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8 challenges of being a mother in 2023

"Motherhood is beautiful — but messy. It’s a roller coaster ride where you give your heart permission to walk outside your body. It’s the best and worst job all rolled up in an imperfect human who’s just trying to love as best she can."

In my 11 years of becoming a mother, I can confidently admit that taking on the responsibility of bringing up another human is incredibly difficult. It has challenged my entirety more than anything I ever experienced prior. As the famous saying goes, "children are a blessing in disguise". What this means is, whilst motherhood is filled with countless joys it is also a journey that comes with a set of challenges. These challenges are different for all mothers but most involve having to navigate the complex emotions of a growing child to daily juggling of the demands of a busy family life. The tasks of a mother to keep a sense of balance and perspective in order to provide a secure and nurturing environment for children can be overwhelming and exhausting.

Two mistakes I made when I first became a mother was truly believe that things would get easier as my child got older because of the level of independency that child develops. Whilst this may hold some truth to it, it is not entirely a good notion of reality. Reality is, a child goes through different stages of life and your responsibility as a mother changes but never ends nor does it necessarily get easier. The demands of your child change as they grow and as a result change the dynamics of your responsibilities as a mother. The second common mistake I made was doubt my self as a mother and compare myself to older generation mothers who so often make the comment "I don't know how we did it without an ipad or any electronics with four kids, working full time, no washing machines and dishwashers etc" . This statement in my opinion is quite irrational and somewhat ignorant. In an ever evolving society, it is impossible for mothers of all generations to face the same challenges. Whilst they had the challenges of what they mention, in 2023 we are encountered with others - none that are more or less difficult but just a challenge in itself. Many competing factors such as economic, social pressures, and family demands all present challenges in motherhood. However, finding the right balance without compromising on health is essential in meeting these challenges and it’s no wonder that many mothers are considered superwomen!

8 common challenges many mothers around the world are experiencing in 2023:

1. Neglecting yourself or finding the time for self-care

With the extremely demanding responsibilities of motherhood it is a challenge to find ways to nurture yourself. Self-care is difficult for many mothers but it is so important to find that time for yourself and your interests even if it is for a short while a day. I write more about this in detail on my blog about the essence of "filling your cup". Ultimately the challenge of motherhood is to nurture your children, while also providing yourself with the care and support you need to be the best mother you can be.

2. The Internet + an ever increasing concern for the safety of our children

We are constantly trying to protect our children's safety from online predators, paedophiles to the abductors on the streets. Our children cannot "simply" play a game of Roblox, watch a Youtube video or walk the corner to go to school. It is so easy now to find the whereabouts of people, follow the private lives of others and now with Artificial Intelligence growing at a rapid pace the security of our children is diminishing. Not only does the Internet pose a security issue for our children but now there is an alarming exposure to communities who intend to influence our children with content that is extremely inappropriate. Such exposure can influence our children to lose their values and even develop the characteristics of sociopaths. With the flood of information these children are faced with daily it is only with a matter of time that eventually they become immune to many emotions. The Internet has opened up a whole can of worms and has awoken many monsters living amongst our society. My biggest suggestion is to take a short course on Cyber security for children, limit screen time and teach your children about stranger danger.

3. Virtual children + a robotic system

Like as if the Internet isn't bad enough we as parents are fighting against a virtual system that wants our children to rely on robots. Jobs are becoming less and less relevant as robots are taking over. Backyards are getting smaller, as concrete jungles are growing posing a great threat to the liberty of our children and their kids and the generations to come thereafter. It is a constant battle to avoid too much screen time when everything is based around a screen from learning to playing. When it was once only the television which is scientifically proven to create a drug side effect on a child's brain we are now dealing with not only televisions but, mobile phones, ipads, gameboys, computers and the related. There are not many children of 2023 that would even be able to survive in the wild and while that is an extreme thought, it is somewhat concerning. Teach your children practical life skills such as cooking and gardening. Take them on camping holidays and hikes rather than to theme parks.

3. Faith

With the rapid growth of mental health and suicide in kids from as young as 10 years old, it is absolutely crucial to embed faith into your children. It is so unfortunate to see that religion is now considered narrow minded and many people have become agnostic or athiest. Being religious is not trendy enough and there is a strong perspective that those who follow a faith are oppressed and have a wild imagination. Teaching your children to believe in God will help them in understanding how they came to earth, why they are here and where they are going when they die. It will give them purpose and guidance for how to live this life and essentially during the hardships of life, having faith in God will give them hope.

