No one tells you being a Mom is going to be this hard.

exhausted mom

I picked this photo to showcase, cause I remember how tired and exhausted I was this night.

So everyone tells you how AMAZING being a mom is going to be. There is so much hype about how becoming a mom is life altering and that it is the greatest blessing you can receive. I’m not going to sit here and argue either of those points, but I will tell you that for some of us… it’s not what we expected. I love my children beyond measure, but I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure I was cut out for this ‘mommy thing’ those first few months.

I thought I was going to bring a beautiful child into this world that was going to goo and gaa like the babies on those diaper commercials you see on tv, where everyone is smiling. They never show you the stressed out mom with crap on her hands, trying to catch pee with a nearby blanket, and wishing she had a go-go gadget arm that could just reach just a little bit further to grab the wipes (for those of you not from the 80’s, just search ‘inspector gadget’ to find out what a go-go gadget arm is).

Those first few months are hard, and it doesn’t make it any easier that other moms don’t fess up to it. Many of us go to our mommy groups or playdates and smile and act like everything is perfect. Being a mom is hard work, and when all your baby does is eat, poop, cry and sleep, it makes it hard to feel any sort of reward. I know… the reward is the beautiful healthy baby. But lets be real for a minute, and help other moms out by being honest.

Taking care of a newborn baby can be exhausting and overwhelming, especially for first time moms. Add to it some raging hormones and the everyday responsibilities that most women have… it’s a ticking time bomb. Sometimes the hardest part of motherhood is dealing with our own emotions. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all just brutally honest with each other about how hard it is to care for our ‘bundle of joy’? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear another mom say, ‘I just broke down and cried’? I feel like there is a degree of guilt that moms face when they don’t feel that endless amount of happiness every minute of the day. Its not easy, and we should stop pretending like it is. We don’t need to feel guilty about not loving every minute of motherhood.

I recently had another mom ask me if it was normal that she didn’t feel like she had bonded with her baby yet. Of course its normal… we just don’t tell one another it is. We all have our own moments that we bond with our children, and there is no set timeline. If you bond while cleaning crap off of everything and wiping spit up off your shirt… GREAT! If it takes until your little one smiles at you to feel a connection… that’s AMAZING too. I wish we could all just be a little more truthful about how hard this motherhood thing is. Guilt is such an overwhelming destructive force that could be easily counteracted with honesty and support.

On top of the guilt we all feel at one time or another, we have to contend with that constant worrying that goes on in our mommy brains. First off, we worry that we don’t know what we’re doing. We probably don’t, but that’s okay. Then, we worry that we haven’t done all the caregiving responsibilities exactly the way we read about or were told to do. It’s never ending. As mom’s we will probably worry for the rest of our lives. At least as we grow more wise, we’ll learn that worrying doesn’t really have very many benefits and just gives you a few extra wrinkles (or as my daughter calls the ones on my forehead  ‘mommy’s tiger stripes’).

So the next time you meet up with a new mom, tell her she is doing a great job and please being honest with her. Being a mom is hard work. It can be exhausting, overwhelming and downright stressful. If I knew how hard being a mom would be, would I do it all over again? ABSOLUTELY. I would just know that it’s okay to not love every minute of it!


Comments

No one tells you being a Mom is going to be this hard. — 34 Comments

    • Thanks Candice. Hope you will continue to read and spread the word… TELL ANOTHER MOM she’s doing a great job!

  1. Hopping by from Linkin with my ladies. I love your Mom mission! Being a mom is the hardest job in the universe. We all know it can be wonderful and rewarding, but it can be awful, thankless, nasty and sometimes it just plain stinks. We need to support each other as moms. Great post. I’ll be following :)

  2. Being a Mom is hands down the hardest job I’ve ever done! Three kids in, and I’m still trying to figure out how to do it “right!” I linked to you in my post yesterday. Glad you are having success with your blog!

    • Thanks so much! I’m not sure there is really a ‘right’ way to do anything when it comes to parenting. If there is…I can assure you I haven’t figured it out either!

    • Thanks Katie, I enjoyed writing it the most too. It’s great hearing from so many moms, and how it wasn’t ‘easy’ for them either.

  3. Hi Janet – I’m really impressed with your articles – all so true and so well written. Keep it up.

    Aunt Shirley xo

  4. Love your post and the whole message of your blog! I had no idea how hard being a mom was. My now 12 yr old daughter was colicky for far beyond the 3-4 months that’s typical. She was colicky for 9+! And didn’t sleep thru the night until 2 1/2! But now she’s so calm and goes to bed on her own. Keep up the great work!

