Journalist, author and mum of two Jacinta Tynan has a simple but hugely important message for all Aussie mothers: give yourself a break.
Tynan, who is mum to Jasper, 6, and Otis, 4, has just been named as an official ambassador for Barnardos Mother of the Year – and she’s on a mission to raise awareness of the massive role mums play in raising the next generation.
The Sky News presenter and author of parenting book Mother Zen stressed that mothers needed to “let themselves off the hook”.
“Women can be so hard on themselves; you’ve got to give yourself a break. A lot of the dialogue [between mums] is ‘I messed up, I’m not doing a good enough job’. Aussies tend to be a bit self-deprecating …there’s a lot of putting ourselves down and joking, but obviously we think there’s some truth in it. But really, we are doing the best job we can,” she said.
“If you love your children and are there for them and care for them, then you are doing a good job.”
Tynan said modern parents often struggled as they were often childrearing without the support of their extended family.
“Our generation, like no generation before, is raising our children by ourselves. We’re not designed to parent like that,” she said.
“The nuclear family is a failed experiment….We feel so much pressure trying to raise children on our own without support and then we wonder why it’s hard.”
But she said camaraderie and friendship with fellow parents helped to combat the isolation so many of us experience.
“Camaraderie solves everything; not just logistical support, but knowing other people are doing this as well. When you chat about what you are going through and helping each other,” she said.
“We have to build communities and create our own tribe. Mother’s groups are wonderful for that. They get a bad rap, but the mothers’ group model is the answer; getting together on a regular basis and sharing.”