Five Motherhood Myths Debunked.

Five Motherhood Myths Debunked

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen54 Comments

I have been a mother for almost 15 years now. I currently have a preschooler, a pre-tween, a pre-teen and a full on teen at home. So although I don’t really fall into the certified parenting “professional” slot, I  feel mostly like my rookie parenting card has been punched enough times to have moved on to moderately experienced parenting. Meaning that the children are still alive and appear to be reasonably well adjusted. Kudos to me right?

Anyways, I get a kick out of all of the parenting articles, posts, books and such that so many parenting experts share that are supposed to help us be better parents. I have tried to read a lot of these types of resources and some of them have indeed been helpful at different points in my life, but some of them are outright myths of motherhood. I always wonder what some of these experts would think if they visited my house for a day?

I know that personally once I moved on from trying to care about these five things, my parenting reality became a whole lot better. So here in no particular order are five motherhood myths debunked.

How your child behaves is a direct reflection of your parenting abilities.

This is crappola. Sorry folks. When my 3 year old gets mad and throws her body on the floor because someone else doesn’t pass over a toy to her fast enough I do not instantly think, “Oh my gosh my child is a badly adjusted individual who will never learn to share! And it is ALL my fault.” Uh, no. That’s dumb. They are little and through much redirection and “compassion therapy” hopefully I can make sure they no longer throw themselves on the floor in frustrating situations when they are 18 year olds. That is the hope at least….

The old adage “kids will be kids” is spot on. We are their parents  and our job is to teach them. Of course along the way there will be mistakes and learning opportunities. That is part of the teaching process, because each child is their own perfectly imperfect person (just like we are). Someday when our offspring leave home this will be even more obvious, but to take every little mistake they ever make on us as our fault is a pretty horrible way to parent. Give them a little bit of allowed grace to make mistakes and remember to allow the same for yourself.

Someday I will  get myself perfectly put together.

Sorry Charlie. I hate to break it to you, but I don’t know when this ever happens. Some days I can be that person I try and tell Pinterest that I am, and other days I can’t even seem to leave the house with matching shoes. It is OK. You are OK.

I remember once trying to leave the house for a library story time with a 5 and 3 year old child, and a new baby. Even with advance prep work I could not get anyone dressed and presentable enough to leave the house. I gave up and instead we read books on the couch in underwear and diapers. The next day was better. Sometimes it is fine to just cut our losses and accept that some days will be better than others.

I should be able to do this by myself without help.

Don’t do this to yourself. Humans thrive on community and as mothers this is never more important. Ask for help, give help to others. Make your community of friends as wide and fulfilling as you need, because we absolutely do need each other.

I know that I have learned more from my fellow parenting friends than from any parenting book I have ever read. Build your own community. Make it full of the people who will support you in your role as a mother. It is important.

I can do it all.

Nope you can’t. I am a blogger, author, run a very active private PR consulting business and I have 4 children. I don’t even try to do it all and I know that I am indeed competent, but some days it varies in which aspect of my life receives the most competency. Case in point, last Thursday while on the phone with a reporter I was pitching for a client, my 3 year old ran in and screamed very loudly, “The poop is coming right now mommy!” The silence on the line was palpable, until about a second later the reporter busted out laughing so hard I thought they were going to have a seizure. So if anything, I definitely am now memorable to that particular media outlet and reporter. Thankfully the story for my client just ran on Friday so I guess it didn’t end up so badly.

I have written quite a bit on this subject and you can read more about my reasons for why I believe the expectation of trying to have it all is hurting us all.

I just know I am a failure.

You can NEVER be a failure if you keep trying and loving. I promise. Take it from someone who has had some pretty epic disasters in my parenting books. Notice the plural usage of books here?

The important key is to keep trying. To keep loving. To find and call for support when we need it and to just keep moving in a direction we hope closely resembles a forward motion. Doing all of this will make us draw deeper than we ever thought we could, but that is motherhood and it is worth it.

