With Mother’s Day just around the corner, you might be planning that bunch of flowers, or perhaps it’s breakfast in bed. You do the same thing every year, and she loves it, right? It’s important to understand what life is like in her shoes, so here are five things no one tells you about being a Mum.
Think of the person you care most about, then put that on steroids
You might’ve heard the term ‘emotional labour’ – it’s the unpaid, invisible work that women (usually) do to keep a house going, ensure everyone in it is happy, healthy and on top of their trips to the dentist. But aside from the logistics, there’s a gear change that comes with being a Mum that might surprise you.
“I knew having a baby would completely change my life, but I didn’t bargain for the intense emotional impact of being in charge of someone else’s welfare,” says Mum and health journalist Casey Beros. “Especially in the early days, they are completely dependent on you and can’t communicate what they need – so you’re effectively learning a new language on the fly, usually on little to no sleep. Then each stage changes and you have to change with it, and just as you get the hang of one stage your kids seem to move onto the next!”
There’s a good reason they call it the ‘hardest job in the world’
These days, there’s a million ways to parent. No matter which way you do it, any Mum will tell you – it’s exhausting. From the endless loads of washing to cleaning up the toys for the hundredth time that day (maybe on top of also working to earn a living), Mums rarely get a true break. Even once the kids are in bed, often that’s when another form of work begins – life admin, cleaning up from the day, and making lunches.
That’s why self-care for Mums is so important. Whether it’s taking the time to get out for a walk or a coffee with a friend, regular self-care can help parents recharge their batteries – which is vital in order to take care of everyone else.
Your relationship can suffer
If you’re in one, it’s easy to put your relationship last when you’re in the business of raising human beings. Between nappies and school runs, broken nights and early starts – sometimes there’s not much left in the tank for yourself, let alone your significant other.
Why not try scheduling a regular date night? It might be once a month, but get it in the diary so you can’t reschedule. If you can’t afford childcare and don’t have family to help, see if another Mum will do a babysitting swap – you do one month for them, and they do one month for you. Worst case scenario dedicate one night a month to make (or order in) a special meal that you sit down and share – no TV, no phones.
It can make you feel isolated
It seems counterintuitive, because you’re rarely ‘on your own’ but parenting can be lonely – especially if you live in a rural area, have moved to a new city or have a partner who works away or long hours.
“You can feel very, very alone,” says Beros. “Even if you have amazing friends and family, everyone is busy with their own lives and often their own families. In a digital world where we have no shortage of online support groups and different parenting accounts to follow, in the real world you spend an inordinate amount of time on your own, and it’s not easy.”
The antidote here is a solid support team and dedicated time with them. From local Mums, old friends (and new ones) as well as any family (if you’re lucky enough to have some around) – building a small group of people to lean on is critical.
The day you become a Mum, your life is forever changed
If you ask any Mum, they’ll tell you that no matter how hard life gets – they wouldn’t trade their little (and big) ones for the world. More than anything, they love their kids, and it’s what makes Mums so very special.
Want to spoil Mum this Mother’s Day? Why not treat her to an afternoon tea or pamper package at Crown Spa Perth? Even better – book her an overnight stay to let her really relax in style.
Or spoil Mum with a dining experience she won’t forget or a gift card so she can choose exactly how to spoil herself! Find out more here.