All of us Moms have our good and bad moments. Of course we’d like to say motherhood is sweet and beautiful and we don’t have any regrets about anything, but that’s not realistic, is it? All Moms have their ups and downs. Unfortunately, some have more downs than ups. But mothers are human beings with a lot of pressure placed on them. Sometimes this pressure is by society, sometimes by family, but often times it is placed there by themselves.
As women, we are all hard on ourselves in many areas of life, but with motherhood, it is not just about us anymore. We are raising the next generation of human beings so the pressure is worse in some cases. This is not something to be taken lightly, and no women do take it lightly. As a matter of fact, most of us worry all the time if we are doing a good enough job at taking care of our children. We don’t want them to know how scared we really are inside. We try and take it day by day, but that is not always easy. Our own neuroses, life stress and unexpected things happen and we need to regroup. There is lots of information shared on Social Media about the positives of motherhood. What about the other side? It's important to learn about the two sides to being a mother and woman and not be ashamed any longer to talk about difficult emotions. On that note, here are a Mom’s 15 Darkest Thoughts (Whisper Confessions):
15 Fearing Her Own Anger
Haven’t we all felt this way. The baby is crying again. The older child is whining. The dishwasher breaks down or we get another bill to pay and we don’t know where we will find the money. Motherhood can be exhausting and stressful and make a woman want to run out the door screaming sometimes. Kids are unpredictable and they don’t always follow a routine, particularly when they are little and don’t understand and can’t communicate with us. The best thing to do at these times is rest when the baby is quiet and try to find the humor in the situation as hard as that is. Maybe read a funny article or watch a funny show. Call or text a girlfriend. A woman needs to stay grounded or she could get swallowed up in motherhood really easily. This is not hard to do, and then resentment could start. No child, woman or family will benefit after that.
14 Just Wanting To Get Away
Particularly when a woman is a single Mom the challenge is greater for her to practice self-care. As much as she loves her baby though, if she burns out, she and baby will lose out. It’s important that she recognizes that she needs downtime as much as her child and recruits family and friends to help her out, even an hour a day or a few hours a week, so she can recharge her batteries. She also needs to go out with other adults, or be alone for coffee, a movie, anything. And she needs to make sure she is sleeping enough and eating well enough. Raising children takes energy and a fortitude no one can even imagine. As long as she remembers that, she will be fine for the short and long haul. When she finds herself feeling burnt out, that is when she needs to call on her friends to help her.
13 Wanting To Let Herself Crumble Under The Pressure
It is hard to stay strong when there is judgment around you. Sometimes it's a partner, a family member, friend or society in general. Sometimes it's a combination of all of the above. What Mom needs to do is remember the only two people that matter are herself and her baby. She needs to make all her decisions with the two of them firmly in mind and put hers and her baby’s needs first and foremost. After that, she needs to seek support to make that possible. After all, if she is not strong, baby loses out and she loses out. There are lots of resources and support for young Moms now. Lots of people care and will do whatever it takes to help her succeed. They want baby having a full and healthy life just like she does. Young Moms need not be afraid to reach out to community resources to help them get started.
12 Constant Self-Loathing
Why do new Moms not feel beautiful after motherhood? Some do, but many put so much pressure on themselves to look the same as before, to have the same energy, friendships, and do the same housework as before. It's not possible. At the beginning, there are so many things she has to adjust to that she will burn herself out trying to be everything to everybody. At first, she needs to prioritize sleep and eating, her own and her baby's. Everything else will come after that. And the thing is, she will feel beautiful when she is caring for herself and her child by doing what is important for the two of them. She will feel this resonating within her, and this will affect how she looks on the outside. She will shine and her outer beauty will be redefined.
11 Reaching Her Wit's End
The stereotypes of young Moms on food stamps run rampant in our society. It’s hard for a young Mom to admit if she can’t feed her family and get judged by others. It’s not as simple as black and white. There are some Moms who need to rely on food stamps and others who do not. Still, some end up keeping it secret out of fear of being judged and excluded. There are many young Moms who struggle and manage on their own. They do not appreciate the stereotype of the food stamp mother, whether they need food stamps or not. It's racist and degrading, as all Moms are trying to do the best that they can. Instead of pointing fingers, try and help them as they do their best to raise their families. They want to bring up children who follow the law and help society get better, too.
10 Living With Constant Regret
Many Moms love their children and could not imagine their life without them. Yet, at the same time, a lot of these mothers feel that they made a mistake having children. Either they feel that they were too young when they had them, they were not prepared for kids, or that they're afraid to ask for support in a society that makes women think they have to do it all on their own. The “It Takes A Village” mentality is only slowly starting to take shape in our modern society, so it leaves a lot of Moms worrying that they can’t handle this motherhood thing on their own. This makes some of them feel inferior. Really, what it makes them is human. No one can do it all the time. Hopefully, as women learn this, they will reach out more and help other women so there is a collaboration of several people helping to raise more enlightened and happy children.
9 Living Under A Veil Of Fear
Here is a Mom who is young, single and ambitious. She is not letting having a baby at young age stop her from pursuing her dreams and providing a good future for herself and her child. That's very admirable, but what is sad, is that she is still worried society will judge her and judge her harshly. She is worried she will not have friends, and experience isolation. We are doing something wrong if young women still feel bad that they are somehow at fault for wanting to do too much. Wanting to better oneself is so important. It is the most important thing she can do for herself, her child, and for society. We need to stop fencing young women in when they have so many more opportunities open to them, and celebrate the fact that the world does not operate like before. Society understands that family comes in all shapes and sizes and needs to support women in all kinds of arrangements.
