Everyone gushes about how special motherhood is. The bond shared with a child is unlike any other, and they say this feeling is incomprehensible until it's experienced first hand. From the child’s first words to seeing them graduate high school, motherhood is supposed to be a magical journey that is both rewarding and satisfying, all in it’s own right.
However, these moms share what motherhood is really like. Sometimes it’s all rainbows and butterflies, but other times it can be a huge pain in the ass. There are days you just don’t feel like waking up and dealing with the troubles of parenthood. But being a mom is a full-time job that you can never really get a break from. You’re always on diaper duty, you’re a full-time chef and chauffeur, and have to act like a psychologist even if you don’t have a degree. And sometimes your child isn’t the only one you have to take care of, especially if you have a partner that seems more like another kid than another parent.
From moms who are so overwhelmed they want to run away to those who can’t tell you which way is up, these moms show us how difficult it can be to take care of little ones. These mamas sure deserve a ton of respect and encouragement, just like everyone who has someone calling them mom does. If anything is clear, it’s that motherhood is a wonderful experience, but it also has its fair share of challenges.
15 Date Nights Are Done
Gabrielle* speaks the truth when she says that becoming a parent changes your relationship with your partner - sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the bad.
“Motherhood changes your relationship. My partner and I had so much time for each other before becoming parents. We’d do regular date nights and even just spend the evenings playing board games or watching the news. But we have literally no time for one another since having a baby; everything we do is somehow related to our little one.
Even at night when he’s finally in bed, we either have to catch up on work or things around the house, or we’re just way too tired. This has changed our communication dynamic, but we’re trying to not let it change too much. It’s important to make time for your partner even with a new baby, so we’re desperately trying to schedule in a board games night once or twice a week.”
14 The Haters
Tonya* explains that, no matter what type of mom you are, you’re always going to face criticism and judgment from people. And that’s so not cool.
“People are going to judge you if you’re a stay-at-home mom. I quit my business job to raise a family and people gave me all sorts of backlash for it. Some said I was stupid to give up a successful career, claiming it was anti-feminist or saying my husband must have put me up to it (when it was in fact very much my choice). Others said it must be nice because it’s so much “easier” than going to a traditional job. I even had people joke around asking me how it feels to be a nanny or cook, because it’s like I never watched children or took care of a household before having a baby. All in all, it’s been super distressing and sometimes offensive, so just get ready for people to give you their unwarranted opinions once you become a mom.”
13 Practicing Patience
Becoming a mom definitely teaches you a lot of things. For Margaret*, one of the main virtues you learn to develop through motherhood is patience.
“Motherhood is about learning patience. It’s sure not about learning how to be a nanny, a good cook, or even a good person - because you sure don’t have enough time to learn how to do those things well when you have a couple of toddlers hanging onto your legs.
Being a mom has definitely made me learn how to have patience with both other people, my kids, and especially myself. Going out anymore isn’t as easy as taking a shower and putting on clothes. I have to get the kids ready beforehand too and plan out the entire day so that I have enough snacks and toys to keep the kids occupied if I want to be out on time. You always have to plan for unexpected things to happen, like a kid will spill their juice or throw a tempter tantrum in the drug store. You just need to be patient and be able to put a smile on your face.”
12 Relationship Drama
Many people think that having a child may save their relationship or bring them closer to their partner. Heather* warns that you need a stable relationship before you can successfully raise a child with another person.
“I thought that having a kid would save my relationship, but it did the exact opposite. Having a baby or two is a full-time job and commitment, so both partners need to be ready for it or it’s going to be chaos. I learned that the hard way when I became a mom too young and things didn’t work out with my boyfriend.”
Like Heather* explains, it’s never a good idea to have a child in order to help work out a flailing marriage. You should aim to sort out the wrinkles beforehand. While mistakes happen, if you’re purposefully trying to have a baby, you should make sure you’re in a good position to do so.
