UniMUM: Sisterhood of the travelling…changing bag


By Hannah Wong


I have to hold my hands up in surrender. I am, admittedly and ashamedly competitive but not to the naked eye. There’s constant internal battle that I experience everyday and it’s with myself, the ‘air traffic controller’ of thoughts. They hate me. They send me multiple messages which are critical and loathing ones, negating any fuzzy, rainbow, optimistic thought that occasionally pass by.

As a parent we always want to do the best for our children. I certainly want Tiny Human to have a happy childhood and to always feel like she is loved, and it’s the responsibility of the parents to mould that for them. It’s a lot of pressure. You are then competing with all other mums out there.

There isn’t a sisterhood of the travelling changing bag as there should be. We should all be on the same side but we’re not. Instead you’re allotted to Breastfeeding Mum, the Organic Mum who uses re-useable nappies, Bottle-Feeding Mum, the Dummy Advocate Mum, Non-Dummy Mum, the Baby Wearing Mum, the Vegetarian Mum and the list continues.

Yeah sure there is not a set way or manual for parenting. If only there was, there needn’t be any chaos as who has the better method, techniques, skills they have to looking after their child. Mothers are constantly slating and judging other mothers, or feeling terrible that they aren’t doing enough for their tiny humans. As the old mantra goes, “there is no right or wrong way,” which is actually quite frightening because where is the happy medium? No matter what, we should be in this together, right?

It is bad enough that we criticise ourselves whether it be about how good we are as a parent to how good we are as a student, a sister, a brother, a best friend or a person no less. So we don’t need anyone else clouding our judgement.

But that’s what it really comes down to, isn’t it? It’s ourselves. In this case myself. I’m always ‘competing’, comparing myself to the other because I just can’t see me.

It’s very difficult to do that because my as Speech and Language Therapist we constantly have to reflect on our practice and consider what was good/bad about our session, how did we do as therapists and what could we do, if anything, to improve/ change that session or ourselves. I’m frequently asked by my educator, “what can you say was good/successful, what went well in your session?” and most of the time I stumble over that question. I’m stumped. Nothing positive passes by the air traffic control and anything I do think, I need to repeatedly convince myself.

On the other hand, 6 weeks (out of 8) weeks into my placement and I finally feel like I am doing good. My mentor pushes me to think positive in order to provide the best care I can for the clients and the ones to follow.

Happy mother’s day, to those who are constantly battling their wills to do the best and for the mother’s that fought for the best for you.