8 Striving To Regain Something That No Longer Exists
Most Moms love their baby and their new life with baby, but there are those times we miss pre-baby life when all we had to worry about was ourselves. We could sleep in, stay up late, go out on dates, see friends when we wanted, and travel without having to bring half the house with us wherever we went. We also had no one else to answer to. We could make decisions last minute, and no one else, unless our partners or other adults, would have any big say in how it turned out. We were completely self-sufficient and this made all the difference in helping us practice self-care, at least most of the time. Babies change that by making you put them first above all else. They force plans to be altered sometimes when they're tired, sick or have other issues. But it's important to put them first, but normal when new Moms remember a simpler life pre-kids.
7 Feeling Guilty About Impositions A Baby Sets
Again, young Moms will not look at how their life is changed sometimes. Women tend to be self-sacrificing and new Moms know how to put baby’s needs first. But it's upsetting that she looks at this man’s baby as holding him back. He had just as much input in bringing baby into the world as she did, so he’d better take responsibility. Still, a lot of women, maybe it’s guilt over an unplanned baby, will feel bad that his life is changed even if hers has completely been altered, too. Women need to consider that the mother and father need to care for their child and that he is only doing his job just like she is. No need to feel pressure since it's his duty, too. A real man will want to be the father he is supposed to be, and will stand up and take the responsibility of child rearing for better or worse.
6 Feeling Like A Constant Failure
No matter how many times we get things right, often times we are hardest on ourselves as Moms. We feel that we are failing ourselves and our kids if we yell, get annoyed, lose patience or make mistakes. Instead, this is not being a bad Mom. This is being a human Mom, and a human being. We all make mistakes and (ideally) learn from them. Kids seeing parents who make mistakes and learn from them learn how to handle stress, anxiety and anger a lot quicker. They also learn that their parents are not perfect and that is Ok. One does not have to be perfect to be lovable. But Moms tend to think if we don't feel love for our children one hundred percent of the time we are terrible human beings. This is not the case. We need to cut ourselves some slack and know that we are doing the best that we can.
5 Feeling Lonely And Disconnected
How true is this for most of us? If we were the first ones in our group of friends to have children, we are the odd one out when they have the freedom to come and go as they please and are not tied down to a baby and its needs. They also will not be particularly interested in hearing about baby’s poop, sleep schedule and assorted gurgling noises and other baby phenomena. Even those that are kid lovers will not want to talk about children like a mother as they are not in that situation yet, so they won't be able to relate the same way. It's hard for the new Mom. She misses that connection with her old life, yet is grateful for the new things she has yet to experience with baby. This is challenging and hard to speak about out loud. A lot of Moms keep it in and suffer unfortunately.
4 Constantly Feeling Unworthy
Yet again this is a mother that is beating herself up mentally for falling short of what she thinks “ideal” motherhood is. This is a crazy thing and the experience of motherhood is so subjective. It really depends on each mother and her particular child with his/her particular issues etc. A lot of Moms with special needs children will often berate themselves for falling short of what and who the child is supposed to have, or they think he/she is supposed to have, in a mother. They will berate themselves for losing patience, feeling discouraged when the child does not meet milestones, and feel extra stress and worry for the future and what it holds. Often, these Moms who worry so much make even better Moms. They are aware of what they need to do and will fight to do it. They just need to ease up on Mom guilt when they, like any Mom, are doing the best that they can.
3 Living Under A Facade
This is a biggie. As a recovering drug addict, a ex addict’s biggest fear and daily worry is slipping back into addiction. When the person is a parent, it's even worse. They are endangering themselves and their child as they are responsible for this child’s well-being like they are for their own. This is where having a support network of family and friends (as well as people from a 12 step support program), can help so much to keep the individual on track and healthy. Also, if she sees herself about to slip back into bad and dangerous habits, she knows who to reach out to for help. Her child has somewhere and someone safe to be with while she takes care of things. This is a matter of life and death for her, and her baby and is not something to be taken lightly. Knowing she has this support behind her will hopefully help keep things going smoothly.
2 Hates Not Being Financially Independent
Many women are embarrassed to both admit how hard it is for them having no money of their own coming in if they choose to be a stay-at-home Mom, and also how guilty they feel spending that money even if it is on things for their children and the home. This is the crazy way our world works when it devalues the work women do in the home as not being considered “real” work due to the fact it is not financially compensated. This is a very controversial thing with some Moms agreeing about being paid to be a stay-at-home wife and mother, and others saying this defeats the purpose as it is a choice and not a job. It's also a labor of love that should not be paid, whereas other Moms feel if it was financially compensated there would be more appreciation for it and women would feel happy to have their own money.
1 Feeling Inadequate And Undermined
Finally, this is a terrible thing for any Mom to talk about much less admit. It's the fact that she was physically and psychologically abused by her own mother who is now trying to tell her what to do to raise her own daughter. This mother’s mother is carrying the abuse forward another generation and it is so difficult to watch and hear about. Imagine the poor little girl experiencing this push-pull of anger, fear, and dysfunction. This young mother is being pulled in a very difficult direction, and needs to probably cut ties completely with her mother unless her mother acknowledges her mistakes in the past, gets her own counselling and stays out of her daughter’s parenting life. It's difficult as outsiders to fully know how to address the situation, but it is definitively something difficult to admit to other family and friends. Usually woman brought up with abuse push the feelings inwards like this Mom or become abusers themselves. We hope that more women see where they are at emotionally and get help for themselves regarding boundaries before things get out of hand.