In the Western world we have built an image of what a mother should be. As practicing mothers, it is impossible to live up to that image. All mothers feel they have failed at some time. These mythical ideas of a mother are highlighted as we take a look at “The top 10 Deadly Thoughts of Mothers” below. These are the most common thoughts of failure that we
experience as mothers. All mothers, particularly single mothers, suffer tremendous pressure and become frustrated and tired. It is good to be aware of the fact that all mothers suffer very similar thoughts. You are not alone and you are not a failure if you find yourself thinking some of these thoughts.
Here are our top 10 deadly thoughts of mothers and what you can do to counteract them. Remember, being the top 10, means that these thoughts were nominated by large numbers of mothers, themselves. Many mothers still think and believe, and do their best to live up to these standards.
1. I have to do everything right. I have to be perfect as a mother. I
must never make a mistake.
* There are no “perfect” mothers. We cannot know everything. We all learn to be mothers. None of us are “born mothers”. Being a mother is a process. We grow and learn to cope with new situations as they arise. Think of motherhood as an adventure, a learning-together with each of your children. We all make mistakes as mothers. That is how we learn and grow.
2. My family must always come first. Their needs must first be met
before I think of myself.
* Each member of your family is a human being. All human beings have needs that have to be met. That means that your needs are actually just as important as the other members of your family. Make special time for yourself and each other member of your family, on a regular basis. Spoil yourself or do something you like to do. This will refresh you and keep you “sane”.
3. I am their mother, so I must do everything for my children. I have to do all the caring, cooking, cleaning and organizing for them. * Wrong! Each member must learn to take responsibility by being
given tasks to do. None of us are passengers in life. It is wrong to allow your children to think you are their slave.
Everyone in the house should help in some way. They will never cope as adults if they never learn to be responsible as a child.
4. My house must always be clean and tidy
* A house that is always spotless is not a relaxed and happy home. All comfortable homes are lived in and are never completely tidy. It does not mean that you should not tidy and clean up each day. Just do not let a bit of untidiness cause stress when you are relaxing as a family.
5. I feel I am not good enough as a mother when I cannot afford to buy
my child all he/she wants
* We all have to do without things we would like to do or have. It is good for your children to learn early on that they have to live within a budget. It will teach your children about the economy and management skills with money when they have to save and do without in order to eventually get something they really want.
6. I have to agree to everything my child or their friends ask
* You simply cannot let your child go everywhere and do everything they or their friends would like. You are living within a budget and a timeframe. Some things are not good for your child or
possible for you to do. You have to simply say, “No!” sometimes. You are not choosing to be a “spoil-sport”, by doing this, you are simply being realistic.
7. I must always be neat, well groomed and well dressed
* Be yourself. You cannot live up to the images of mothers in magazines. You work, you do not have time or finances for that sort of grooming. You are a special mother as you are.
8. I have to live up to the ideal mothers seen in movies.
* Mothers in movies are not real. They have been conjured up by the movie scriptwriter’s. You cannot compare yourself with a figment of anyone’s imagination.
9. I have to be a good cook
* This is not true. Many mothers simply do not have the time or the ability to cook every day and work full time. There are many options for ready-made meals available without compromising
on a healthy diet. When it comes to birthdays, make use of a local bakery for the cake. It is more beneficial to spend the
extra time with your child than trying to bake a cake.
10. Everybody must think of me as a good mother.
* Forget it! Every mother has been criticized at some time. Accept criticism humbly, make changes where you see criticism is valid, but take no notice if what is being said is not true. Do not feel guilty or threatened by it.
Popular myths of the perfection of motherhood place tremendous pressure on mothers. No one is ever the perfect mother. We learn motherhood as we go along. Just as every child is different and has to be handled differently, so are mothers all different and have different ways of coping. There are few clean cut “rights or wrongs” in the motherhood game. Remember that you, as a mother, are primarily also a human being with needs and aspirations, likes and dislikes too. Do not be harsh on yourself and give yourself some time in your busy schedule too. Simply knowing you are not alone in what you think and experience as a mother, helps you cope better. Do not condemn yourself if you should find yourself thinking any of the top 10 deadly thoughts of mothers. It simply confirms that you are a bona fide member of the human race too.