Motherhood is, by all accounts, one of the most important jobs in the world, and whether you’re pregnant, a working mum or a proud stay-at-home parent, it’s an ongoing balancing act trying to stay on top of your commitments whilst trying to do the best job you can at, well, everything.
As we finally emerge from the clutches of the global pandemic, being a mother is looking rather different to how it did back in 2019, and the ways in which we’re choosing to parent, educate and entertain our children have undeniably shifted. With ongoing lockdowns forcing us to re-examine our work/life balances, look at how we spend our precious family time, and the way we navigate pregnancy and birth, there have been revelations aplenty, and for many women, what has been an utterly overwhelming period of time has, in fact, laid the groundwork for a better way of living after all.
Now that we’re mid-way through 2022, it’s becoming clear that some of the changes we were forced to adopt back in March 2019, as the pandemic began to unfold, are ones that we’re now willingly choosing to keep hold of, having seen benefits in doing so we never would have recognised before. Add to that the lessons we’ve learned around pregnancy, birth and parenting overall, and these are three of the biggest trends shaping motherhood right now.
A tranquil introduction
For those who are currently preparing for first-time motherhood, the past two years might have left you feeling worried about what the experience of pregnancy and giving birth has in store. Thankfully, rules around partners being allowed to scans and antenatal appointments have now been relaxed, which means you’re unlikely to have to go it alone and will have the support you need at every stage – but if you’re feeling slightly more on edge than you would have previously at the idea of things not going to plan then you’re not alone.
Pregnancy is always somewhat anxiety inducing in part, and ensuring the lead-up to giving birth is as relaxing and hassle free as possible has been an ongoing trend. But in 2022, we’re seeing women take matters into their own hands to ensure their experience is a zen one, with the number of products like pregnancy aromatherapy candles and birthing candles being bought online from the likes of Cradle and Tonic at an all-time high.
Add to that the surge in women booking in for pregnancy massages and considering home births, and it seems that this year, we’re more determined than ever to have things happen on our terms. Mums increasingly want to feel as relaxed as possible right up to, as well as during the birth so that their babies emerge into a calming environment, and a host of modern products and services are making it possible.
Prioritising time for rest
Gone are the days when being busy was worn as a badge of honour by mothers, and thanks to the months spent at home during the pandemic, many mothers are finally seeing the importance of rest and recuperation for what it is.
Not only did the ongoing lockdowns mean parents had more time to spend slow days nesting with their children, but it also saw families spending an increased amount of time outdoors and in nature, the benefits of which quickly became undeniable. Of course, the situation also brought its fair share of frazzled mums who found trying to juggle home schooling and childcare with work overwhelming – but that only highlighted the importance of rest further.
In 2022, mothers are choosing to spend more time indulging in enjoyable activities with their children as a form of release, as well as checking themselves for the occasional luxury spa day for some much-needed ‘me time’ – and long may it continue.
Letting go of the things that don’t matter
The pressure to be perfect is something that almost every mother can attest to. If organising your children’s time to within an inch of their lives to ensure they can pack in as many recreational activities as possible alongside their homework, and that you’re ticking all the right boxes when it comes to family activities like baking and crafting at the weekends, is starting to stress you out, then it might be time to reassess the way you’re doing things.
It isn’t always easy to simply ignore the things other mothers are saying at the school gates and at birthday parties and social occasions, but parents know their own children better than anyone. If your current set-up is making you, and your children unhappy, then take some time to think about what each of you actually enjoy, and let go of the stuff you don’t to make more time for it. Quite often, both children and parents would prefer to simply spend some quality time together at home or doing something simple, but nobody’s saying it. This year, though, it’s all change.