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6 Common Challenges For Modern Mums 

Parenting has always been challenging, but it seems even more difficult in today’s fast-paced world. Fuelled by instant gratification, social media and unrealistic expectations, being a “good” mum can feel like a never-ending battle. 

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend a mother’s group meeting and get insight into the daily struggles of mums. And it has nothing to do with changing nappies, juggling appointments or keeping up with the laundry. 

In this article, I’ll share the six most common challenges facing modern mums (based on my mother’s group session), with helpful tips to navigate being a parent in the age of Tik Tok, designer clothes, and baby food pouches. 

1. Navigating unhelpful comments

Whether you’re a new mum or just had your third or fourth baby, chances are you’ve experienced comments that have stopped you in your tracks. People are *always* willing to share their (unsolicited) opinions, whether it’s about your parenting style, how you’re disciplining your child, or that you’re putting them in daycare to head back to work. 

Some comments shared in the group were: 

  • I didn’t have any help when I was a mum.
  • Why do you need to go and do that? 
  • Where’s your baby? Who’s looking after your baby?
  • Have you put on weight?
  • Shouldn’t you be at home with the baby? Is your partner babysitting tonight? 

These comments typically come from a place of judgement and tend to be about the person offering them – they’re not actually about you. 

It can be challenging not to believe them and have the patience to brush them off. But my advice is to let them go low, while you stay high.

We can’t control what other people do, but we can control how we react. Instead of going down to their level (a place of fear, judgment, and comparison), raise your frequency and vibration to stay high. 

  • You don’t need to embrace it. 
  • You don’t need to let it enter your subconscious mind. 
  • Think of it as water off a duck’s back. 

Say “thanks for that”, and then wish them well because you’re coming from a higher frequency of higher vibration that feels better for you. Or, imagine a force field around you where whatever people say bounces right off. 

2. Mum Guilt

I’m sure mum guilt has always existed in some shape or form, but mums seem to feel guilty for a hundred more things these days. Here are just a few that came up in our mother’s group: 

  • Going back to work
  • Putting children in daycare
  • Being a stay-at-home mum 
  • Not providing or bringing in income
  • Bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding
  • Using packaged food instead of homemade 

 

While it’s often the default to judge ourselves, Mum-guilt can teach us a lot.  

Next time you notice guilt creeping in, I invite you to get curious and think, “That’s interesting that I’m feeling that way. I wonder why I feel guilty and whose expectations I’m trying to live up to?” 

We often have a set of beliefs about how you should be mothering, whether they’ve come from society, our relatives, media and marketing, or other people in our life. Most of the time, they’re not our beliefs but someone else’s. 

It takes courage and is not always easy, but try to choose the path that feels true for you. But it’s empowering when you can start to live and experience motherhood in the way you have chosen for yourself. Give yourself permission to do it how you want to do it. 

3. Postnatal depression and anxiety

Both postnatal depression and anxiety are incredibly common for new and expecting mothers. I’ve had countless clients share their experiences with depression and anxiety, both during pregnancy and after birth. They often express how they didn’t notice their symptoms but that it was their partner. 

It’s important to know that they exist, to understand the symptoms and that if you feel them, it’s normal. Panda and The Gidget Foundation are fantastic organisations with excellent information, resources and online support for postnatal depression and anxiety. Or you can speak with your GP and get a referral to a psychologist specialising in the mental health of expecting and postpartum mothers. 

4. Feeling lost and the identity shift

For many women becoming a mother can feel like they’re losing their identity. Whether it’s grappling with the loss of freedom, not being able to get out as readily, no longer playing sports or not being able to catch up with friends – your whole world changes when you become a mum. It can happen immediately or a year or two into parenthood and ties in with Matrescence, the transition of motherhood; it’s scary, and it’s also exciting.

If you notice this is happening, give yourself permission to grieve and miss the person you were before children. Remember what you enjoy doing and when you can, factor that into your world. Even if everything is piling up and you feel like you have a million things to do, give yourself five minutes to do what you love and what lights you up.

5. Managing your inner critic 

This challenge is a big one and takes time to overcome. How you speak to yourself can significantly affect other areas of your life. Whether it sounds like, “I’m so useless, I can’t believe I did that”, or “I’m not a good mum”, or ” I can’t do this”. 

As real and true as these thoughts may seem, they are often cognitive distortions, and we have a choice of whether to believe them or not. 

For example, if we often say “This is hard, I can’t do this”, try and replace it with the opposite, “This is easy, I can do this”. You might feel like a total fraud at first, but you’ll notice a different energy that you can bring to your day-to-day life. 

6. Partner praise 

Of course, we all appreciate our partners’ role in parenthood, but it’s incredibly frustrating when they get credit for looking after their own baby. It’s equally as frustrating when people shame you for having a break. Hopefully, we’ll move past this thinking soon.

Being a modern mum can sometimes feel incredibly overwhelming, but if there’s one thing to remember, you’re not alone. We can’t control what others think, say or do, but we can control how we react. And on the days you need extra support, there are mother’s groups and other incredible organisations to lend a hand. 

Feel free to share the challenges you face as a mum, and if you need support, get in touch to see how I can help you create a life in which you thrive. 

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