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Being a Mother in the Twenty-First Century

20170419_174727We live in a world where we are never alone. We’re constantly surrounded by vibrant images, conversations and social distractions. In seconds we can be connected with friends, family and even strangers through a compact digital screen. Yet even with a social realm right at their fingertips, mothers often feel isolated and alone. ย They often struggle through long nights, keep their head up through long days, and hit their pillow emotionally and physically exhausted.

For decades, mothers have been simply trying to keep up.

We’re trying to keep up with laundry, friendships, children, careers, our spouse, and even at times, ourselves. We’re trying to give 110% to each and every role in our life but often slide into bed each night fulfilling the bare minimum of our responsibilities.

We put our laundry in the washing machine but forget to transfer it into the dryer.

A dear friend sends a text for dinner on Friday night. We read it, put down our phone, forget about it and respond on Saturday when it’s already too late.

We plan a date night with our loving spouse. We put on enough make-up to hide the bags under our eyes. We feel confident, we feel giddy and we feel young. Then our child clings onto our leg, our baby cries as we wave goodbye and our mind is in two places at once the entire night.

We want a career. We’re ambitious and want to fulfil our dreams and achieve our goals. We want to provide for our family without missing first steps and first words. We’re torn between personal development and the development of our children.

These challenges are not just challenges for mothers of our generation, but also generations before us. ย However, as a mother in the twenty-first century I can confirm that the pressure to satisfy each these roles 110% and not just meet the bare minimum is sometimes more than a we can handle.

As a new mom, I’ve sought out relationships to help me cope with the ups and downs of this beautiful journey. I’ve met mother after mother who has shared the same challenges, the same concerns and the same guilt. We’re a generation of mothers who are constantly tearing ourselves down and comparing ourselves to others in a made up, digital world.

We’re mothers in an unfriendly housing market, challenging job market, a high cost of living market. We’re mothers who grew up with the idea that we could achieve and be anything, yet the world isn’t that friendly and not that simple.

But mother’s of the twenty-first century: we’re also mothers who need to give ourselves a break. Mothers who need to take advantage of the magnitude of resources available to us. We’re mothers who need to accept that the quantity of love and not quality of things will be what our children remember most about us. We’re mothers who need to identify and stay true to our capacity. Who shouldn’t compare ourselves to @insertinstagramhandle and who should know that in a time in our life where we feel alone, there’s a world of support around us.

Finding this support and surrounding yourself with mothers who get it will make everything that feels abnormal, normal. It will lead to a 3 a.m Snapchat celebrating a sleeping baby in their crib and a 5 p.m text requesting permission to have a glass (or two) of wine.

As you live each day trying to achieve 110%, know that there’s a 110% chance you’re not alone.

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