Bachelor star Alex Nation has opened up about the harsh criticism she has faced over the past few months over the way she parents her son, Elijah, 6.
The 25-year-old reality star, posted a gorgeous image on Instagram with her son, whom she welcomed when she was 18.
"'Good night Mumma, you're the best mum ever.' This is what Elijah says to me almost every night before he goes to sleep," she began the post.
"Being a parent is tough. Sometimes it's pure exhaustion and sometimes it's pure elation. I'm not sure that there is an in-between, I'm personally yet to find it.
"As mothers/parents, we can often be too hard on ourselves. We put this unrealistic expectation of ourselves to be the "perfect parent". Truthfully, there is no such thing.
"We are human, we make mistakes. But mistakes should be embraced because that is how we grow. We learn from our mistakes and keep on keepin' on."
Nation faced criticism after she appeared on - and won - last year's series of The Bachelor, with many questioning her decision to leave her son for so long to go on a reality TV show.
"It's no secret that I have been widely criticised for how I parent my son. People going as far as saying that I've neglected him and even further, saying he's better off without me.
"It's interesting isn't it, how people can feel so entitled to press such an opinion on to others- without even knowing the person personally."
"What has happened to the act of encouragement and finding happiness in seeing happiness in others? That's the feel good shit.
"I guess my reason for this post is I want to extend my love and encouragement to all the awesome Mums and Dads out there who maybe today might be feeling a little discouraged. You are doing a beautiful job.
"I'm so self-aware and I know I am absolutely not the perfect mum, but I give it my all day in and day out and my son is loved abundantly. So, when Elijah says to me "Good night Mumma, you're the best mum ever". That's all the fortitude I need.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.