Let mothers be mothers

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Recently, I have come across yet another opinion on the way a mother ‘should’ be. This voice is Samantha Ettus and in her upcoming book she tries to enforce the idea that ‘all women should work’. Apparently, she is “yet to meet a woman who is completely fulfilled without keeping a career”. There are also many other assumptions around the effects on children whose mothers do not work and she also claims that marriages can be out of balance as a result and so on… I am not going to bother going into any more of the content because, it’s just that, content.

Before I had my son, I had a leadership role at work.  I loved my job, the people and going to work each day. However, it was not until after I had my son that I felt completely fulfilled. If I could stay at home with my son every day, I would. And I am certain that this would not compromise mine or my family’s life, despite any opinion or book telling me otherwise.

The fact is, whether it is this opinion or another, there is no right answer. Whether a mother wants to stay at home, go back to work, get a nanny, get a manny or be the sole breadwinner of the family, it’s her choice, designed by her and her families’ situation, needs and wants.

Mothers already have so much pressure and expectations placed on them by society and themselves. Some we are able to detach from, some we are aware of and some we get caught up in. What this book and others claim to alleviate in mothers by appearing to know what is right, can actually make mothers feel worse.

So what do we do with these opinions which claim to know what is right and helpful? See them as just that: opinions. Sit with the information and make sure it tallies with your views, values, beliefs and circumstances. If it doesn’t, disregard it with the other million that will come your way.

We need to stand strong and independent in our decisions and avoid doubt. There is no right or wrong, just the experiences we have. We will forever be bombarded by opinions of others who claim to know what is right; however, it’s what we do with the information we receive that is most important.

There needs to be more women in the public forum encouraging each other and their choices. We are all doing the best with what we know, so let’s just be the mothers we want to be. Let’s be supportive of that.

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Anita is a Writer, Counsellor and Psychotherapist and is part of the team at Como Health Group in Beaumaris. She enjoys all things motivational and inspiring, reading, food, having a good chat and being a mum to her adorable children.