Momhood is certainly a job and absolutely no one is ever prepared for what they will experience. It's a big and wonderful, and somewhat stressful mystery that’s only truly revealed in that moment where they hand you a baby and leave you to figure out the rest. There isn't a handbook, or website, or even person out there who can teach you how to "mom" your kid better, it's all trial and error and of course there's always tons of advice out there that you can either take or leave (mostly just leave from my own experience).
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the perfect mom, even comparing ourselves to other moms who seem to have it all together, but I can guarantee you, even the most perfect of parents has had a breakdown over something, it just comes with the territory!
Sometimes we need a reminder or a bit of a wake-up call that motherhood isn't always peachy, there will always be challenges at every stage, but we all know that the good outweighs the bad. If you choose to fully accept these 15 honest truths of motherhood, then you'll be all the happier and better off for it. So go on momma's, find that Zen and accept the truths of the mombie universe, because it is what it is!
15 You Won't Be Around Forever
It's a sad truth, no doubt about it, but it's essential to remember that our time on this earth is limited. So what's the real benefit to knowing that all good things must come to an end? Hopefully, it will inspire you to live each day to the fullest and squeeze and smooch those babies like crazy every chance you get. We often think, “I can’t wait until they’re older, this will get easier” but why wish them older? That means we’ll be older too! There's nothing like a ticking clock that really makes you feel gratitude for all you have. It also puts the hard days into perspective. Sure, a bad day of tantrums and whining and disobedience will happen, but don't let those moments outweigh the good days, treasure those and move on from the rest.
14 You Will Forever Be Tired
I apologize to all the tired moms out there who certainly don’t want to hear this! Everyone insists that the sleeping thing will "get better" but it never does. There's just different stages of tired that you will experience as a mom. There's dealing with newborn tired, dealing with toddler tired, dealing with work-life balance tired, and then when you think they're grown up and you don't have to worry about them anymore; you'll still lose sleep if they're not home at a certain time or you worry about what they’ll do after University or College. Face it, motherhood is about never sleeping again. Mom's pull a lot of hours because they want their kids to have everything they need, and this means sacrificing sleep, naps, or even just taking a 5 minute break sometimes!
13 Spending Money Is Less Effective Than Spending Time
Sure, kids love presents, but you know what they love more? You! It may not seem like it sometimes, especially when they ask you for this and that and everything under the sun, and then throw a tantrum and tell you they hate you when you don’t give them what they want. But I assure you gifts are simply not enough and they never will be. You can spoil them rotten with gifts and I promise you, they'll never be as grateful for a toy as they are for the ten minutes you spend reading to them before bed.
Kids just want to feel listened to, they want to know that they're important and we show them this by taking interest in their interests and becoming their cheerleaders in every way. Kids want you to help with their homework, play their favourite sport together and go on little adventures as a family. These are the things they will remember when they’re older, not the old forgotten stuffies, or video games or candy bars, you are their world and don’t you forget it!
12 You're Not Perfect
No matter how hard you try, you'll never be the perfect mother, because there is simply no such thing; there are good mothers and bad mothers, but perfect? Yeah, I think we can all agree that’s an achievement impossible to unlock! Perfect and parenthood simply don't go hand in hand especially when the game changes on a daily basis. We are not born parents, and being a good parent is something we have to learn the minute they put that baby in our arms. There's no right way to parent, even though many will have opinions on how you do everything, it's simply a game of trial and error. What worked one day may not work the next and as long as you’re willing to do your very best, then in my opinion, you've already won!
11 You Will Never Please Everyone
I know I’m preaching to the choir on this one, but sometimes we need a reminder to just say “no” and be okay with that! Moms try way too hard! Sometimes they want to please everyone to the point of risking their sanity. I’ll say it again it's really okay to say "no" sometimes, or admit you're overwhelmed and need some help. Your children will always be demanding but it's important to train them to do things for themselves, too. As moms we try to juggle parenting, work, cleaning, cooking, laundry and the list goes on and on. Although you do it all, there will still be a complaint about how the food isn't their fave, or how their new white shirt accidentally became pink. I find the best way to deal with this is just keep calm and carry on, brush those complaints off and remember you’ve got this!
10 Complaining Solves Nothing
Some days can certainly suck and we all need to vent sometimes, but when you're doing it on a daily basis, you will eventually make yourself sick about it. What people don’t realize is that constant complaining can actually lead to a lot more stress. Stressing about why the kids won't listen or help out or eat what you place in front of them isn’t helpful, they’re just kids is the answer! Instead of being upset, stick to finding solutions so that those complaints slowly disappear and soon enough you'll feel more at ease.
I’m not saying to stop talking, because talking things out is completely healthy and helpful, I’m just saying to put a more positive spin on things and try to remember the wins over the fails. Also, kids know when you complain about them, they know all! If you have a constant complaint about them, just using “mean” as an example, they tend to become the label you give them.
9 Have Better Relationships
Moms and especially new moms go into what I like to call hibernation mode during the early years. They feel that isolating themselves is the only way to deal with life and sometimes it can feel very lonely. This self-inflicted loneliness can go on and on with millions of excuses, such as "baby sleeps better at home," or "we just need to get into a routine first", or simply shying away from conversations all together because you're just so overwhelmed with the challenges of being a new mom that the rest just doesn’t compute.