Professionally I have had some pretty amazing experiences in my life and met some even more amazing people, but none of that has ever compared to the moments I have had as a mother. Some have been gut wrenching, others have been hilarious and even tender. I know those moments will be the memories I will hold onto and cherish, because they made me into the mother and even person I am today. Not perfect, but a perfectly imperfect woman who is trying with all her might to do what is best for my children. You may not agree with how I do it, but that’s fine. Differences are the spice of life and the world would be a pretty boring place without spice.

So hugs to you sweet mama friend reading this post right now. You got this.

Five Motherhood Myths Debunked.

Love,

Jen

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Comments

  1. These are spot on. That’s why you’re a good mom. You knows these things. I wish all mothers knew these things.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺
    Comedy Plus recently posted…Awww MondaysMy Profile

    1. You are my personal cheer leading crew. Thank you. Somedays I feel like I am definitely a better mom than others. So I will take that compliment and use it on a day that feels less than stellar.
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up # 19My Profile

  2. I love, love, love this. I’ve also learned, above all, be kind to yourself and other moms because no one – not even someone with the ‘perfect’ facade – has it all together and could probably just use a hug. ;)

    Giving ourselves the grace we give others is sometimes one of the hardest lessons to learn.

    And some days, the little one doesn’t make it out of her pajamas until 1 in the afternoon… :)

    1. Author

      Thank you Sarah. That really is so true. I know hugs make all the difference here in my neck of the woods.

      Smart kiddo you have there! Is it OK to admit that sometimes I wear yoga pants (aka my pajamas) all day and there were no visits to the gym during that day?
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up # 19My Profile

    1. Author

      Me too! I wish I could say that will be the last little snafu like that, but my children are gifted at coming up with the most wonderfully embarrassing situations I have to deal with on an almost daily basis :)
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up # 19My Profile

  3. There are a whole lot of myths floating around out there.

    Perfection is an impossibility and we will never get there – parenthood is a journey with no final destination. Parenting is all-encompassing, exhausting, and hard work! Some days I get it ALL wrong but by being intentional and reflective, I know that the next day I can make a plan to do better… and if it’s another rough day, well, there’s always ice cream.

    Oh, and I can’t stand the “child’s behaviour reflects the parent” myth – oy! Talk about setting ourselves and our children up for massive disappointments and frustrations!

    Thanks for sharing.
    xoxo
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…How to Plan the Perfect Mom Retreat in 5 Easy Steps!My Profile

    1. Author

      Hooray for ice cream! I think it the grand soother of adults and children alike.

      I am glad you agree. That is just crazy to think that way, because like you said we are setting ourselves and our kiddos up for frustration city!

      Thanks back at you my friend, you always add so much to the conversation :)
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up # 19My Profile

  4. In other cultures, they live with extended family! So humans really aren’t meant to do it alone, and others have caught on! Or live in places with much better postpartum support from the government!
    As for your second point, I always wonder if that point is coming, but it’s like I live in a fantasy world in which I’m aging backwards. Not happening in reality!
    Tamara recently posted…Double Butterfinger Brownie BitesMy Profile

    1. Author

      Aging backwards, oh I wish. Today we had rain and my knees were kind of achy. I was less than thrilled with that development. How can I be so old?! Now I think if anyone can get their act together, it just might be you. You are one heck of a gal! Hugs!
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up # 19My Profile

  5. I love this post. Seriously, you nailed it on all areas. I often say to myself…”You CAN do all that you want, just not all at once.” I feel like that helped get me through those times when I was overwhelmed in life. Happy Thursday. xoxo
    Caryn recently posted…Easy Recipe: Endive Avocado SaladMy Profile

  6. Hi Jen, I avoided parenting books like the plague, I believe they prevent parents from trusting their instincts and common sense. Just because a child throws a paddy or drops a bad word doesn’t make us bad parents, it may mean we have to change the way we do things and have a little chat with child about behaviour, but it doesn’t make us a failure. Children are just little people with a lot to learn, and we are there to teach them… Some lessons take longer to learn that’s all.

