I’m not denying that sleep is incredibly important. There’s a reason they use sleep deprivation as a form of torture. And certainly, once you add siblings or paid work to the mix, its importance grows exponentially.
But the problem is so much deeper than just training babies to sleep.
Somehow, we have created a brand for the modern mother that is simultaneously goddess-like and completely and utterly inept. She should do it all, except what her instincts tell her to.
Mothers are incredible. Collectively, the mothers I know are some of the strongest, brightest, most compassionate and intuitive people I’ve ever known. Yet almost each one will tell you she’s not doing enough.
What enough is though, is never really defined. Because it’s not real. There is no “enough”.
We have dehumanised mothers to a point where our expectations aren’t achievable, at least not in the current system. The Premier is on the right track. It takes a village. But we need to change the system, not the mothering.
We need more flexible working arrangements for BOTH parents, mental health support, real maternity and paternity leave, and opportunities to build a strong support network. The internet is rife with commentary on all the ways we are failing our children, but there’s a vital component missing from that conversation. No-one has asked the mothers.