11 Worry Wart
When you first become a mom, you most likely second-guess yourself and question if you’re doing everything right. That’s what happened to Arielle* when she became a mom, and she admits the worrying didn’t do her (or her baby) any good.
“I thought I was doing such a terrible job when I first became a mom. My baby got sick with pneumonia pretty early on and I kept blaming myself. Motherhood makes you think you’re not good enough or aren’t adequate for the job. For the first time, I was questioning everything I was doing and was convinced that I would screw something up.
In the end, everything was okay and its just part of being a mom that makes you worry so much. If you’re putting your baby’s interests first then you can’t be doing anything wrong. I just wish I knew that when I was a first-time mother. It would have saved me a lot of anxiety and tears.”
10 Miserable Not Maternal
Parenthood isn’t for everyone, but some don’t realize that until it’s too late. It seems that Adrienne* never wanted children in the first place, so that may explain why she has been hating motherhood so far.
“I feel like my husband pressured me into having kids. He wanted to get married, purchase a big house, nice cars, and he feels like having kids is the next step in this American fantasy. I like kids, but I don’t think I wanted to have my own. This has made me resent becoming a mom from the start. I was unable to bond with my son like I’ve seen other moms do. Even now a few years later, I don’t enjoy doing things with him moms should love. My partner wants another baby, but motherhood is already so miserable and lonely for me that I don’t think I could bear to bring another kid into that.”
9 Missed Expectations
Jessica* assumed she would love motherhood because everyone told her she would. But things were a lot different than she expected after starting a family.
“Everyone always oohs and ahs over how amazing being a mom is. My mom and all her friends would tell me that it would be the best thing to ever happen to me. They made it seem like my whole life should revolve around getting a job and husband and eventually starting a family.
I ended up doing just that. And, honestly, I hate being a mom. I love my kids to death, but most days I miss being in the office with a passion. I resent seeing my husband leave for work every morning when all I want to do is change out of my sweats and put on a business suit. Eventually when the baby is old enough I’ll go back to work, but I thought this was going to be an amazing part of my life. But all babies do is poop, eat and sleep, so it’s totally not all it’s cracked up to be.”
8 Don’t Mess With Mama Bear
Moms are known for being fiercely protective and alert, which Miriam* describes as a natural instinct that kicks in once you have your first child. You go Mama Bear!
“Since becoming a mom, I’m always scarred of what’s going to happen to my kids. You get this insane maternal instinct that makes you feel like a Mama Bear who needs to protect her Bear Cubs. I’ve always been anxious, but you hear of horrible things happening to little children when their parents take their eyes off of them, even if only for a second. I’m paranoid now when it comes to holding my kids’ hands and making sure I can see them at all times. I may be a bit overprotective, but I’d rather be overbearing than allow something to happen right before my eyes.”
7 Not The Nanny
Carol* has started feeling more like a nanny rather than a stay-at-home mom since welcoming her first child.
“I feel like my husband looks at me differently now that we have kids. Before I was an individual who had a job - I was his equal. But now I just look after the baby, regardless of what time of day it is or how tired I am.
We decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom for at least the first couple of years and I was really happy with that decision. I’ve always wanted to raise my kids hands on, and not have to compromise that by having a job. But now my partner expects me to do everything for the baby, including 2am bottle feedings, all diaper changes, and even burping when we’re out with relatives. I’m not the nanny, I’m his wife and I wish he’d treat me that way.”
6 The Runaway Mom
The pressures of motherhood have gotten to Brooke* so many times that she has actually begun contemplating running away.
“After my first child was born, I began contemplating running away. I started my family really young and had three kids by the time I was 25. With each pregnancy, I thought about just packing a bag and leaving my young kids with my husband. Especially when I had my first kid, everything was so hard, you wouldn’t believe it. I wasn’t getting any sleep, the place was a mess, and my work kept pressuring me to come home early (we needed the money so I had to keep my job). I thought it would be easier to just leave; at least I’d be a lot happier. I’ve obviously never done it but I often fantasize about how freeing it would be to move to a random city and live a totally different life.”