  5. Dear Janet,
    I wish someone like you were around back in the day. My 3 children are now all in their twenties, but to this day I can relate to your message.
    I remember when at Kindergarten age, my oldest two were sick with the flu and over the worst when the youngest got sick as well. Thankfully, our Doctor made house calls and was due in an hour. I gathered the kids around me to their room and sat on the floor, leaning on the bed to supervise them until he arrived. I suddenly awoke confused to find myself lying on the mat looking up at the doctor who had suddenly appeared. I hadn’t even heard the bell! I was so ashamed because I had left the children unattended and that they had even opened the door to someone without permission.
    The doctor obviously wasn’t thinking that way at all. He just said ‘Well, well, what do we have here? Three sick kids and an exhausted mother’
    ‘What? I’m exhausted? Is that’s what’s going on with me?’ Tears welling in my eyes, I was so grateful that someone knew what I was going through and didn’t condemn me as irresponsible and lazy.

    Sometimes being a mother can be a lonely thing.

    Ladies, Girls, remember this: You are magnificent, just as you are. Looking back I can see that I was the one condemning myself as many of us do.
    Walk your own path, encourage other mothers to do the same. If we can’t accept ourselves, we won’t be able to accept others.
    Janet’s blog is a heartwarming place to hang around, so bless you Janet –I suspect you are feeling that already, and bless all you reading this.

    love and light,
    Laura

    • Thanks for the great comment Laura. I was struggling to write some upcoming posts and something you said really hit home. ‘Walk your own path, encourage other moms to do the same’. FABULOUS. I hope you’ll continue to read and write such amazing comments.

  6. Visiting from SITS this Saturday, clicked on your link mainly because the mere title sounded like me :-) Love this. Every new mom just needs someone to be honest-to let her know all those emotions (or lack of) are OKAY!

  7. Stopping by from Bloggy Moms! I love the theme of your blog. We moms really must stand by each other instead of bogging each other down. Great post this one, and I’ll be sure to return!

  8. If you moderate your comments, sorry for posting again! Just want to say: great post and wonderful message you’re sending through this blog!

    • Your absolutely welcome. It’s actually refreshing to be so honest, and feels great to know that I’m reaching other moms with an important message.

  9. Just found your blog! I didn’t “bond” with my first for a while…life-threatening complications for me and a short stay in the NICU for her made her seem like a some strange little creature when I finally got to hold her…close to 24 hours after she was born. After hearing all these stories of falling in love instantly with your baby, I was horrified that I felt…bewilderment? But the bonding came, yes it did. It just took some time. And I fell in love all over again when she got older and more responsive…around 9-12 months or so. I discovered that I’m not a “baby” lover, but the toddler/preschool stage? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Wish more moms were told that you can love your child but not particularly love the age/stage they’re at. When my second was born, I was prepared…I bonded faster, since I was healthier after the birth, but still, I fell hardest when her little personality became more evident…at about 9-12 months. :)

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. It so true that we all bond at different times with our children. What I found made it hard was the tremendous amount of guilt that I felt when I didn’t bond immediately.

  10. Hi, I just found you right now. Wonderful article. I am a grandmother now. My first born ended in a C-section. A lot of guilt that I didn’t have a vag delivery. Had a few issues, came home twelve days after birth. The lack of sleep with a colicky baby could drive someone right over the edge. At five weeks, hadn’t slept in what seemed forever, middle of the night holding this inconsolable “thing” at arms length woke my husband and told him if he didn’t take this child from me at that moment I thought I might do something that I might regret. He took him from me, I left the room a total wreck now, went down stairs and cried for quite a while. I carried the guilt of not loving that child and wanting to hurt him for so many years. One day at work, one of the girls brought in her little bundle of joy. He was crying and she was almost at the point that I was at. I took the baby, told her to go for a walk. We had a wonderful conversation about the part of having a baby that was NEVER discussed. I don’t know who felt better. HER or me. That day, three years after having my child I found out that I was normal. It was a very enlightening experience. Most of the guilt was gone. My grand daughter and parents lived with us for a long while. When they moved out, my daughter in law said thank you for all the support and thanks for letting me be normal.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s so nice to be able to talk honestly with other mothers. I’m so glad you were able to support your daughter in law so much.

  11. Oh thank goodness, I thought I was the one feeling that exact way. I feel much better now. Thank you for writing and speaking the truth. Love my kids, but the hardest work.

Leave a Reply