Reality Check: motherhood is not easy.
Many of us might make it look like it’s all cuddles and rainbows, but the reality is that there are parts of motherhood that flat-out suck. There are sleepless nights, tantrums and moments when you start to question why you signed up for this.
Of course, we all love our children (often times more than we want to admit), but that does not mean that we love all of the aspects of raising them. As Lisa T. Shepherd wrote, “In raising my children, I have lost my mind but found my soul.”
In this current culture of social media sharing, it’s very easy to fall victim to the thoughts that you are the only one who’s struggling. You see daily posts of moms in perfect hair and makeup, snuggling their perfectly content and well-dressed child. All the while, you might not have showered in five days, your child is kicking and screaming on the floor next to you, and you’re not entirely sure if what you just wiped off your arm was chocolate or poop.
It’s easy to feel like you’re doing something wrong. But let me tell you, you are in great company. Here’s what eight of the best moms I know have to say about the moments of motherhood that they hate!
• “Family and friends (and especially my husband) think I’ve totally got it together all of the time. But the truth is that I feel like I’m barely hanging on most days. So asking for help feels like failure or a disappointment. I hate that motherhood (particularly with two little ones) makes me feel like I have to pretend that I’m doing more than just surviving right now, and my husband feels none of this.” –Beth
• “One aspect of motherhood I hate is the guilt I feel taking ‘me time.’ Whether I’m at the gym, showering or even going to the bathroom, I feel this pressure to watch the clock and get back to my kids ASAP. It’s taken some joy out of when I get solitude, and I hate that because I’ve always been a person who likes my alone time.” –Jennifer
• “I hate the expectations put on us as moms. I can admit that I put a lot of these on myself, but I think society plays a part as well. We are expected to be put-together and patient with our kids, and have the right balance of alone time and family time. There are so many days that I feel like I am falling short of these expectations, and I wish it was more acceptable to admit that.” –Laurie
• “I have this fear that I am not doing enough for my kids. There are so many theories about how to best raise your kids and the most beneficial methods for teaching them. How do I know I am choosing the right one? On top of that, there are so many programs and classes and activities recommended that kids be involved in. It seems inevitable that I am going to miss something at some point.” –Monica
• “One thing I hate is the pressure to lose the baby weight quickly (definitely more pressure by me). I also hate that my husband is sound asleep snoring when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night and stays asleep. Again, I feel pressure to avoid waking him up because he has trouble sleeping. The pressure that comes with motherhood is sometimes overwhelming!” –Sabrina
• “For me, it’s feeling the difference of parenting one typical kid and one with special needs. It’s taken me a long time to realize, and not get frustrated, that we parent differently. That the norm can play out differently in my household. That some aspects of life and discipline and routine might always look unlike the norm. I had guilt about that. I have lost lots of that guilt this year.” –Allison
• “My body looks very different, and in a few years I may consider doing a mommy makeover. Until then, I try to cut myself some slack because this body made, gave birth to and then fed for a year two healthy children … and my husband still finds me incredibly sexy!” –Lily
• “Recently, I asked my husband to drop off our son Adam at school in the morning. Adam had his usual fit about going to school. It was hard to tell if he was upset because of going into the classroom or because I wasn’t there. But either way, my husband calls me after drop-off to tell me that he’s not sure his heart ‘can handle that again.’ EXCUSE ME? I’ve been dealing with the emotional drop-offs for weeks. I just needed a break, just for one morning. THIS comment frustrated me to no end, and is probably a moment when I ‘hated’ motherhood. Why can’t I just get a simple moment to myself without feeling guilted by my kid and/or my husband?!” –An Anonymous Mom
What’s an aspect of motherhood that you could do without? I would love to hear from you, and I guarantee you will not be the only one who feels that way.
Jmore parenting columnist Talya Knable is a psychotherapist who lives in Lutherville with her husband, Stephen, and their two children, Jack and Leigh. Her website is tkpsych.com/ She is also the assistant clinical director of Shalom Tikvah (shalomtikvah.org/), a local non-profit organization that supports Jewish families facing mental illness and other challenging life circumstances.
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