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Inspired living

Let's get real about motherhood


Amy and her kids

When I first became a mother, there were only two conversations online about parenthood. It was at the very start of the Mummy Blog trend in Australia and, as an overwhelmed and totally lost new mother, I turned to the world wide web and the very early face of Facebook to search for answers and reassurance.

But, as I looked around, there seemed to be only two types of commentaries about raising babies: either the hippy boho women who co-slept, found breastfeeding the most natural thing in the world, spent hours lovingly pureeing organic homemade baby food and loving every moment of being a mama; OR the humorous mummy bloggers sharing every detail of exploding nappies, saggy body parts and screams of, “Is it wine o’clock yet?”

I didn’t fit into either camp. I loved my child, and I wanted to be an Earth Mama and embrace the whole thing, but I also found myself grieving for the life I used to have and the person I used to be. I wanted the honesty of the mummy bloggers with their wine and milk-stained clothes — but why did it have to be so negative?

What about being real about mamahood — and sharing the deeper lessons I was finding myself facing everyday?

The only way to not slide into a world of comparison and perfectionism is if we share what’s really happening behind closed doors, and then support each other to see the blessings under the chaos.

It’s been eight years (and two more babies) since those first desperate searches online. While the internet is now filled with a lot more commentators and different voices around mamahood, there has also been the onslaught of Instagram and the quest for the perfect mummy moment.

We’re still trying to find the happy medium.

For me and my journey through this wild ride of parenthood, being real and raw is the key to my sanity. I believe motherhood is the greatest gift to my success-driven, always-connected generation of women. It forces us to look deeply at who we are, what we prioritise and how we want to live our lives beyond our career choices. But the only way to not slide into a world of comparison and perfectionism is if we share what’s really happening behind closed doors, and then support each other to see the blessings under the chaos.

No more guilt, overwhelm, or comparisons. Let’s not pretend we have it all together when we’re secretly burnt out and feel like strangers in our marriages. We must come together as women and talk openly about our struggles with putting our careers on hold, not contributing to the household income and losing all independence; and to remind ourselves that perhaps all of those things didn’t really define us anyway. We need to lift each other up so we can remember that this too shall pass.

And, when it does, we will look back and realise: being a mama is the greatest teacher of all.

  • Amy Taylor-Kabbaz will be speaking about being real and raw and her lessons from motherhood at an all-day workshop in Melbourne this Saturday, October 30. Limited tickets still available — click here to learn more.


 

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz

Amy Taylor-Kabbaz is a journalist with more than 15 years' experience, specialising in health, mindfulness and motherhood. She is also the best-selling author of Happy Mama: The Guide to Finding Yourself Again, and is the creator of the website Happy Mama.