A Reminder For When You're Managing The Stereotypes in Motherhood
Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. You will see and touch your fair share of poop, vomit and blood but harder on the heart are the cultural stereotypes assigned to you that will test your strength.
The stereotypes only further the guilt that begins implanting itself somewhere between childbirth and breastfeeding, that we're simply not doing enough. The "working mother" worries she isn't spending enough time with her children, the "stay at home mother" worries that she isn't contributing enough and then there is the new grey area in between that Mother Untitled was set up to explore. The mother who wants to create space to be with her child or children more so than her prior work life would allow and still maintain space for her ambition, marriage and self. I'm starting to hear a cultural rhetoric about this path being a luxury.
So I'm left worrying, if other mothers can be all in one way or the other, do I really need a nanny two days a week to allow myself to do work if there are stay at home mothers who fully commit to this chapter with no help? Am I not contributing financially like I could when there are the working mothers who are doing an excellent job at both?
I don't have an answer but after I talk myself out of the volumes of self-doubt, I have to remember there is something special in my structure that I and other mothers all have in common, whether we're working, stay at home or somewhere in between. Our choices, while all different, let us do and be our best for our own unique families. And as long as that is the case, and my family is happy and healthy, which, by the way, relies on me being happy and healthy, then it works for us.
I'm spending the coming weeks more conscious that as women, we can all do our part in minimizing the spread and impact of the labels and stigmas if we can see the best in ourselves and assume that other mothers are doing their best too. I'll leave you with Amy Poehler, who is far funnier and succinct than I am.
What is your experience with stereotypes in motherhood? Do they create self-doubt for you? How do you stay confident with your set of choices? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! xo