One of my worst and best qualities are being my own worst critic. I am always analysing myself and what I do in assumption that others are doing the same to me, I worry about what people think about me, I worry about people judging me and it makes me anxious.
In my younger years (before my career and having children) I never cared at all, I was young and carefree. When I was at school I was so relaxed about deadlines, a little too relaxed that I’d be finishing (or starting!) assignments the night before there were due!
As you may know, I had Archie when I was 20, I was still somewhat carefree but I wanted to please and be a successful parent. I don’t know what a successful parent is?! But I wanted to look like I had it together and doing well for my son.
Then I had Maisie and decided to start my PGCE as Mum of 2 under three. I felt a sense of achievement, I still do to this day. I worked incredibly hard to get my teaching degree and felt so much pride whenever I explained I had two children. But I often got judged for having children before my career. Don’t you want to focus on Teaching? People would ask. How can you commit to Teaching when you have kids of your own?
It’s difficult isn’t it? Whatever you do people judge you? And if people aren’t judging me, I think that they are!
It’s only in the past 2-3 years that I’ve really felt this way. I was working long hours, had 3 children under 5 and suffered with depression. All of this contributed in me having a break from teaching. I was embarrassed to have depression, I still find it tricky to talk about now and I haven’t told many people (maybe one day I will!).
People will judge whether you’re a stay at mum or a working mum (full time or part time). When I was working full-time as a primary school teacher it was so demanding; physically and emotionally and I found it difficult to have a work/life balance, now I am just a stay at home Mum, there we go again “just”.. it’s not just a stay at home mum though is it? I feel as tired now as I did when I was teaching full time. In a way going off to work was a little break, I got to walk home and scroll through Instagram and eat chocolate without having to share it! But I missed my children and worried I was missing milestones.
I think as mums, we need to support each other more! We are all doing a fantastic job no matter how many children we have. I saw a post recently about mums with 3 or 4 children shaming those who only had 1 or 2. I can’t say parenting was any easier when I had just 1 or 2 but it was different. Being a new mum, you want perfection, you worry about milestones, you might be alone with your little person all day, you might actually want more children and not be able to have more. We are all going through our own circumstances so it’s unfair to assume it’s easier being a mum to one rather than three or four! In having more children I can say that I’m comfortable with my parenting, I don’t question what I do as much, I don’t worry about milestones and I don’t worry if they’ve gained weight (I can tell just by looking at Darcie) etc. I remember when I was a mum to one I would take him to get weighed every two weeks, I was signed up to lots of baby clubs and received “what your baby should be doing” emails, it can get very competitive.
Either way, I believe all mums are doing a fantastic job whether you have one child or four and whether you work or not. We need to praise each other and support each other.
As you may know I started my own YouTube channel in March, I have wanted to do it for years and worried about people judging me, I think mainly judging my parenting and me as a person. I was scared people would laugh at me.
I am learning to let go a little now, if you are you’re own worst critic here are some tips (bare in mind I am still reminding myself to follow these as well!):
– Acknowledge – I know I am my own worst critic and it’s taken me a long time to realise this. I can’t change my personality or who I am. It has its pros and cons; I am a people pleaser and want to keep others happy but also need to let go a bit.
– Perfection – I have had to learn that things can’t be perfect. Things take time, I may have to wait, each day can not be amazing, everyone has a bad day. Sometimes I have to settle for something otherwise I’ll drive myself crazy.
– Past – What’s done is done, put it in the past. I am trying not to overthink things, once a video or post is published it’s done, there’s no going back. If you’ve had a bad day start fresh the next day!
– Positive – Try to think positively, this is the one I most struggle with! For every bad thing you think about yourself, try and think of three good things. I can barely think of one good thing so this is what I find hard, but I must try harder!
I am sorry this turned into a bit of a ramble but if you could relate in any way I’d love to know. Please feel free to share this as you never know who it may help.
Thank you for reading,