When I fell pregnant with my first child, I was one of four in my group of friends who were expecting around the same time (yes I know, something in the water). Whilst there was much joy and trepidation all round, on finding out she was pregnant, one friends mother said to her "Welcome to a world of guilt!!". At the time I didn't quite get it - but boy was that soon remedied!!
Mothers seem to be hard wired for guilt. I don't know why and I don't know how the Dad's seem to have missed it - perhaps it has something to do with actually growing the baby inside your body. I don't know but I'm guessing adoptive mothers also feel this same intense guilt - so who knows where it starts?
From the moment you fall pregnant, you begin to wonder ...
"should I be eating more of that? - I've read it can help the baby grow / or be smarter/ or possibly compete in the Olympics"
Then you head of to the hospital.....
"Maybe I should be taking in the whole experience without drugs/ what if my pain threshold is too low/ what kind of a mother am I going to be if I can't even do this without drugs?"
From there is just goes on. You know what I'm talking about .....
"What about early learning - will my child miss out (or worse - be stupid) if we don't attend classes and learn French / Circus Skills / Economics before their third birthday?"
"What if I don't put our names down for the "right" school early enough?"
"What if the "right" school is the wrong choice for us?"
"What if they hurt themselves?"
"What if I am not letting them run free enough (a la helicopter parents) and I am stunting their spiritual growth?" ...... and on and on it goes.
As a mother you often feel guilty about every choice you make and how it may effect the future growth of your child. You're doing too much, you're not doing enough. It's a sad state of affairs though when a mum turns to her kids ADHD drugs and sees that as a viable choice to achieve Supermum status.
Here's a secret I would like to share with you....Supermum does not exist. That's right, you heard it here! Women like Angelina Jolie are not role models for "Supermum-dom". She has a team of helpers to help drag her through the day and make it look oh so effortless. Just like covergirls are airbrushed to perfection, we have been sold the lie that there is a perfect, Supermum - we are just not trying hard enough.
Well, it doesn't exist. I can guarantee you will never reach "Supermum" status but you may have a nervous breakdown trying. How about we make a pact and we ease off on the guilt and stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect mum?
Go on, give yourself a break. Put the kettle on or pour yourself a glass of wine and repeat after me -"I am doing my best" - now, exhale.
This blog post was inspired by the article and video US 'Supermum' addicted to ADHD drug. http://video.au.msn.com/?mkt=en-au&vid=89417d0b-ecb9-444f-9b98-e00749fd5f3f&from=sharepermalink&src=v5:share:sharepermalink:&from=dest_en-au