Debunking mom myths
Before I had children, I never gave a second thought about being a mom. Soon after I fell pregnant and even after I had my first child, everything changed. I also discovered a few myths about parenting.
I even brought my husband a cup of coffee, with a picture of a woman on the outside -this was my way of telling him we were going to have a baby together; and that we would probably need a lot of coffee as well. I remember in those early days of pregnancy being wide-eyed and full of wonder at this new life growing inside of me.
As a new mum, I really want to do things right and parent well. I really wanted to figure it out, but I quickly discovered that a baby never came with a manual. I also discovered often contradicting thought patterns that emerged from watching other parents, from the media and from previous generations. And some popped out from plain naivety and ignorance. Well, I’d like to debunk just three of them.
3 myths moms subconsciously believe:
1 . Children will not make much difference to my daily schedule
I, along with a few of my friends, naively believed that children wouldn’t really affect our schedules. Ha! Everything about our schedules changed. After my baby was born, I couldn’t each when I wanted to eat, let alone sleep when I want to sleep. Those early days were a whirlwind of bleary- and sometimes teary-eyed ramblings. I was under so much pressure to breastfeed my eldest son that when it didn’t work out, I felt like I had failed in some way. You see there is so much pressure to be a perfect mother. Have natural delivery, breast feed your children, stay at home, give your children organic food, do and don’t give them vaccines, the list goes on and on – I couldn’t keep up. Who should I listen to?
What I realized in those early days, was that being a mom to my son was one of the highest callings and privileges I would have. We were on a journey to uncover the dormant potential and promise inside of him . By loving him, raising him in an environment where he could thrive, we were preparing him for life. So whether I breast-feed him or not, or gave him a vaccine or not, that was our decision. Full stop.
2 . Do everything right and you will raise a child that emotionally whole, physically strong, academically thriving and so forth
This was the myth was that I had to be a perfect mother and I had to do all these things to make sure that I didn’t damage my child in any way. But, what I didn’t count on was a beautiful covering love of a parent. That loving my baby was more important than getting it right. What a relief it was to discover that – I could breathe and relax a bit. There is no expectation on you to be a perfect mom.
3 . Everything depends on me
I falsely believed was that I was in control. If only I let my children have the right music lessons, sports lessons, made them listen to baby Mozart’s music then they would achieve greatness at a young age. I was under the false illusion that we can prepare them for greatness and control the outcome.
I discovered rather quickly that each child is completely and utterly unique. Truly, they are their own individual. Therefore, my job as a mother is to draw out the treasures inside of our children. When we help them grow into being the man and woman who God made them to be, then those treasures hidden inside they hearts and minds will come out. Each child has a unique purpose and it is our privilege as parents to uncover that purpose with them. Everything does not depend on you – so take the pressure off yourself to think like that.
We are not to live out our dreams through our children if we do that risk alienating and hurting them. So, instead of building love and unity in the home, it will breakdown relationships and family structure. If I had to partner with God to reveal the gifts and talents lying dormant in my children, then their lives and mine will be richer for it.
Moms and dads, remove the pressure to hold it all together. Then, you can be free to be parent that God has planned for you to be.
You can love your child with passion and purpose…the wellbeing of your child depends on you being comfortable in your ability to parent. You do have inside of you what you need to raise your child well.