We’ve all heard of the seven sins – pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, anger and sloth.
Motherhood is a breeding ground for these so-called sins, and you know what? It’s fine (and perfectly normal) to feel every single one of them!
No, we’re not talking about taking pride in our appearances or being vain – us mothers are way too busy for that now. We're talking about the overwhelming pride you take in your child’s development.
It’s ok to be proud of your child’s achievements – major developments such as walking and talking are a huge thing for parents. Just try to refrain from excessive bragging – instead, offer some words of encouragement to kids (and parents) who haven’t quite got there yet. All kids are different and parenthood is not a competition.
Had a late walker or talker? You will find yourself envying those mums and their babies who rolled first, crawled first, walked first, talked first… the list is endless.
While it’s normal to feel envious of the achievements of other people’s kids, don’t put too much pressure on yourself or think that your child’s development is in some way a reflection on your parenting. Rolling, crawling, walking, talking, reading, writing... all of these will happen eventually. Remember, kids develop at their own pace. Had enough of insufferable bragging? I have two words: IGNORE and UNFOLLOW.
You will find yourself stuffing chocolate into your mouth while hiding in the pantry.
Sometimes, all you want to do is eat that entire packet of double choc Tim Tams to yourself, when you want it. Is that too much to ask? No! As mothers, we rarely get anything to ourselves, let alone Tim Tams. Give yourself a break – find a special hiding spot for the biscuits and enjoy them with a cup of tea after the kids have gone to bed.
There will be times when you want your newborn baby all to yourself, to bask in all their new little life glory and to not let go.
Your postpartum days are a haze of hormones, raw emotion and an overwhelming need to protect this tiny baby you’ve just spent nine months nurturing inside your body. It’s ok to feel like this! Unfortunately, you’re going to have to go with the flow on this one, as family and friends demand to see, hold and kiss the baby… but don’t worry – these thoughts won’t last as fatigue sets in and you genuinely welcome the opportunity for someone else to watch bub for an hour while you nap.
You will lust – lust after a day of lounging on the couch, binge-watching Netflix, a day in bed, and a minute to drink your coffee in peace.
You will find yourself lusting after your own space, your own ‘me’ time and you will definitely lust after a good night sleep. It’s ok to want and ask for help with the baby, the housework, the laundry – anything to help you cope with the never-ending demands of motherhood.
Troubles with breastfeeding, ack of sleep, the loneliness of being a stay at home mum, the realisation that this motherhood business is bloody hard work, can all make you feel angry, sad, frustrated, irritated and just about every other emotion under the sun.
It’s understandable to feel angry when your husband drops his underpants just outside the washing basket or doesn’t offer to help, but be sure to communicate your feelings and emotions.
If you’re silent about not coping, how will anyone know how you feel? You could also reach out to other mums in your area via a playgroup to combat those lonely days, and be sure talk about any troubles you are having with feeding, sleeping and settling the baby. Even just talking it out can help beat feelings of anger and frustration.
Don’t want to take a shower or get out of your pyjamas? Simply, don't do it.
Some days, everything can wait. Showering, dressing, washing, the dirty dishes – those early days spent breastfeeding for two hours at a time mean you can’t always do a lot, so don’t beat yourself up if the house looks like a tornado struck and nothing is getting done. Some days simply call for rest and relaxation.
Feeling one (or all) of the seven sins is nothing to be ashamed of. Even after the baby comes along and the kids grow up, you're still a person too and us mums deserve to do a little sinning sometimes.
I'm a first-time mother and I've found that I can't go out with my son without somebody giving me advice on how to raise him. There seems to be a general assumption that new parents have no idea about children, and it is everybody's duty to share their wisdom.