not have time to do baby led weaning. And do you know what? I honestly don’t see the difference between Ivy’s feeding and a toddler who was BLW. Of course she is fussy with food, but that’s completely expected from a 2 year old, and do you know what her favourite dish is? Chicken Korma – I know, don’t ask.
As a mum, you will always be perfect to your child
I started my ‘mummy Instagram’ when I was pregnant, because I learnt very quickly how lonely pregnancy and motherhood can be. I admit I never made mum friends, but I had life long friends who were mums that I could turn too if needed. But social media has introduced me to a lot of really lovely mum’s who are always quick to message if I have a concern or a down day. When I read the words ‘I know exactly what you are going through’, it makes me feel less alone. Of course there is always judgement on social media, I have experienced nasty comments and DM’s mum shaming me, but you’re never going to be perfect in everyone’s eyes. As a mum, you will always be perfect to your child and that to me is all that matters.
If you would like to make a difference, you can follow Clare on Instagram. Make sure you share her story so parents everywhere know thats its ok to be imperfect!
How do you find parenting ? Do you worry about climate change? Have you changed your habits for the good of the planet? Maybe you have experience with having grandchildren? We would love to hear from you. Contact us with your story.