The pressure to be the ‘perfect’ mum is real. You can’t just be a good parent anymore. You have to be the best business woman, the best athlete, the best chef and the best partner.
More and more is being added to the list of social musts that a woman must achieve on a daily basis to feel that they are accepted. Breastfeed your child for as long as possible, post on social media as much as possible to show how happy and rested you are, be there every waking minute for your child's development, get back to work as soon as possible to show your independence, post every single one of your child's landmarks to keep up with Gillian and her fabulous family, ensure that your family is clean, fed and are enjoying joyous days out together without any arguments.
You do all of this to then not get enough likes on your photos or to see Gillian (sorry Gillian) has posted a picture of her family watching a sunset on the plains of Africa. You just can’t do enough.
Now, whether you choose to do any of the above, I do not care. What I care about is that my wife is amazing and my mum did a fantastic job. Also, the above example is purely based on social pressures that we see and feel regularly in society, from friends and co-workers. I could have used the image portrayed for a middle aged man...or any other person for that matter.
It’s OK to not be perfect. If you are constantly seeking more you will be constantly feeling unworthy and unhappy. There is nothing wrong with who you are or what you have got. You are not inadequate. Stop chasing things you haven't got. Appreciate what you have. You may be in pursuit of the perfect body, hairstyle, skin, family, life or anything else but it doesn’t exist.
We look at others and want what they have got, but what we regularly fail to do is take stock of what we already have. We ignore the fact that others are doing the exact same thing about what we display.
This doesn’t mean you can’t strive for more, set goals or work hard for something. But ensure you are doing it for the right reasons, not just because it is the thing to do or because someone else is doing it. Care about you and the things you hold closest. Give a damn about the things you have an influence over and the things that really matter in your life. How many comments, likes or compliments you get about a new pair of shoes doesn’t really matter if that is the only reason you are wearing them. Because what happens when you don’t get any likes or comments? You might not wear those shoes again, you would feel upset that you spent the money on them and no-one even noticed, you would feel self conscious as you would start to think why didn’t anybody like or comment on the shoes, is there something wrong with them?
But you know what….it doesn’t matter, you may think it does but it really doesn’t. Our happiness comes from accepting that things might be a bit shitty sometimes but without those times there are no good times. If everything was amazing all the time then everything would be average. If you are looking at others and thinking you wish your life was extraordinary as theirs, then your life would end up being normal.
You should work hard. You shouldn’t feel entitled. But whatever you choose to do; do it for the things that you love and will help you, your friends and family.
Be your best you, as that is all you can really ever be.
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