Mommy has tattoos (and that’s okay)
Sometimes the worst person to judge you is yourself.
By Cath Jenkin
When I fell pregnant, which now seems eons ago, I was riddled with guilt. I didn’t fit the typical mommy mould I’d built up in my head and it concerned me a great deal. I didn’t host Tupperware parties or have any vague interest in decoupage. I couldn’t imagine spending time with other people, discussing our progeny’s poop and I felt, at times, like this mommy role wasn’t for me.
Pic: Diane Cassells
Article originally in Parent24
Then my daughter was born and my insecurities were swallowed up as my brain just spent its time daydreaming about a full night’s sleep. Slowly, as I began to start to make sense when I spoke, I realised I wasn’t so terrible at this mom thing. I felt almost okay with this feeding schedule… I had this illusion of control.
Very slowly, I started to feel like less of a freak. In fact, it took our daycare principal - a woman who will always have a place in my heart – to make me feel okay. For the first time ever, she made me feel like a good mom, despite my own mental misgivings. It was simple, really – she commented on my tattoos, and showed me hers. It was in that moment that I didn’t feel like a weird outsider who’d somehow ambled into the realm of mommydom, unprepared and incorrectly dressed. Suddenly, I started to realise that every single mom I saw was battling the same demons as I, whether or not they had clean kitchen counters or not.
We were all walking in every morning and hoping our precious children wouldn’t cry when we left. We were all juggling our lives, our babies, our workloads and social calendars. We were somehow clambering our way through this new field of daisy cuddles and sleepless nights. I suddenly felt camaraderie.
I realised, very quickly, that my mental notions of Tupperware parties and poop talks were just creations in my head. Absolutely nobody could even find their Tupperware lids, much less host a party over them. I wasn’t the only mom banging a heat and eat meal in the microwave and hoping it was good enough. I wasn’t the only mom seriously questioning how she was going to do this, every day, for the rest of her life. But, most of all, I wasn’t the only mom with tattoos.
I’ve never felt more liberated, when I realised the judgements I’d built up against myself, were nothing at all. They were self-created concepts that had done me a disservice, and I was totally okay with letting them go.
So I did. And to celebrate, I got another tattoo.
When did you feel part of the mommy club?
Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.