Motherhood your way

Motherhood is hard work. From the second we announce our pregnancies to the minute we go into labour and then right up until our children are adults, someone out there knows better than you do and is more than happy to let you know just how wrong you’re doing everything.

Trust me, you will be told a thousand times during your motherhood journey just how wrong you’re getting everything and how much better you could be doing it if you followed them and their way of doing things. You too could have a little perfect angel JUST LIKE THEM.

We judge ourselves so harshly as mothers too. We look at everything we’re doing and think we could do this differently, we could be better, we could be like someone else with the golden child. Please stop right here mom. Do motherhood your way. It might not be the best way and you might not be doing things the way your mother used to, but it’s your way and that’s okay. As long as you’re not putting your child in danger you’re perfect. Do your research and make your own calls about what you should be doing and what works for you.

Don’t listen to those harsh critics telling you your child is dressed inappropriately. If you want to dress your daughter in a pink tutu then do that. If you don’t want to gender stereotype your child by dressing her in pink then let her wear blue, or green, or mismatched clothing. It’s your baby and you get to do everything by your own rules.

Trust your gut feeling but make sure it’s backed up by research. Don’t let cyber bullies get to you. Don’t feel obliged to do things the way they’ve always been done. Ignore those fingers pointing at you and sneering about how wrong you’re doing it all. Everyone was a new mom at some point. I don’t think there is a single first time mom out there who just knew from the get go that they were total rock stars at this whole mothering thing. Motherhood is tough.

There are so many rewards to being a parent. Every smile feels like the greatest gift your baby has ever given you but it can all be marred and uglied by people who have no business telling you how to do things. I recently read a mother’s tale of how mothers in a shopping mall criticised her for “under-dressing” her child on a hot summer day. She was devastated about all the vicious and uninvited comments she received while out shopping. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, you don’t have to listen to any of them. You just have to do the best you can do and raise your child to be a good human being. Don’t let the guilt get you.

If you want to be a stay at home mom and you can, don’t let the voices of others stop you. If you love your career and want to keep working then go do that. Don’t let the opinions of others influence the choices you’ve made. Discuss things with your partner if you have one and disregard anything that doesn’t work for you. In fact, I’d suggest deciding whose opinion you value when it comes to parenting your child and only consider their opinions. Everyone else is white noise.

Go raise your child your way. Unapologetically. Be You - Motherhood your way

*Looking forward to our next “Be You with Jonelle” column? You can learn more about Jonelle here and find more from her!

Jonelle du Pont

Jonelle du Pont

Jonelle is a first time mom in Cape Town. Her main focus outside of her family is inspiring, motivating and empowering women through her blogs Tyranny of Pink and Jonelle du Pont. Jonelle has had an incredibly challenging journey through life, including facing and beating death just after welcoming her new baby into this world; and yet finds the positive and shares the learnings through it all. She is also the author of our column “Be You with Jonelle”.

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