This morning I read an article by Marissa Lawton on HuffPost Parents UK about how mothers are always complaining about a lack of time. Time has become a more precious commodity than sleep as quite often we use some of that time to catch up on the sleep we missed for various reasons (teething toddler, nursing infant or too much coffee). Life as a mother is tough. Some days it’s really, really tough. Time just seems to fly through our fingers and those moments of the day where you manage to carve out a bit of me-time are few and far between. I know that if I want to achieve anything for myself during the day I have to multi-task like crazy when the tiny lady is up and then work like a demon writing, writing, writing when (if) she takes a nap. I know I could sure use some tips to help find extra minutes in the day.
Ms. Lawton’s article suggested various solutions to help mothers glean back some of much needed time. The point of this article was to help not patronise but unfortunately Ms. Lawton chose to use celebrities as examples of mothers who manage to balance a successful career with motherhood. Beyoncé was put forward as a mother who is able to manage a successful career, a strong marriage and her life as a mother. Well yeah of course she manages all this she has a team of nannies, chefs, assistants etc to help her achieve all of this. Now yes she did start off without this team but then again she started out as a young single woman so we can’t really use her achievements to compare against our own can we? It is not helpful or realistic to do this. Okay maybe we all should have worked our butts off from the minute we turned 16 but then again not many of us wanted world-wide domination. For myself I’ve always been a late bloomer; late to get a boyfriend, late to marry, late to find my path in life. I don’t like to compare myself with celebrities as their way of living is so far removed from my own that I can’t even imagine what would work for them would work for me.
I am currently working on an article about how, as mothers, we tend to compare ourselves unfavourably both with each other and with celebrities. We look at other mothers and think ‘how does she do that?’. We look at celebrities like Beyoncé and think ‘how does she keep it all together?’. The truth is it’s not really useful to compare yourself to anyone else. Beyonce, as stated above, has a team of assistants. That perfectly dressed mother who passed you in Tesco probably just had a shouting match with her toddler a minute before you saw her. That neighbour holding down a full-time job, a marriage and three kids probably has moments of complete and utter panic. The truth is that we all have our ups and downs; those moments of sheer mayhem and chaos. In general, however, the chaos is locked up tight at home and we put on a smile to the outside world.
Mothers we all have our own ways of living. We all have our own paths to follow. Sometimes it may seem like everyone else is doing better than we are but that most definitely isn’t the reality. Even the much-lauded Beyoncé has bad days. She may not speak very openly about them but Lemonade didn’t sound to me like the musings of a very happy lady. Do yourself a favour and forget Beyonce, forget Tina Fey, forget every celebrity you ever met and forget about your neighbourhood moms. You are doing the best you can with the time you have and this phase of motherhood, of busy days and sleepless nights, won’t last forever.