As I sit down to reflect on my journey of motherhood, I can't help but marvel at how far I've come. Balancing the roles of a mother, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, employee, and an individual with personal interests can be overwhelming. There were times — and there still are — when I struggle with unrealistic expectations, self-doubt, and the constant need to do it all.
But through the ups and downs, I discovered the importance of prioritisation, self-compassion, and celebrating small victories. As I navigated the demands of motherhood and work, I gradually learned the art of being gentle with myself.
Here is my journey of celebrating small victories of motherhood
The Early Struggles
In the early days of motherhood, I placed immense pressure on myself to excel in every role, oblivious to the fact that it was simply impractical. While caring for my newborn and recovering from delivery, I also tried to maintain my pre-motherhood routines like cooking, socialising, and managing household chores.
The lack of external help only made it more challenging, and when I couldn't accomplish everything, I felt like I was failing. This frustration and self-doubt took a toll on my well-being, leaving me exhausted and emotionally drained.
Learning to Let Go and Prioritise
It wasn't a single moment that made me realise I needed to change my approach. Rather, it was a series of breakdowns that brought me to my senses.
I began to understand the significance of letting go of unrealistic expectations and focusing on what truly mattered. Learning to prioritise important and urgent tasks allowed me to accept that I couldn't do everything at once. This newfound perspective empowered me to conserve my energy and direct it where it was most needed.
Choosing My Battles
One crucial lesson was recognising that I couldn't fight every battle every day. Some days, I had to accept that I didn't have the energy or spirit to take on certain challenges.
This realisation was vital in preventing burnout and helped me become more compassionate towards myself. Instead of berating myself for not accomplishing everything, I started acknowledging that it was okay to have limitations.
The Journey Towards Self-Compassion
Though I'm still on the path to fully making peace with myself, I've made significant progress in learning to be gentle with myself. Motherhood is a continuous learning process, and it's okay to have moments of doubt or feeling overwhelmed.
Embracing self-compassion has allowed me to be kinder to myself during difficult times and appreciate that being a mother doesn't require perfection.
Celebrating Small Wins
In this modern era, the traditional support system that helped raise children seems less accessible. Despite these challenges, I have come to appreciate the strength of our little family unit. The difficulties we faced have brought us closer together, and I've learnt to cherish the small victories that come our way. Celebrating these moments has been crucial in maintaining a positive outlook on this journey of motherhood and work.
My motherhood has been a profound learning experience for me. Self-compassion has become a guiding principle that helps me navigate the challenges of being a mother and a working professional. By celebrating the small wins, I am reminded of the strength that lies within our family. While there is still much to learn and grow, I am grateful for the lessons motherhood has taught me, and I look forward to embracing the future with an open heart and a gentler mindset. With every step, I am learning to be kinder to myself, and that, in turn, helps me be a better mother to my precious little one.
To all the wonderful mothers out there, may you find the strength to be gentle with yourself! As mothers, we often put immense pressure on ourselves to be perfect, but let's embrace our imperfections and find beauty in our vulnerability.
If you’re looking for a supportive community which understands and shares your challenges and joys of motherhood, join the IBU Family Resource Group. Here, you can find a safe space to share experiences, seek advice, and build meaningful connections with fellow mothers.