    And as for doing it all?Not a chance. Something has to give, so unless we want it to be our sanity, we have to accept that we can’t. Although my sanity teeters at times and I fully accept that I cannot do it all,… I call that being a Mum!

    How funny was your little one, spot on timing! But that’s children for you.

    Give me perfectly imperfect over perfect everytime.

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…Sunrise Over ZakynthosMy Profile

  7. Ha! My sanity teeters ALL of the time. Right before the reporter/ poop fiasco i was feeling like I was rolling high, and then it all came crashing down. I guess that is why we shouldn’t get too high up on that horse:)

    You said it right for sure, parents should trust their instincts. I have found them to be spot on when dealing with my children.
    Jen recently posted…“To Die For” Bacon, Alfredo & Spinach PizzaMy Profile

  8. sweet pictures, nice post. you’re a good mom for sure. some of my friend got married long time ago but now they’re still couldn’t have even a kid. children are the most beautiful gift for our life.

  9. Love this post so much. No moms is perfect but we always try out best to make our kids’ life better. I bet you must be a great mom. Thanks a lot for sharing. Keep going and enjoy being a mom.

  10. I love this list the ones about your child’s behavior reflecting on your parenting and you having you sh*t together…i am pretty sure i never will at this point! haha #happynowlinkup

  11. Fabulous post. I think the community element is so important and those of us with older children should be supporting each other and newer mummies. It’s certainly a much easier journey if we all travel together. Had to chuckle at your 3 year old’s statement whilst you were on an important call. My eldest was great for doing things like that when she was little. #happynowlinkup x
    Lisa recently posted…I Didn’t Mean to Say ThatMy Profile

  12. Moms are pretty much the worst at beating themselves up. It’s the most important job we ever will have, and we NEVER feel like we are measuring up.

    There’s nothing like watching a stranger silently judge you when your toddler pitches a fit in a store. You automatically think that the unpleasant look means that your parenting ability is being evaluated. Sometimes it IS being evaluated, but unfairly so. All little ones lack the self-control to manage anger and the communication skills to effectively explain their frustrations.

    So if you have a little one who regularly embarrasses you in public, this too shall pass!

    #happynowlinkup
    Carolina Twin Mom / Mary Peterson recently posted…Picky Eaters: How to Keep Our Kids AliveMy Profile

    1. Author

      Hah, once when a friend and I were at a store and someone was looking at her the way you described, my friend looked at them and told them that ‘karma is a beast, so go ahead and stare and judge, but just wait. Your time is coming.” I laughed so hard I almost caused more ruckus than her grumpy child. We had to leave the store, but oh what fun!
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #33My Profile

    1. Well said, they are tiny humans. Not tiny adults. I had to remind myself of that as today threenager went into full breakdown mode because her band aid fell off her finger. She almost bled out on that 3 day old cut I tell you. It was brutal. We barely survived…
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #33My Profile

  13. Omg. LOVE this post. A 3 year old throwing her body at the floor over a toy is definitely not a reflection of our behavior or character! Lol. I don’t think anyone ever gets themselves perfectly put together. Life doesn’t seem to allow that… nor do children! Great post. Thanks for joining us at #ShowMeYours :)

    1. Author

      Hey thanks back! This week we have had so much illness, thank you Valentine’s day, and I have yet to actually wear anything other than yoga pants. Feels great! Who needs perfect put together anyways :)
      Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #47My Profile

  14. I love this, Jen. It couldn’t be any truer either. I’m pretty sure a toddler melting down is going to happen to the very best of us. Asking for help is another important one. Trying to carry it all by yourself is sadistic behavior, lol.

    Thanks for linking up and supporting our #ShowMeYours link up yesterday! You’re the best!
    WebMDiva recently posted…Show Me Yours Linky #1My Profile

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