Counsellor Sarah Barr is back from maternity leave, sharing her experience of why mums shouldn't compare themselves to others.

Being a mum in today’s world is no easy task, as amazing as it is, it is hard. With all the ‘normal’ duties of motherhood, mums today also have to battle it out on social media. Keeping up to a standard (often completely unrealistic) in order to keep that urge to compare to other mums at bay.

We show our friends, followers the world how well we are coping, doing it all.

This portrayal is often not real. Instead it can lead to feeling anxious, more exhausted and just not good enough.

Each mum is different, different in their parenting role, different in how they see the world. This is okay, it is also okay to do what is best for you. Not what you think Mary or Anne down the road will think is right. By doing what is best for you is ultimately what is best for your children.

Take me for example, after having my second baby (7 years later) I decided to return to my job as a counsellor, 1 month after she was born.

The reaction I have received has been of utter shock.

But let me explain, because due to the reaction I feel like I almost need to justify my action. Which of course I don’t.

I decided to do this for me, because even when you become a mum or have more children you are still you. Now I am only working one day a week and two days every two weeks. My daughter and my baby are literally 10 feet away from me in their granny’s.

It was important for me and ultimately for my girls that I still feel like me, my job plays a major role in forming my identity.

But do not be fooled. By no means am I a ‘Super-mum’ nor trying to convey to be one. I am currently still in my pjs, hoping no-one will knock at the door, cuddling my baby, typing with one hand, the house is messy and I need a shower. Yet I love what I do and doing it helps me be me.

We are told what to expect during pregnancy and labour, but what about after?

When the fuss fades away, when you are exhausted, hormonal and lonely. Anxiety creeps in and depression may also pay an unwelcome visit. It can make you feel like you are not good enough. But this is not true.

The reality is loads of mums can feel like this. It is okay.

To help beat the negative stigma, start the conversation around our well-being and have some much needed ‘Mammy Time’ I am organising a 2 day Mammy Retreat in Letterkenny on the 2nd and 3rd of February.

The retreat is for mums with children from all stages and ages. We have amazing guest speakers, music, food, yoga, makeup demonstrations, goodie bags and much more.

There are help and support available throughout Donegal, please do not feel you’re the only mum who is finding it hard.

If you would like to talk to me confidentiality, or for further information on services available or the Mammy Retreat please contact me via my Facebook page or call 0864477867.

Take care ~ Sarah.