Every week on Friday I feature a post from a fellow mom sharing her story about motherhood. This week I have McKayla from Motivation For Mom discussing the hard parts of motherhood. She dives into all the unexpected difficult parts of motherhood.
Being a mom is the absolute most wonderful job that one can perform. With that being said, it’s also the hardest. And every time you feel like the hard part is over with, and it can’t possibly get any harder, life slaps you in the face and says, “we’re just getting started!”
The Hard Parts of Motherhood
Everyone talks about the best parts about parenting. You know, creating life, watching them grow, unconditional love… all that stuff. But people tend to not talk about the hard parts. Why? Well, it’s hard to admit that something is hard for you, especially while most moms are out there pretending like life is perfect and motherhood is easy. Don’t worry, they’re totally lying. Out of all of the hard parts of parenting, these are hands down, the hardest parts of being a mom.
You’re always wrong
No matter how much you love your children, or how well you treat them, you’ll always be doing something wrong in someone’s eyes. You give your kids little, you’re neglectful. And if you give your kids a too much, you’re spoiling them. You breastfeed in public, you’re disgusting. You formula feed, you’re selfish. Parenting styles are a very controversial topic. Everyone has an opinion that they are set on.
The mom shaming is so ridiculous. Yes, if a mom is abusing, starving, or neglecting her child, she is in fact not being a very good mom. But for the mothers who are truly trying to do what they feel is right, give them a break! There is no one right way to parent. People who are against vaccines have their reasons, as do the people who are pro-vaccination. And moms who decide to circumcise do so because they feel it’s what’s best, and vice versa. Why can’t we just give credit where credit is due? A caring mom is a good mom.
You lose a lot of friendships
Friends? What are those? Just kidding. You actually develop a lot of friendships while being a mom. But you also lose a ton, too! You may lose friends because they don’t have kids, so going out on Friday nights, or taking a weekend trip is no longer plausible. Everything they want to do isn’t very convenient for you because you have kids.
You might also lose friends that do have kids. This can be because your schedules don’t match up. Maybe your kid’s nap in the morning and their kids nap in the afternoon. Or, you could lose them as a friend because you have different parenting styles, and you find that you argue with each other, or just don’t agree with the other mom’s decisions.
Your marriage may struggle
Your marriage often takes a hit after having kids. Maybe you and your spouse have a different outlook on discipline, or who should do what around the house. Marriage is hard in general because no two people have the same exact opinions on everything. But once you bring kids into the mix it becomes a little harder, because you both just love them so much. So you both just want to do what’s right for them, and if you don’t both agree on what’s right, it puts a strain on your relationship.
Another reason marriages tend to suffer after having children, is that sometimes we forget we are also wives, and not just mothers. All of that effort we used to put into maintaining a happy marriage, is getting put into being a good mom. It’s hard to realize that this is even happening, let alone find a way to even it out. It’s easy to remember to take care of your baby because they’re helpless and all. But it’s harder to remember that you have to take care of your husband, too. While you probably don’t have to spoon feed him, he does need your emotional support, your affection, and your appreciation. Similarly, you need support from him. Finding that medium can be SO hard.
Personally, my marriage took a big hit after I had my daughter. I’ve worked hard to get my marriage back on track, and I can honestly say it’s better now than it was when we started dating! Check out these articles on how I was able to save my marriage!
There are no sick days
Oh man. This one is the hardest one for me. When I’m sick, I just want to lay in bed, relax, and watch t.v. Once you have a tiny human to take care of, sick days don’t exist. Babies get hungry, toddlers get bored, and older children have school and extracurricular activities. So you drug up, and keep on keepin’ on.
It never gets easier
You find out you’re pregnant, yay! Turns out, pregnancy sucks. You’re sick, uncomfortable, and terrified about labor. Before you know it, it’s time to push. You make it through labor, and you’re so relieved because you feel like the hard part is over. Nope. Everyone tells you that you’ll be sleep deprived, but you don’t actually understand until you are basically a zombie. It’s hard to figure out why you’re baby is so fussy, you don’t know if you’re using the right formula, you never know if they’re sick or just teething. And then boom, you have a toddler. Finally, they can talk and walk and all is great. Until the tantrums in the middle of the store start happening. Then they grow up and they’re sassy, and they know everything, or at least they think they do. It never gets easier. Each stage of childhood has it’s hard parts.
Even if you don’t have anxiety, you have anxiety
Some people have anxiety before they have kids. But everyone has anxiety after they have kids. When you’re pregnant you’re worried about something going wrong. When the baby is born, you’re worried about something going wrong. And when they’re a toddler, or school aged, or in college, you’re still worried. Even when your child has gotten married, moved out, and had their own kids, you are STILL worried. It’s part of that mommy instinct thing that we agree too when we sign the papers at the hospital.
You have to learn to function on no sleep
You used to get your seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Not anymore. Luckily, you start getting prepared for living off of no sleep even before you’re baby comes. The complete discomfort during pregnancy is your training for the real thing. The crazy thing is, you eventually just learn to function without adequate sleep. Even when you have the option to sleep all the way through the night, you don’t. Because even though your child is seven, you need to go in and make sure their chest is moving up and down. And even though your child is in college, you’re still going to wake up and think about what they’re doing and if they’re safe. Mom anxiety– ugh!
It’s easy to lose your identity
When you become a mother, you get so caught up in being a good mother, that you often start to lose sight of your own identity, outside of being a mom. The amount of time you have to do things dramatically decreases, along with your desire to do something. Say you love to do crafts. As your baby gets a little older and can mess with everything you have out, crafting starts to seem less fun. It just becomes frustrating at that point.
Whether it’s sports, or reading, or crafting, or anything. Children need constant attention. If they’re being loud, you’re distracted. If they’re being quiet, that’s even more concerning. Finding time to do things you love, and to keep your own identity is so important. Set a time each week that your husband will let you have some “me time.” Even if it’s short, do it! It will make you a happier mom.
You will miss it
Out of all of the difficulties that motherhood brings, this is the hardest. You will miss all of it. All of the crying, and the whining, and the fighting. When your house is silent, and you have all the time in the world to do whatever you want, you want to go back and do it again. There’s a saying that goes, “The days are long, but the years are short.” And if that isn’t the most accurate way to explain motherhood, then I don’t know what is.