Motherhood

On being mummy and a role model

Being mummy

There’s no doubt about it, becoming a mummy is completely and utterly life-changing. Suddenly this helpless little person depends on you for everything, every minute of the day. I found it ridiculously overwhelming at first to suddenly have that level of dependence, but now I can barely remember what life was like before Rosalie. Of course as the months rolled on Rosalie’s needs changed and she became less dependent on me, particularly when I stopped breastfeeding, but that doesn’t really mean she needs me, her mummy, any less.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a mummy, and the role models we are for our daughters.

I have given up a lot for Rosalie, but I never want her to feel that she in any way owes me. It was my choice to give up working and stay at home with her, it was our choice to attempt survival on one salary and therefore forego holidays and luxuries. She doesn’t owe us for that. I am just so grateful that I am able to be at home with her full time. But it does come with responsibility and I am acutely aware that I am the person she learns most of her behaviours from.

“Your children will become what you are, so be what you want them to be”

There are definitely times when I have to check myself because I know children learn by watching, and I must be the example for Rosalie to follow. I lose my temper easily, but I try very hard to be patient with Rosalie because I want her to learn to be calm when things don’t go her way. I am not a very confident person, but I do my best to act with confidence when out and about for Rosalie’s sake. I know it’s unlikely that she will follow my advice, but she will, hopefully, follow my example.

Mummy daughter in leaves

I worry that by being a stay-at-home mum I am not giving her a strong role model for working and having a career, but then if I was out working I wouldn’t be such a strong role model for other aspects of her life, so it’s swings and roundabouts I guess. Perhaps that’s one to fret about more when she’s older.

I realised how much she looks up to me when last week she found my spare glasses and was trying to put them on. When I asked her what she was up to she said “trying mummy’s glasses on. When I’m a big girl I can wear glasses.” She hopes that one day she will be able to wear glasses like me, because if mummy (and daddy) wear glasses it must be the thing to want, it’s so sweet!

I like to think that generally I am a pretty good role model for Rosalie, but I know there are still ways I could be better.

As parents, we have such an important role to play, we should never underestimate what our children are picking up from our actions and reactions.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Jo Not A Frumpy Mum
    March 6, 2016 at 11:46 am

    A really lovely post and I was having a very similar conversation with a good friend this week. Her daughter is 8 and was so self-conscious of going into school on World Book Day, worried people would laugh at her outfit. Her mum was so upset, having been a self-conscious child herself she has tried to not let her daughter see that and has tried to instil confidence in her and it broke her heart to see her so anxious. It's not easy being a Mum, is it? #ordinarymoments

  • Reply
    Katie @mummydaddyme
    March 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    What a lovely post and it is so sweet how much they look up to us isn't it? I am sure Rosalie won't see you as working or not, she will just be so thankful of all the happy moments with her Mummy. Happy Mothers Day to you. xx

  • Reply
    Carie @ Space for the Butterflies
    March 6, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I suspect that whatever we choose it will be used against us in the teenage years – you'll be told you weren't a feminist and I'll be told I was never there, or something of that ilk! Only when they're grown up will they realise that we had to make hard choices and sacrifices – but that's the joy of children 🙂

  • Reply
    Katy F
    March 7, 2016 at 9:36 am

    My mum stayed at home and I am still a strong independent woman who had a career etc.. and my sister is the same. I think whether we are stay home or working mums we just need to show our children that they can achieve whatever they want to achieve, giving them every possible opportunity. xxx

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    March 7, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you Jo. The story of your friend nearly made me cry, I can see that being us in a few years' time and it will break my heart; parenting really is a tough gig xx

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    March 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks Katie – it really is incredibly sweet how much our children admire us, but also a little scary when they start copying! xx

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    March 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    You're probably right Carie!

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    March 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    I agree Katy, it's so important to show our children they can achieve anything they want, with effort and determination. As role models there is so much more we can show our children by the way we behave and react in every day situations, not just larger matters like working or not xx

  • Reply
    Nicola Bradbury
    March 7, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Beautiful post. x

  • Reply
    Jess Eliot
    March 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Thank you Nicola x

  • Reply
    Deborah Patrick
    March 8, 2016 at 8:54 am

    What a gorgeous post and I love it when our children look up to us with their big eyes of wonder. Its a big job to lead them in the right way, and we're all rocking it 😉 Great photos too.

  • Reply
    Laura Little Ladies Big World
    March 11, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    A lovely post here and totally true. I look at myself a little closer since having my Little Ladies. X

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