Laura Mazza is an Australian blogger, a mom of three, and an honest voice in the parenting sphere about the challenges and realities of parenting. Recently, her Facebook post went viral for not only being honest about how hard it is to be a parent but also for reminding parents everywhere that even when it feels like they don't have it all together, they are still doing an incredible job.
She reminds parents everywhere that no matter what it looks like, no parent is totally on top of everything in their life at every moment in time. When you see other parents post on social media, it's easy to compare yourself to others' situations. But it's always important to remember that everyone on social media picks and chooses what moments to share.
This false perspective is what Laura has worked for three years to combat on her blog, The Mum on the Run. According to Bored Panda, Laura started her blog after struggling with postnatal depression. She wasn't feeling supported or seeing content about moms with depression, so she decided to write her own to connect with other moms who might be experiencing the same things.
In the last three years, she's grown the blog to nearly 250,000 followers. It is clear her incredibly honest take on parenting resonates with her audience. And her latest viral post is no exception. On November 13, Laura took to Facebook to share a photo of her adorable baby along with some words that every parent needs to hear once in a while.
"People always say to me, 'I don't know how you do it with three. I can't do it with one,'" Laura wrote. "And I’ll always say, the first is your hardest. I had never been more shocked, more overwhelmed and more sleep deprived ever in my life. Yes, three is hard. But entering motherhood for the first time is like a tornado that swirls you in and spits you out. Those days are by far the hardest.
"But what I do know is this; the days of feeling like you’ve been kicked up the vagina and hungover are few. You can hug your baby, he can sleep in your arms, you can have a routine or not and nothing bad will come of it. Some days you’ll shower, other days you’ll smell like an orangutan, picking fleas off your head. Some days you’ll feel blessed, other days you’ll hate yourself for struggling because all you wanted was a baby. But both are OK, neither makes you a bad mother.
"Getting a babysitter, sleeping, passing your baby over to your partner like a football, or putting the baby down in her bed nice and safe while you take a minute is OK. Your mental health matters. Your self care is still important. You’re still a person. You don’t have to exhaust yourself to be a good mother. You don’t have to lose yourself.
"No one is cleaning their house every day. No one is having sex every day. No one has it all together. We are ALL losing our s--t. Even Becky with the good hair."
I think the notion that even when you are a parent, "You're still a person" is so incredibly important, and parents — particularly mothers — don't hear that enough. Just because you have a baby doesn't mean you sacrifice your personhood. You still have a personality. You still have needs and wants completely separate from your child.
So much of what we see about motherhood in media and on social platforms is about being completely "devoted" to your family and how "everything changes" when you become a mother. And sure, some things change. But you're still you. And that's critical for new moms to understand, and for others in their life to acknowledge.
Laura's post continues, "I’ve had a c-section that was hard work, a vaginal birth that was hard work. I’ve formula fed, breast fed, donor fed my babies — all of it hard work. All of it amazing, and yet my kids still swear at the wrong time and throw tantrums and eat off the floor. All three. Don’t beat yourself up. I’ve never fought more with my husband than ever. Two ships sailing in the night. But you meet again, I promise.
"So I don’t know how I do it with three, and I don’t know how you do it with one, but the fact is, we ARE doing it and doing it well. You’re amazing. Through the tears, the s---ty nappies, the first steps, you’re amazing. Don’t ever second guess it because those little turds, they never do. To them, you are a wonderful. To them, you are everything."
The thousands of reactions, comments, and shares that Laura's post collected suggest that so many parents needed to hear this message. Everyone needs a reminder once in a while that no one knows what they're doing and that that's OK. That it's OK to need time to yourself and it's OK not to take a shower sometimes and it's OK if your kids get the best of you sometimes. All of this is what it means to be a parent and a person.