The role of a mum can be so obscured by what we are trying to achieve for our children that we forget that a mother has rights. These are basic human rights, basic mother rights, for every mother, young and old. Regardless of age, culture, socioeconomic status, values, beliefs, religion, and their own personal upbringing.
A Mother Has A Right…
To be respected by individuals and society as a whole
To be free from judgement and criticism
To love and be loved
To feel good about herself, and her life
To be the type of mum she wants to be
To choose to not carry a child and instead use a surrogate, adopt or foster a child.
To choose to be a single mum by choice
To have the birth of her choice
To feed her child the way she wants to
To rest regularly and get a good night’s sleep
To lose the baby weight or not lose the weight in a time that suits her
To choose to be a working mum – part time or full time
To choose to be a stay at home mum
To be heard and listened to
To have dreams and goals, and take steps to achieve them
To take care of herself each day
To spend money on herself without judgement
To be free from guilt
To look at her phone, check social media and just switch off whenever she needs to
To say no to the things that she does not want to do
To use the bathroom in private
To have personal space whenever she desires
To receive emotional and physical support from her partner or husband
To leave a relationship if she or her children are not safe
To be surrounded by friends and family who are loving, kind and supportive
To let go of relationships that no longer serve her
To seek help whenever she needs
To be supported through social and governmental programs and organisations if and when she needs them without judgement
To look back at the end of her life at her parenting journey and feel good about the type of mum she has been.
Every mother is different, we all walk our own path. Our children are all different. We are all so different, yet we are also the same. We all strive for the ultimate same thing, to raise happy and healthy children. We sacrifice ourselves for our children, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice ourselves.
Through my work over the last four years, I have found myself reassuring mothers of the same things. The above 29 statements are based on those reassurances. They are nothing unique. They are not revolutionary. They are the basic rights any mother has within her family, as a woman, and as an individual.
The instinct to sacrifice ourselves for our children is deeply ingrained within our psyche, developed from basic human nature as a species as well as from societies expectations of a mother. We sacrifice while we are pregnant, during labour and birth. We sacrifice our sleep. There is a necessary sacrifice and unnecessary sacrifice. We unnecessarily sacrifice ourselves when we fail to recharge ourselves, and look after ourselves – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We cannot parent from an empty cup. Looking after ourselves means we can look after our children and be an effective parent.
These statements are to motivate and support a mum who may unnecessarily sacrifice herself, who may need permission to look after herself. You can download a PDF copy below. Print it out. Put it on your fridge or somewhere you can see it. Save it to your phone. Refer back to it when you feel yourself slipping, or when you need to be lifted up.
Do you have anything you would add to this list?
You deserve to be happy, as a woman, an individual in our society, and as a mother.