Mommy martyrs
This is my inaugural blog so let me introduce myself. My name is Jenny and I am almost the big 4.0. – a fact that shocks me only slightly more than finding myself mom to two beautiful (obviously) and bright (obviously again) kids.

7 May 2012

This is my inaugural blog so let me introduce myself. My name is Jenny and I am almost the big 4.0. – a fact that shocks me only slightly more than finding myself mom to two beautiful (obviously) and bright (obviously again) kids.

I am constantly expecting somebody to come and knock on my door and tell me to get back to school and stop playing at being a grown-up. Internally I remain an insecure 16-year old who has no business raising two kids when I still have no idea what I want to be when I am big.

So here I am. I edit parenting magazines of which I am very proud. This doesn’t make me an expert on parenting although it is amazing what you can pick up once you are immersed daily in your subject matter.

Way back when before I popped out my puppies I was the deputy ed of heat magazine: I knew a lot about celebrities and fashion and could spot a handbag du jour at ten paces. Now? Not so much.

So I do know a lot about the theory of parenting because I read daily and have access to some of the most amazing experts both locally and internationally. I also have had two kids myself – although again this makes me only a theoretical expert of my own kids. Not anybody else’s. And even when it comes to my own, I screw up daily.

My point is I am not going to blog and pretend to be an expert. I am just one of the many moms out there fighting the good fight.

Which brings me to my first post really. On the weekend one of the tired mommies on Twitter that I follow tweeted that she had a night nurse in for the night and it made her feel inadequate as a mom. Now, while I can empathise completely it also kind of made me mad.

Why? Because it plays into the whole mommy-martyr bull that we find ourselves weighted under. Really, who is going to come and arrest you if you decide to have a night nurse? Personally I think you should get a medal.

In the same vein: how many of you who managed natural birth have had your trophies delivered? [sound of crickets.] Also how many of you have got your certificates of achievement because your child has reached a milestone? Nobody? Really? The parenting fairies are really slacking off.

What we all need to realise is those ‘judgemental moms’ whom we all love to attack are actually... ourselves. Who judges us more as moms than ourselves? Your husbands don’t – they are just glad they don’t have boobs and can still watch sport. Your children don’t. While they are babies they don’t give a continental who wakes up in the middle of the night to feed them – as long as they are being fed.

Babies are selfish that way. Will they blame you later when they are teenagers? Of course, but you know what, you can get your martyr weeds out then.

For now, let’s stop being so hard on ourselves because parenting is long. It’s like erm, forever, the rest of your life. That is a pretty long time to tell ourselves daily that we are crappy parents. Because while we are merely human and will screw up, isn’t the ultimate goal to forgive and move on? Isn’t that one of the many lessons we want to teach our kids? And how can we teach them to be gracious and forgiving when we cannot even do it for and to ourselves?

Let’s make a pact. As soon as we see the old mommy-martyr evil persona peering out of someone, let’s slap it back down. Eventually hopefully we can self-slap ourselves into believing the truth and that is: we are great moms purely because we haven’t packed up our bags and run off to Barbados. Yet.

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