5 Losing Sanity
Multitasking may be an art form, but all moms need to be good at balancing a million different things while taking care of their family. It can get a little bit chaotic to say the least. Ramona* warns that it’s easy to feel like everything is falling out of your control, but you have to remember to stay grounded.
“Don’t expect to have any sanity when you’re a parent. It’s one of the best things you’ll ever experience, but also one of the worst. You’ll be running around with your head cut off like a chicken, but you’ll also love every second of it. Just don’t start to question how crazy everything is, or you might actually lose it.”
Whether you’re up to your ears in unpaid bills, need desperately to do groceries, or have an angry two year old terrorizing the household, being a mom can get a bit overwhelming. Make sure to take time for yourself so that you don’t succumb to the craziness.
4 The Art Of Sacrifice
Lana* gets real when she says you have to put your kids first before anything and everything - even if that means your own feelings.
“When you’re a mom you have to put all of your feelings aside in order to take care of your kid. When my mom died, I was a single mom of two little girls and I couldn’t’ take the time to properly grieve. I had two kids who didn’t understand why their Grandma was no longer around. Suddenly it wasn’t about my loss, but the loss that my kids were experiencing.
I’m not saying don’t take care of yourself in these situations, but the important thing is to put your kid first. There’s always bedtime, and you can rest once the kids are asleep. Or just finish your massive pile of laundry. But motherhood is about selflessness and caring for someone other than just you.”
3 Life With Purpose
Motherhood comes with a lot of important responsibilities, but those responsibilities are actually incredibly amazing. Deanna* reveals how much meaning motherhood brought to her life - a feeling she wishes she had come to experience even earlier on.
“I never felt more important, more needed, and more loved than when I became a mom. Had I known how much I was going to love it, I would have become one sooner. I finally feel like I have a purpose in life and I have meaning. I don’t care if that purpose is to change stinky diapers right now or help practice spelling words later on. I have a little human who relies on me and only me, and that is a powerful feeling.”
2 Sweatpants And A Messy Bun
Karter* may have been a fashionista before giving birth, but motherhood doesn’t leave her any time to do things she used to enjoy, like spending time on her hair, makeup, and clothes.
“I hate the motherhood doesn’t give you any time for yourself. I used to love doing my hair and makeup every morning, wearing expensive clothes and heels, and going out with friends whenever I wanted. I knew that having a baby would change a lot of things, but I didn’t realize it would change this much.
Nowadays I’m lucky if I get to have a shower or hit the gym. I find I’m eating crappy foods just because they’re convenient. I’m dressing in sweats with no makeup and hair not done because I don’t leave my house. I love my son to the moon and back, but take moms seriously when they say parenting is a full-time job.”
1 The Clean Dream
Keeping a home clean is a challenge for anyone, but that difficulty is multiplied when you add kids to the mix. Pima* speaks the truth when she says no inch of your home will ever truly be tidy or clean again once you start a family.
“Nothing will ever be clean again. Never. Not the fridge, bedrooms, floors, sink, closets, laundry room. There is always something else to clean or organize when you have kids. Because as soon as you clean something up, your little one finds a way to ruin it. Smh.”
With busy little hands, children will always find something to mess up, so there’s always something for you to clean. At least you can get back at your kids when they’re teens and you start forcing them to help out with the household chores (for an allowance, if they’re lucky).
As incredible as motherhood is, it’s definitely not smiling babies and lavender-scented air freshener all of the time. Moms go through a lot of things that take a toll on them, regardless of if their child is still a baby or a smart talking teen. It’s refreshing to hear moms be honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly about parenthood, even if it’s a confession we’d rather not hear. There’s no need to hide the difficulties of raising a kid - if anything, we should celebrate mothers more because of the challenges they are able to overcome. If you ever feel like you weren’t cut out to be a mom or that this job is harder than what was advertised, rest assured that there are countless other moms who feel the exact same way. Motherhood may be difficult when painted in a realistic light, but it sure is a beautiful thing.