It has been almost a month since I started Tiffany’s Tightrope and I am amazed at the stories I’m receiving and the mothers who share them. I have so much respect and admiration for each one of them and the journey they are on right now with their children.
I have been noticing a familiar theme with a lot of the moms I am interviewing… mom guilt. When I started Tiffany’s Tightrope, I had mom guilt. I still do. I felt like the world was looking in on my life as a mom and judging me. Everyone always had a comment or critique to make about the way I did things as a mom. I would see moms on social media and wonder how they did it. They always seemed to have it under control, and I was the one blow drying my hair in one hand, brushing my teeth in the other while I used my foot to bounce my son’s bouncer because I didn’t have a chance to go get new batteries.
Some common reoccurring topics I have read from mothers thus far include:
*The pressure to breastfeed: “breast is best.” “you just didn’t try hard enough.”
*How society views the working mom: “you have your priorities confused. Put your family first and not your job.”
*How society views the stay at home mom: “you are so lucky you get to stay at home with your kids all day. You have the easiest job in the world.”
*The outsiders view on being a single mom: “you can’t take care of your children by yourself. You need help.”
*The social media mom: “look how much I’ve done and it’s only 10 am”. “What have you done today?”
It’s no wonder we are carrying around so much baggage. Why does it seem that being a mom and loving your kids is never enough?
Where did these old fashioned ideologies come from? I would imagine they started well before the 18th century when a woman’s worth was defined by how many heirs she could provide. Gross. Fast forward a few centuries and you have the suburban 1950’s housewife. Ya know, the propaganda pictures we all have seen of the wife in the kitchen with her apron on and cooking dinner for her family while her children are behaving like little angels? Those housewives were also the ones addicted to alcohol and pain killers because post partum depression was considered hysteria. In 2019, societal pressures have taken on a new form and continue to weigh heavily on mothers with a simple “follow” or “like” on social media.
So when does it stop?
I think the only way for any progress to be made is to keep talking about it. If you are a mom and have mom guilt…. talk about it. Don’t hold it in. The only way change happens is if people keep the communication flowing.
The truth is that we are all just trying to survive. Motherhood isn’t glamorous. It’s really really hard. Mother’s don’t need the judgey eyes or side comments.
Make sure you take some time today to tell a mom how amazing she is. What a fantastic job she is doing. How beautiful she looks. I promise it will make her day a million times better. We need to continue to support each other and the journey we each are on.
Because we all walk this tightrope together.