4. Hyper-sexuality

As a mother of three daughters I often hold a concern for my children's future morals and values especially considering the hyper-sexual society we live amongst. This is a challenge I struggle with the most as most of it is based around women. There isn't a billboard you'll ever see that doesn't sexualise a woman to sell their products. From university degrees to homes, there is always a woman in the picture to sell their product. Women are constantly being used as sexual objects. Relatively, female sex workers are now glamourising their jobs openly on the Internet because of their high pay checks luring in many young girls into an industry that is immoral and highly dangerous.

There isn't a child's movie that rarely ever doesn't have a kissing scene or inappropriate language that children are too young to comprehend. Homosexuality is now prominent in many children's movies and books too. When once upon a time sexuality was a discreet subject (as it should be) we subsequently now have flags of sexuality being constantly waved in our childrens' faces. There is a drive to confuse our children about not only their sexuality but now their gender too. The concept to not allow our children to use basic gender pronouns such as he and she comfortably is nothing but stupid and unfortunately is another hurdle we are challenged with.

5. Egoistic society

In an era of narcissists the internet has brought upon so much of "the self" that, family values are diminishing, the disrespect for parents are increasing and children are starting to forget the value of having empathy. To avoid our children from developing such traits we need to take them to visit the elderley in nursing homes, feed the homeless, visit grandparents and if you ever have the opportunity take your children around the world to visit and help the less privileged.

6. Being the perfect mother

The influences on mothers today are mostly ingrained from their own childhood memories and abetted by comments on social media, from friends, and other women in their child’s playgroups. The result for many women is a constant strive to be the perfect mother. This likely means bending to the opinions and advice of others and paying special attention to those who imply that you might be doing motherhood wrong. Even if you feel you can handle the pressures of being good at motherhood you probably worry that you are failing to meet your own expectations. You may tell yourself that you don’t care what others think or insinuate about your parenting, but there’s a part of you that likely does. Most mothers, especially first-time mothers, are insecure about some things—or even most things. If you feel insecure as a mother you are not alone, take the time to read more on my previous blog where I discuss "What's expected of a 2023 Muslim Mum?"

7. Financial difficulties

Finances vary for many families, however this is a frequent discussion I have had with many mothers especially in recent years because of inflation. Due to higher economic demands, mothers are finding it burdensome to be full time stay at home mums. They are working to assist their spouses to meet family financial obligations making it harder for them to spend time with their children and keep up with the basic household needs. It is no longer common for the man to provide while the wife nurtures her children at home however this also doesn't decrease the risk of children getting exposed to the influence of peer pressure, TV programs, and movies to take drugs, alcohol, engage in early sex, and reckless driving. In fact, economical factors are making it increasingly difficult for parents to spend that quality time to counterbalance these negative influences.

8. Time Management

If there is one challenge that ALL mothers share throughout motherhood, it would have to be time management. The demands of being a mother is so high that there are many days you end up feeling extremely overwhelmed and want to quit being a mum for just a day. It's the dusting, the vacuuming, the mopping, the wiping, the dishes, the ironing, the clothes, the homework, the after school activities, the weekend entertaining, the husband entertaining and MORE! We're constantly switching roles throughout the day from cleaner, to psychologist, to teacher to chef and others. To give time to all the responsibilities that motherhood requires is challenging and definitely needs to be handled profoundly. Routines and planning ahead is a grounded given for mothers, especially if they want to remain as sane as possible.

To summarise setting limits and rules, teaching values and managing a household are just a few of the issues mothers must face while also allowing room for children to experience growth and exploration. Motherhood is an ongoing journey that comes with different challenges for all mothers, but with patience, understanding, and love, a mother can overcome and embrace many of these challenges. While there is no such thing as perfection in motherhood it is obvious how strenuous the duty of bringing up a kid is. It takes blood and sweat to bring up a child to be a decent individual. It subsequently requires a ton of exertion and a lot of penances to give your kids a childhood and a day to day existence you have imagined for them. However, regardless of how tiring the upbringing of a child may be it is still the most remunerating position on the planet.

While it is not without its trials and tribulation, motherhood is an ever-evolving journey that can bring tremendous fulfillment and satisfaction. It is a special privilege to be a mother and no matter the situation, the joys and challenges of motherhood will always be worth it.

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