How To Trust Yourself As A Mother

rD4ORa1468320317Raising our children is so important to us. We love them and want to do the best we can for them. Yet as mothers we find ourselves contending with so many pressures. Right from pregnancy through to having our babies, we are met with a barrage of information on what to do and even how to feel. It can seem like there is an endless set of requirements to meet in order to be a good mother. If we were to attempt to adhere to all the things that we ‘should’ do with our babies, we would go mad or collapse trying.

Much of the motherhood conversation today is about techniques or the right-way and wrong way to be. There certainly are things that are wrong when raising a child. Babies and children need respect, love and to be recognised for who they are. Anything that demeans or damages them (or us) is not okay. But within the realms of being a good and loving parent there is a whole range of ways of going about it successfully.

Raising a child is not about a set of techniques or tasks but is about the relationship we have with our children Click To Tweet

Raising a child is not about a set of techniques or tasks that we complete but is about the relationship we have with them. That is a unique relationship, one that is about both them and us. The problem with much of the advice on which technique is best for our children is that one crucial thing gets left out: us. As mothers we are a huge part of the equation. Who we are and how we feel plays a very significant role in our children’s lives. To be the best mothers we can, we need to accept our own feelings and stop attempting to meet the often impossible demands of modern motherhood. When we truly comprehend that there is no perfect mother, we are freed up to discover our own way to be a mum, taking cues from our child and trusting ourselves.

As mothers, we need to accept our feelings and stop attempting to meet the demands of modern motherhood Click To Tweet

If you would like to explore this topic in more depth then you  may be interested in my book ‘The Guilt-Free Guide to Motherhood – Trusting yourself as a mother, through pregnancy and the baby years.’

With the help of twenty-four women with young children and my experience as a counsellor, it explores the key emotional and practical issues that we face as new mothers, many of which are never talked about. Without giving exact advice (because, as women, we are all different and so are our children) my book aims to provide a perspective on motherhood and a space for you to consider how to be the best possible mother that you can be. It helps you explore your own feelings, expectations and needs, so that you can forge a life that works for you and your baby.

Please feel free to read the first chapter ‘The Journey To Motherhood’ by clicking on the preview button below.


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62 thoughts on “How To Trust Yourself As A Mother

  1. I have posted on this very subject this week! I feel guilty if I allow myself to have ‘me-time’ because there are so many other “more productive” things I could be doing (as a mother and as a housewife). As you say, mums today are just bombarded with instructions on how to be a good mother and social media images of perfect families living perfect lives gives us an impossible standard to try and follow. I have set myself a challenge to be purposeful about giving myself a break #BloggerClubUK

    1. That sounds great Lucy. connecting with our own needs is important too. It took me a while to learn that as well. Thanks for commenting.

    1. I think that is true and it probably has its purpose but we do need to keep it in check by understanding that there isn’t this perfect mother ideal to live up to. Thanks for your comment. Kirsten

  2. Only 7 months into my patently journey and mummy guilt is something which rears its ugly head almost daily! With the impending return to work fast approaching its on an all time high – great read #coolmumclub

    1. This is a tough one Becky and one I cover in my book. There is no right decision just what is right for you and your family. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  3. This is such a brilliant book Kirsten and I would highly recommend to all mums and mums to be – I wish I had a copy of it before I became a mum so I could have learnt earlier to TRUST MYSELF! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub x

    1. Thanks so much Talya. I am glad you enjoyed it. That is why I wrote it in many ways because it is what I wish I had had before children or at least in the early days.

  4. This sounds like a brilliant and much needed concept for a book. As a mum I feel like I’m drowning in self doubt and Mummy guilt for every little thing as the world seems to be awash with guidance telling us what we “should” be doing. I think we’re all struggling to maintain unrealistic levels of parenting perfection sometimes. I’m sure that your writing will be a massive support to many parents. I’ll look forward to popping back and having a read of the first chapter. Dawn x #momsterslink

    1. Thanks you for your supportive words. I like your phrase ‘unrealistic levels of parenting perfection’. That is what it is indeed.

    1. Yes, we need to base our lives on ourselves and our family rather than external ‘shoulds’. Thanks for commenting Carol.

  5. I too have written about parental guilt and also about why I am happy to see myself as an imperfect mum. I totally agree with you! It has not about perfection for me it is about the relationships we have with our children. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Hi Anglea, Thanks for that. I agree that it can be consuming and it really is a shame when we all work so hard at it. Kirsten

  6. Great point throughout this post – especially that all our relationships are unique and we need to recognise this before trying to follow all the ‘advice’ in the books etc. Too long I beat myself up about not being a ‘textbook’ mum with a ‘textbook’ child, now I’m juggling 3 of them I’m much kinder to myself! The book looks very interesting, need to find time to read that first chapter. #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Like you it took me time to learn and be able to counteract the idea that there is a perfect mum out there. I am glad to hear that you are kinder to yourself. Regards. Kirsten

  7. My mum guilt has always come about when I take time away from the girls, I feel like they should be with me all the time. I’ve come to realise that having some time for me occasionally actually makes me a better mum. Having that break even just a few hours is better for everyone X

    1. I can really empathise with that feeling but it is good to hear that you do take some time for yourself. It brings us back refreshed. We are not meant to do it all alone all the time.

