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no more shoulds header

The other day I hurried into a baby group with my daughter. As I sat down the girl next to me turned to me and said, ‘Geez, you’re always late aren’t you? And couldn’t you at least have put some make-up on?’. I smiled apologetically. I should have left the house earlier. I eyed the other mums in the circle.  As I pulled my baby’s bottle out of my changing bag, I noticed several babies calmly breastfeeding. One of the breastfeeding mums looked over with a raised eyebrow and said ‘Oh. You’re bottle-feeding? You do know breast is best, don’t you. Could you not have tried a bit harder?’. Forcing back a tear, I smiled and nodded and mumbled an explanation. Maybe I should have tried harder? Could I have? Whilst trying to wrestle my wriggling baby into position (should she wriggle so much?), she started crying, louder and louder. That was clearly the last straw for the other mums, as I heard the collective tutting. Oh God, no-one else’s baby was crying this much.

I know what you’re thinking. What a mean bunch of people, right? Why do I even bother going to that group? The thing is, what if I told you it wasn’t the other mums saying those things. It was actually me, in my head.

You can guarantee that if in reality those people spoke to me like that, I would have stood up for myself, and definitely chosen a nicer baby group. So why on earth do I put up with that level of judgement and guilt-tripping from myself? Why can I not tell myself my decisions are ok and that’s enough? I could before I had a baby! The challenge we face as new mums is that there are so many ‘should’s and ‘shouldn’t’s, and if you deviate from any of them, you are made to feel like you are doing it wrong. So you tell yourself you should be doing it better. Trust me, you’re ok. Whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it BRILLIANTLY for your baby.

As I have waded through the minefield of ‘should’s, both from myself and others, to find a path that works for me and my baby, I have grown determined to help all mums have kinder, healthier minds full stop. Armed with a combination of mindfulness, kindfulness and plain old common sense, I am on a mission to make a difference. So please join me on my quest to be kinder, more mindful and more respectful to myself as a mother, to help other mums do the same, and together let’s banish the word “should” for good.

 

 

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Devin
    February 8, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    A lovely introduction into what I expect will be a series of insightful, thought-provoking and encouraging blogs pieces of writing that remind us to all be a bit more self-compassionate.

  • Reply
    2travellingtots
    July 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I was outraged on your behalf when I read the first few sentences of this thinking what horribly unkind people go to this group! Then when you said it was your ‘inner critic’ I realised I do this too! When will we learn to give ourselves a break I wonder? At least we know we’re not alone! X

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      July 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Couldn’t agree more! That’s my plan to try and help people (and me) do that, one step at a time ? x

      • Reply
        2travellingtots
        July 4, 2016 at 7:28 pm

        Great idea! I’m halfway through writing something about unintentionally being a bitch – and telling myself that sometimes it’s ok to just not have the best day! x

  • Reply
    mummyofboygirltwins
    July 7, 2016 at 10:13 am

    We are terrible critics of ourselves and you’re right – we NEED to stop!! Having a baby is tough and things will slip. Being perfect is impossible. Jess xx

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      September 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Couldn’t agree more Jess! Thanks for the kind comment 🙂 xx

  • Reply
    pmcoveblog
    August 13, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I was really cross when I started reading this at those awful mums then as you revealed the truth it took me back to how I felt as a new mum and how hypercritical I was of myself at the beginning and maybe for the first few years to be honest! What a fantastic viewpoint to approach from- trying to be more kind to each other and ourselves- I really look forward to reading more from you- thank you! X lou at http://www.peppermintcove.com

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      September 13, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Thank you Lou – it’s so great to hear that others feel the same and that we all club together a bit more. We do let ourselves go on alone for a while, don’t we? Thanks so much for stopping by x

  • Reply
    Hannah (tuesdayschildblog)
    August 18, 2016 at 9:21 am

    This is a great post which I can completely relate too and written from such a good perspective. Really made me stop and think. Look forward to reading more of your blog x

    • Reply
      nomoreshoulds
      September 13, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks so much for the lovely comment Hannah! Really pleased to have found your writing too. x

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