How to be a perfect mum

 How’s that for a provocative title?

"A perfect mum."

We all know there is no such thing.

Yet we desperately aim for it...

So many women try to do things “right” even if it means chasing some imaginary standard.  Many mothers lose themselves on the way. Fathers too, I can imagine.

Serena Williams told TIME that she never understood women before becoming a mum. She didn’t understand why they put themselves in second or third place. Now, as a mother, she says “it’s so easy to do. It’s so easy to do.”

I agree. It is easy to do. It’s as if we, as new-born parents, desperately look for how to be. Often we end up going for some version of the self-sacrificing mother, so often described in films and books as something to strive for.

At the same time, we know that we cannot pour from an empty cup.

Have you, like I, seen your mother stressed out and wished she would take care of herself so you wouldn’t feel bad about her feeling bad?

If we don’t take care of ourselves, we cannot take care of our children. And we for sure cannot teach them how to take good care of themselves.

By the time Serena became a mother she was already an icon in tennis. Many wondered why she wanted to go back to tennis. Why not just enjoy being a mum?

Her answer:

“I’m not done yet, simple. My story doesn’t end here.”

She plays tennis because she loves it. That didn’t go away because she became a mum.

There is no such thing as a perfect mum.

But there is such a thing as a perfect you.

Focus on being you, on doing what makes you smile.

That is the best gift you can give your children.  

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