Parenting and motherhood have transformed significantly over the past couple of decades. Today, hands-on parenting is the norm as you may have noticed. Against the landscape of women empowerment, the modern woman is expected to have it all and have it together! She has to juggle career aspirations, manage the home, pay the bills, and raise thriving children – all while appearing effortless and highly efficient!
The modern mom is also expected to deal with stress gracefully, take it in her stride, and continue leading a perfect and happy life. It's a tremendous load to bear, and often, women find themselves stretched to the limit. Many moms feel overwhelmed and exhausted, and a lot of this pressure comes from the unrealistic standards imposed by society, peers, and themselves.
A lot of us are also influenced by what we see on social media. Countless women influencers on social media make it seem like they effortlessly "have it all." However, the truth behind the scenes can be quite different. Many of these women have the privilege and means to hire baby/house help and professional teams who put their social content together. So don’t be fooled by what you see on your screen!
Motherhood: A Full-Time Job You Cannot Quit!
Right from childbirth, mothers are constantly working 24/7. They endure not just the physical and emotional challenges of childbirth but also the often-overlooked struggles of recovery. Postpartum depression and hormonal changes are not commonly acknowledged or normalized in conversations among the family. If the mom is undergoing this, she may feel confused, anxious, and overwhelmed, but is expected to be joyful around her infant.
While moms are themselves recuperating from childbirth, they have to continuously feed and care for the newborn. They survive on little to no sleep and may find it hard to take a minute for themselves. They may feel frustrated at the lack of help and support, guilty for not doing enough, or overwhelmed and alone.
A survey revealed that 1 out of 4 working women cry at least once a week because they struggle with balancing their work and home responsibilities. Another study showed that 13% mothers are experiencing very high burnout today (they’re more moody, irritable, angry, self-critical, sad). These are heart-breaking statistics. This impacts a mom’s physical health as well, including weight gain due to binge eating or body shaming, migraines from overthinking and self-criticism, and chronic pain from constantly being stressed.
As a society, we have to recognize that motherhood can have a profound toll on the physical and emotional well-being of women. It’s a journey that deserves empathy, support, and understanding at every turn.
Supermom Is a Myth, But Parental Burnout Is Real
Research shows that many mothers around the world are facing parental burnout. There’s a lot of pressure to raise high-achieving and successful children. Parents have to focus on their children’s all-round development: physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and professional. Many studies show that the risk of burnout is higher in over-committed parents. There are also higher cases of depression and anxiety among mothers as well as kids today.
Why is this?
When you compare today’s motherhood style to that of 15 years ago, there’s a stark difference.
The Race for Perfectionism
Today, the journey of parenthood is truly overwhelming, when in fact it should be joyful and exciting. It is an opportunity to create new memories with this tiny human you brought into this world.
Moms tend to lose their sense of self the moment your child is born. And it’s normal. But to show up for your child, you must consciously and mindfully show up for yourself first!
Self-care and self-compassion are not selfish acts or just trends on the internet; they are so vital for your own well-being!!! In turn, it will positively impact your ability to care for and nurture your baby. It's a demanding journey, but remember, you're not alone, and it's okay to seek support and prioritize your own needs as well.