  8. This is so true, I think people need to stop looking around so much worrying that they aren’t doing things in the same way or as well as other parents and just do what works for them and their family.

    We’re all individuals it makes sense that we need to find our own parenting path.

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x
    A Cornish Mum recently posted…23/09 Pick ‘n Mix Fridays Blog LinkyMy Profile

    1. Being a step-parent adds to the complications and I imagine the guilt side of it is not directly talked about as much either. Thanks for sharing that aspect of it Jenn.

  9. I totally agree. DD2 had her first baby a month ago and tried so hard to breast feed and felt a failure because DD1 managed it with twins. I had to remind her they are both individuals and should do what she is most comfortable with, so she is now happily bottle feeding. #sharewithme

    1. Hi Elaine, It is lovely to be able to hand on the wisdom from experience. Glad to hear she is happier in herself and doing what she needs. Thanks for your comment. Kirsten

  10. As much as I do experience mum guilt, I think being separated from my daughters dad really helps with that because it forces me to have time to myself whilst she is in the safe hands of family. It took me a very long time to trust him, I still don’t really, but I don’t feel guilty about what I do whilst she’s away. #marvmondays

    1. It is great to hear that the space away gives you time to be yourself and feel better about you as a mum. We all need that as mothers. Thanks for commenting. Kirsten

  11. Oh yes the guilt – I don’t think I try to live up to the perfect mother ideal and what others are doing doesn’t really interest me but I certainly put pressure on myself to life up to my own ideas of what my version of perfect looks like. Thanks for linking to #sharewithme

    1. Our own ideas are the most pervasive ones. It is great to aspire to be a particular way but only if there is flexibility in there so if reality is different we can change our ideas. I think we all get more flexible as we go through our motherhood journey. Thanks for your insightful comment Mummy Fever.

  12. There’s just so much pressure to be the best Mother / Parent you can be. It is so difficult to always get it right, but must remember, we’re not expected to get it right ALL of the time. Just do our best! #MarvMondays

    1. Agreed Harriet. There is no perfect out there when it comes to parenting. Our children need us to be human too. Thanks for you comment. Kirsten

    1. Hi Jennifer. You make a really valid point and one which really ties in with my book. The range and intensity of feelings that we experience as mothers is amazing and did, like you, take me by surprise. Thanks for hosting and commenting.

    1. Hi Lianne, Thanks for your comment. Parenting guilt is not easy. A good understanding of our role as mothers and other mothers experiences can help us with it.

  13. This sounds like a perfect concept for a book, and one that is much needed too! I wish I’d taken the time to find and read something similar when I was pregnant the first time-it would’ve saved me months of torment and anguish, that I was terrible and a total failure. I refused to accept that I needed help with childcare, and that no time to myself was slowly driving me to be an awful version of my old self. My children now go to nursery twice a week, and I feel like a new person! I will save this, and come back to read the above excerpt later! Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

    1. Hi Lucy, I am so glad to hear that you feel like a new person. It is such a steep learning curve at the beginning in particular isn’t it? We always have things to learn but the first part of becoming a new mother can be the toughest because our whole world changes. Thanks for your lovely comment. Kirsten

  14. I have read and tweeted your first chapter, I wish I had learned all this 12 years ago. My expectations of how it would be to be a mother were quickly shattered soon after giving birth. I knew I would love her and I did, but I loved her more than I knew possible, so much that every cry made me feel like I was being stabbed in the chest, I felt like a huge failure. I never knew that motherhood came with guilt! It was such a shock. All new mothers or mums to be should read your book and your blog, I know it would have helped me if someone just told me what I was going through was normal. #mg
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…BittersweetMy Profile

    1. Hi Mackenzie, Your comment has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your kind words. Your experience of motherhood is not unusual and I really want to reach new mothers so that they know they are not alone. That is why I started researching because I could see how so many of us, including myself felt we couldn’t live up to the ideal.

  15. I really like the philosophy of guilt free parenting and trusting our own instincts as parents. I do believe a lot of the pressure we feel as parents is thinking or feeling that we need to parent a certain way, when actually parenting is very individual to each mother and father. It sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment. It is so much about the relationship that we have with our children which is of course unique. There can be many successful approaches to raising a child.

  16. I couldn’t have read this on a better evening and I very much want to read the book. The other half is off back to work tomorrow so it’ll be my first day as sole parenting to two! I’m a little nervous! Thanks for linking up with TwinklyTuesday!

    1. I really remember that feeling well. It was so daunting. But I am sure that you will find that you have learnt so much from having one. The steepest learning curve is with one. I will be thinking of you tomorrow and your first day of parenting two alone. I would love to hear how it goes.

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