For many women, the ideology of motherhood begins at a very early age.
Cradling your new baby, your husband watches on, he has one hand resting on the shoulder of your eldest child as you all smile at one another in a Hallmark moment. Your life is complete.
“I was utterly delusional.”
As a mum of two boys, I asked Natarsha Belling if she ever felt “out-testosteroned” in her own home. I sympathise with Natarsha, not from personal experience but vicariously through a close friend. My friend, also a mother of two adorable and rambunctious boys, once confided in me that she had NO IDEA that motherhood was going to be like ‘this’. Not specifically good, bad or otherwise, but just ‘so much‘.
“They give you classes on the delivery but not classes on what to do when the baby comes,” says Natasha, however, “the love is greater, much greater than I ever expected.”
Having been broadcast into our homes on national television for over a decade, Natarsha now hosts Network Ten’s weekend and 9am news with the occasional guest host spot on The Project, (my favourite!).
Natarsha cites that seeing her children behave well and watching them laugh and be in the moment of pure joy, is the greatest highlight of motherhood.
And her advice to other mums?
“If today has been tough, let it go, tomorrow is a new day, go with the flow. Listen to your gut, and don’t be so hard on yourself. Surround yourself with honest people. Life goes so quickly so don’t be too rushed to pass through each stage, no matter how hard.”
Men don’t seem to have the same hang ups as us, as a generalisation, they don’t seem to become riddled with the same anxieties that we do. Often they seem to just be engaged with the kids, and everything else becomes a distant second. Perhaps we need to take a leaf out of their book?
In a conversation with a child physiologist, Natarsha recounts a piece of advice given to her that is, if you are finding it tough, you are doing it right. I like to think that if you are worried about not doing a good enough job, then you are probably doing just fine, but may need to be kinder to yourself.
In an age where we live a lot of our lives on social media, is this manufactured and stylised idea of what motherhood is, affecting us?
Jacinta Tynan is a mother of two, a journalist, author, and Barnardos Mother of the Year Ambassador. Jacinta says she is a firm believer in celebrating mothers of all backgrounds, but most importantly, of women supporting each other in celebrating motherhood.
“As mothers, we don’t just raise children but shape them. Barnardos Mother of The Year aims to recognise women who defy limits of love and care to change the course of the next generation, giving children the gifts of love, security and hope.
As a mother myself, I am continually inspired and in constant awe of mothers who are brought to the forefront. The largest national campaign celebrating mothers, these awards recognise the critical role mothers play in helping children reach their full potential, and that’s why I’m delighted to support such a wonderful, but most of all important initiative.”
Now in its 21st year, Barnardos Mother of the Year is the largest and most recognised campaign celebrating mothers and all that they do for family and children.
Barnardos Mother of the Year is the largest and most recognised national awards celebrating mothers.
The awards publicly acknowledge the critical role mothering plays in keeping children safe, nurturing them to help realise their potential and shaping the future of Australia.
If you know an inspirational Mum, show her just how much she’s appreciated by nominating her for Australia’s biggest honour for mums – Barnardos Mother of the Year!