Keeping your identity in motherhood

posted 12 months ago in Babies
Post # 32
4534 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

princessandthepear :  I think you make a good point. Judgement is soooo much harsher and more prominent these days as are the ‘rules’ of being a good parent. It starts from before you start TTC. Do prenatals, make sure you avoid xyz, do ABC. Oh you didn’t have a natural birth…hmm.  You gave your child a pacifier…tsk tsk. You are a stay at home mum??  You went back to work at 6 weeks and your child’s in daycare?? 

I think we are damned whatever we do and the judgement makes it so much harder to parent and know what to do and what we want to prioritize. We are drowning in options but every option seems to come with a side serve of judgement from somewhere. 

I also think the whole martyrdom thing comes from pressure to conform and not be judged negatively by others. We are damned if we do fall headfirst into loving motherhood and ienjoy it being all encompassing and we are judged if we are not deemed ‘maternal’ enough and have outside interests from family life. I think we cop it from all ends and sometimes the martyrdom aspect comes from the judgement factor and sometimes it comes from the I’m finding this hard and this is my way of testing the waters for someone who understands me and how hard this is and might have some words of reassurance and sympathy for me.  (Because again we are judged if  we don’t find motherhood a bed of roses and we have hard time with it) 

I wish we as women would be less judgmental because I think we can all honestly say parenting and motherhood is hard and try to be more supportive of each other. This whole thread has a lot of examples of where people are feeling judged or are outright being judged and are trying to employ tactics to limit the judgement from others . If you hear someone make a mommy martyr comment ask them how they are going as they are probably having a shit time and could probably use the support and some kind words. 

Post # 33
322 posts
Helper bee

Why are peoole judging this mother as “unhealthy” for going to baby classes, not going “out” and not letting her child cry?

Post # 34
848 posts
Busy bee

pinkglasses :  There’s nothing inherently unhealthy about any of that, however being “SO stressed out”, is. That may just be OP’s impression and in fact that mother is thriving on attachment parenting, but just judging from my own experience of being in that situation, it *was* really unhealthy, and I wasn’t aware that it doesn’t have to be that way…at the end of the day it’s just an assumption based on little info and common patterns. 

Regardless, even if she is stressed and sleep deprived to a state of poor health, cmsgirl ‘s post still rings true. By saying that mother is likely unhealthy isn’t (/shouldn’t be) meant to rebuke her parenting style. She clearly believes that’s what’s best for her family, and only she can truly make that call, and she should be supported in that. There are risks to being stressed and sleep deprived, just as there are risks to letting your baby cry…so I won’t tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t do with any absolutes, but I do think part of being supportive is bringing up concerns (and allowing the mother to conclude her own decision at the end of the day). Many moms are bullied into martyring themselves, and when it gets to the point of a health risk, I think it’s worth mentioning it because some moms might not be aware. 

Post # 35
2305 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I think I am wierd but I didnt find the newborn stage to be so bad. We could sleep in in the morning since I didn’t have to get up and go to work and I didn’t mind that he loved to sleep on me a lot. I gave up on breastfeeding pretty quickly so it helped that other people could feed him. I like that he is more independant now and can play on his own and we definately don’t go out as much as we did before kids but I am ok with it. Maybe its because we are older parents and waited a long time for this. We both feel that we had 44 and 45 years to do what we want so now it is time to be there for our son. 

Post # 36
550 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015 - Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

No!! I was so worried about this and because of that, it’s just not how I do things. I was worried about losing my identity so I made it priority to do things for myself and it’s been completely fine. 

On top of our baby (now toddler), my husband is also working full time and in university full-time so I have below-average support with our son. I still haven’t let it take over my life more than I want it to! When I get stir-crazy at home (all the time) I jsut pack our son up and go out for an adventure. Once we were stuck at home without a car and I was feeling cooped up so I just bundled up the baby and took a bus, train and another bus to meet a friend for tea. 

You’ll be fine 🙂 I promise. Just don’t let your husband get away with doing less of the overnight baby chores because he “has to work”. So do you. Your work is raising a human!

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