I’ve seen a number of posts recently encouraging mamas to ‘keep going even though it’s hard, even though you’re exhausted, keep going’.

And I’m curious about what it is they’re encouraging us to keep doing.

Is it not to give up on living? Or is it to keep running ourselves into the ground?

I wonder who this serves.

Who benefits from us as mothers being so exhausted that we barely know our own names?

Who benefits from us as mothers being so broken that we can’t assert our needs or wants anymore?

The only answer I can think of is patriarchy.

Of course, we need to meet our children’s needs. This is not up for dispute.

And we also need to meet our own.

Yes, we can wait longer than our children. But we cannot wait forever.

And it’s impossible to meet our own needs without support around us. Because how can we get enough time to do what we need if we’re parenting on our own? If we can’t ask those around us for space, time and support?

And what is the effect of not having a village?

How does it affect us if we don’t get the space we need? The sleep we need? The nutrition we need?

Does it make us the people we want to be? Vibrant, outgoing, interested, interesting, thoughtful, patient and calm?

Or does it make us angry, irritable and impatient?

How does that affect our children?

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably very pro gentle parenting, or at least interested in the idea.

So I imagine you’re hoping to stay calm and patient with your child, able to respond to them and their experience, rather than their behaviour and how it makes you feel.

Hoping that this will help your child to grow into a strong, sensitive, independent, loving adult.

Who may have some problems, because who doesn’t?, but who can get through them safely enough.

And yet, the message from our community, is ‘keep going’. Even if it’s killing you. And I wonder what our children learn.

And how they are affected by watching us and by being around exhausted parents.

How does that affect you?

Does it become another way to tell yourself you’re getting it wrong?

My sense is that the world of parenting in social media is a place where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I wonder where that comes from. Whether being black and white about things makes us feel safer in a world that’s incredibly anxiety provoking.

Until it doesn’t. And we just feel like we’re failing all the time.

So what can we do?

How do we step away from surviving? Allow ourselves to start thriving?

To take some time back.

To say no.

Feel OK with tolerating the distress that brings up in our children, knowing it’s OK for them to be upset, helpful for them even, as long as it’s done thoughtfully and with someone there to support them.

Not have to justify our decisions to ourselves or to other people.

Do what we need to promote our own mental health.

What difference do you think that might make?

How do these ideas make you feel?

Why do you think that is?

Check out our resource page which has lots of links to support. Also check out our Facebook and Instagram