Wondering what ‘mumxiety’ is? Allow me to enlighten you. To me, mumxiety can be anything from those daily, niggling feelings of guilt in the back of my mind (yep – we all have them!) to those terrifying, all-out pangs of ‘I’m doing EVERYTHING wrong’ mummy-worry.
Even if we start the day consciously trying to relax and not let the little things get to us, it seems there’s always something to trip us up and send us reeling back into the pits of mumxiety.
(Take Charlotte from SATC as an example. She spent an entire week worrying and whittling over drinking the water in Mexico… she finally relaxed, let her guard down, opened her mouth in the shower, and consequently… well… she crapped herself.)
I think mumxiety is very similar to that. We’re constantly crapping ourselves about crapping ourselves. We’ve just got to be able to laugh when the inevitable happens, and know that all the whittling and worrying really isn’t necessary, because some days, crap’s just going to happen.
I was first introduced to anxiety when I birthed it, along with my twins and a couple of placentas.
(Ok, so apparently, I didn’t ‘give birth’, I had them out the sunroof. But this is my point exactly…)
When I took on my new role as mummy, I soon realised that regardless of what worked for me, there was ‘apparently’ a right and wrong way of doing things, giving birth included.
I was thrown into a steaming pit of unwanted opinions, questions and pushy decisions on my version of motherhood. Like how I was feeding them, sleeping arrangements, why their names sounded like gangsters, how we’d need a girl next to complete our family, not to mention the unconventional route we’d taken just to get pregnant.
I felt huge pressures on what was expected of me. Social media, magazines, adverts and toddler groups all painted this perfect picture of what motherhood should look like. But what it looked like on someone else, didn’t look good on me. I’ve slowly learnt that that’s ok.
In the first few days I buckled under the pressure of ‘breast is best’, sobbing as I pumped my leaky, cracked nipples to keep up with the demand of two babies in neo that my body hadn’t been ready to birth. Even though I didn’t want to do it in the first place, I didn’t say, through fear of sounding like a selfish, new mother and little by little, I let it bleed into every vein of my first 18 months of motherhood, and I regret that.
It’s taken me a long time to realise that actually, being the ‘best’ mum means being a happy mum.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments where I lie about being busy because I’m still in my dressing gown, changing my fifth nappy on three hours sleep, and when I get hot sweats at the very thought of toddler groups. While other mums have perfect hair that’s been washed with actual shampoo, I’m happy to admit that I buy £31 worth of online shopping from ASDA that I don’t need, just to get the £9 worth of shopping that I actually do, without leaving the house. But that’s ok!
Remember this, fellow mumxiety sufferer: the biggest judge of all is actually yourself! So please stop your pointy finger!
Stacey was selected as a BISS guest blogger after entering our December linky. For your chance to write for GoodtoKnow, check out our Because I Said So platform.