The struggle will always be real and the worst thing you can do is isolate yourself from people going through the same exact thing. Ever heard misery loves company? Well it’s true and your relationships will save you! Definitely be sure to still make time for your partner because sometimes being near to someone means we take them for granted. Have date nights, a girl’s night out and family outings, don’t be afraid to live, your kids will go with the flow eventually!
8 Pay Attention
Put down the phones! I know you're bored, babies don't do a whole heck of a lot, but honestly this is where the dependency begins, not just for kids but for moms! We're used to the go go go of work and when things slow down to a literal halt during maternity leave, we just want something - anything - to do that feels like adulting. Remember that time could better be spent napping when baby does, and you may need that energy later, trust me!
As kids grow up and need more attention, that phone will become your kid's enemy and they'll start feeling ignored if your phone gets more attention. Ever seen a kid jealous of their momma's phone? I have and it wasn't pretty, it got launched very far. Another issue with being on the phone all the time is that your kids will also begin to become dependent on technology to entertain them. It’s better to teach them how to interact with their world first.
7 Thank You Doesn't Exist
I'm sure you've heard that motherhood is a thankless job about a bajillion times by now, well they say it because it's absolutely true! There is no way you're getting thank you's for punishments you have to enforce, or getting them to do their homework, or chores you ask your kids to do or basic rules you expect them to follow for their own safety. You also won't get thanked for dinner, their clean clothes or bedsheets, or the fact that you organize their entire tiny lives! Why would they thank you for something they expect you to do! There simply isn't much praise that comes with the mom gig, but hopefully one day your kids will realize all you do and appreciate it, right? Maybe don’t hold your breath on that one.
6 Friends Will Make Or Break You
It's important to have supportive friends throughout every stage of your life and becoming a mom doesn't change that fact, but if you have toxic friends in your life, now might be the best time to do some soul searching and drop any extra stress in your life; because life doesn’t get easier after kids and you don’t need to baby your friends, too! It's important to maintain your connections with others, especially your "squad." Your friends will seriously save your sanity especially through the early stages of momhood. So have that girls' night once a month, call someone and talk about non-baby related things for awhile and if you feel you need a shoulder to cry on, make sure you surround yourself with positive thinkers, because you'll need the occasional pep talk. Momming ain't easy!
5 Don't Forget To Check Yourself
Temper, temper! We all lose our cool at some point, but if it's happening often, it might be time to reflect on what's really going on. Feel like you're spending more time screaming at your little one than talking? Is it because you're tired and need some time to recharge? Is it because you need to find new solutions to behaviour issues? Is it because you don't feel supported or listened to? There could be a great number of reasons for a short fuse, and it's certainly warranted; moms are under a lot of pressure! With that being said, you need to find ways to talk yourself down, remember not to take things too personally, kids will be kids, and remember to take breaks when you need them! Space is important on both ends!
4 Never Remain Silent
Feeling more like "bad cop" than "good cop" lately? We all have weeks, months or even years where the claws come out because we simply want our kids to be safe, use manners, or just remember to be respectful. It may feel like you're always arguing with your little one, but it's not arguing if it's a teachable moment. True, this can get exhausting because it's not only a daily thing, it sometimes takes hourly reminders! No matter how much you feel like a broken record, or like you're being annoying, remember your voice is what rings through them as they make moral and logical decisions in their life.
So never remain silent, even if it seems easier to go that route sometimes. It’s okay to give unwanted advice when they’re older, they don’t know what advice they’ll need. It could prove useful. It’s okay to say I told you so, maybe next time they’ll think twice.
3 If You Don't Care About You, Who Will?
This is a mega important one and I see so many mom’s putting themselves dead last and it’s just not okay! Finding some “You” time is extremely important; friends, family and professionals will tell you this all the time, but you won't actually heed their advice until you're burnt out. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we wait until we're completely exhausted and worn out before we take a breather or two? When we become moms, that doesn't mean our children own all of our time, they certainly get most of it, but you will need a break and trust me, you will deserve every second of it! No one in the history of ever has dared to say mom didn’t deserve a break. Truth is, we do so much our kids think we’re a machine that needs no rest. We need to remind them that we do, that we’re human and not cyborgs!
2 Planning Is Wasted
All the planners out there, I feel your pain. Before motherhood planning everything was a possibility, after, well, not so much! I find that whatever you plan usually gets scrapped or is a bit of a disaster, especially when the kids are young. I think it's important to not have mega high expectations for plans you do make; it's okay to have an outline of things you would like to do with the kids, programs you'd like them to try and things you wished to accomplish in a day, but sometimes those things don't come to fruition and you just need to be okay with that. Sometimes it's just easier to go with the flow. I’m not saying don’t plan fun outings, but just remember not to schedule everything, kids don’t understand deadlines.
1 Time Is All You Have
You may feel as though there is never enough time to do anything and that you are in constant rush-mode, but if I'm being honest, the time you have where your kids actually enjoy hanging out with you is an extremely small window. Kids are outgrowing your snuggles earlier and earlier these days. The other day I heard a grade 2 student telling their mom that kisses were for babies and that they weren't a baby!
So one moment you're getting amazing hugs and the next it's no longer cool. Time is all you really have, it's just about how you choose to spend it, leave work at the office and spend nights with the little ones and make some memories because all we have is right now! Don’t make excuses, don’t double, triple book yourself, just be present and in the moment. The time you have is yours, don’t let others dictate it.
Sources: Hackspirit.com, Lifehack.org, Mom.me, SocialNewsDaily.com