When two individuals, with different family backgrounds decide to live together, there are bound to be some changes.

Relationships, to be successful, require a series of adjustments by both partners. Things usually have a smooth start. People are generally good at handling the differences of attitudes, opinions or conflicting priorities. Things can look a bit different when two people get married and decide to start a family together. New and unfamiliar circumstances increase uncertainty and anxiety, which needs to be managed in the right way, for a relationship to survive. Although very few admit it, motherhood can be a tough journey through an unknown territory, where women learn to navigate through the peaks and troughs of life with little or no support and simply do their best to avoid the big ‘’pot holes’’ on the way. Sadly, many women lose themself in the process of becoming a mother and a caretaker. Many of us are raised in a traditional way, believing that if we put the needs of other people above our own needs, our relationships will be a source of joy and happiness. However, this rarely happens. 

Many women feel out of control because they’re constantly attending to the needs of others: a spouse, children, aged parents, and so on.. While she is busy nurturing others, caring for them and pleasing them, a woman rarely gets nurtured herself. Far too often women lose their identity to the needs of others and eventually end up overworked, unfulfilled or emotionally drained. 

Those in happier relationships tend to have a partner whose attitude and priorities match their own ones. Undoubtedly this makes the motherhood journey a little easier. 

Most young mums get stuck somewhere between their own biology, societal pressure and a culture that still idealises motherhood full of sacrifice. When they finally give birth they try at all costs to be their own version of a ‘’perfect mother’’. The mother that has everything under her control, is patiently accepting everything coming her way and doesn’t need anything else to be happy. She is able to read all the needs of the baby without thinking twice and she never experiences any fear, helplessness or God forbid anger towards her baby! 

A mother holding her infant child thinking deeply

In contrast to this ‘’perfect mother’’ there is a mother who is ‘’good enough’’. She understands the needs of her baby but doesn’t give up on herself. She doesn’t neglect her relationships, her dreams or plans. Being a mother she still is a woman, a friend and a wife. She might be tired, lost and emotional at times , but she cares for her baby the best she can.  And she is focused on that, not the vision of being the ‘’perfect’’ mother !

Our common belief that we women are born to be the primary caregiver to our children, partner and families, too often turns out to be nothing else but a limiting belief, which works against us in the long term. Yet, this is still so commonly observed in today’s society. This traditional approach to women and men’s responsibilities, can cause much dissatisfaction, self-neglect and a mountain of unfulfilled dreams and plans for many women. It can cause poor life satisfaction, depression or resentment, which when not dealt with, can contribute to relationship strain, and so often a divorce further down the line. 

Many women are yet to learn the art of prioritising their own needs and acting on their desires. They are yet to learn self-confidence and standing their ground. Motherhood is a journey that has many learning curves. It requires a woman to be kind and gentle with herself. To show herself love and attention. And that’s very different to trying to be perfect!