According to an article on Huffpost, being a mom means “giving air to the lungs that grew within you, and sight to the eyes that will never see you as anything but mommy.” It’s also kissing those scratches and scrapes, as well as being the rock when they cry. It’s picking them up when they fall and boosting their self-esteem. It’s sleepless nights and being protective. And most of all, being a mom is unconditional love, a blessing, and pure joy.
That being said, being a mom is the best job in the world, while also being the hardest job in the world. There are terrifying moments, as well as anxiety-provoking situations that we, as moms, experience. In addition to this, we also may carry more of the “mental load” according to an article by Motherly. This may be one reason we are so tired as moms- We constantly carry a mental “to-do” list. Our partners may help, but it seems that we may be thinking all the time about everything such as the dressing, the organizing, the planning, the groceries, the cleaning, etc. For more thoughts on this idea of the “mental load,” there’s a neat cartoon that can be found here.
Thus, while I have my own thoughts about why being a mother is hard, I also asked other mommas for their thoughts.
There are times when things happen, such as your child getting sick, and you can’t control what happens. You can be there for them and do what needs to be done such as take them to the doctor. For instance, my daughter developed RSV right before she turned 2. She developed a bad fever at home, so we immediately took her to the emergency room. They kept her in the hospital for a week.
It was incredibly difficult watching my daughter sick and not being able to do anything about it. There was a period of time where she wasn’t eating much, so they had to put a tube in her stomach so she could get nourishment. I saw fear in her face when they were putting the tube down her throat. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much to help her other than be there for her.
There was another time that my daughter was vomiting on and off for 2 weeks, which we later found out was due to eosinophillic esophagitis. This is a “chronic, allergic inflammatory disease of the esophagus.” During the time she was so sick before we found out how to treat it, my daughter was choking on her vomit. I had to step in and stop the choking, which I did. But, it’s things like this there are obviously fear-inducing.
There are many other anxiety-provoking situations, but as moms, we worry and want to protect our kids. And it’s incredibly difficult when we can’t.
One mom stated, “Because somehow, it’s always your fault ?
Seriously the parent shaming and blaming that goes on in this culture is horrific. Even when you are going your very best to the point of burn out, someone always has to point out the thing that hasn’t been done, or the thing that got forgotten. We mums are only human.”
This can be difficult for a lot of moms and dads. Before I became a mom, I would honestly be a bit judgmental about the way parents did things. But now, I realize that every family is different. Children potty train at different rates or lose the pacifier at different times. I thought I’d have a child that would be potty trained or lose the pacifier quite early, but it didn’t happen that way.
There are other ways that parents can be shamed. For more, check out 10 Ways You Might be Mom-Shaming.
As they say, parenting is a 24-7 job. One mom put it this way: “I would say one of the hardest parts of being a mom is never feeling like you can take a break. Before kids, if you don’t feel like making dinner you can just skip it or if you forget to do the laundry, you are the only one without clothes. Now, you have a whole human being that is completely dependent on you and even though we all strive to be the best mom to our littles, it can get a bit exhausting to always be “on”. However, as hard as it may be, those perfect little humans are so worth it and the love you share is worth everything in the world.” This was quoted from Brittany at Growing Our Family.
Some parents are lucky to have family that would help anytime. I dealt with being without family for a time and having to rely on friends and babysitters. This can be another tough thing about being a parent-relying on others to take care of your baby if you have to work or need some time to care of yourself. That being said, I also dealt with loving family members that would watch my daughter anytime I needed it. This has been a blessing to say the least.
One mom from Life Full of Sunshine discussed how she has felt the fear of failure as a mom. It’s feeling as if you are not always doing enough. She goes on to discuss how this is an epidemic, in feeling this way. This is not a beneficial feeling, and it’s actually useless. In reading her post, I loved this quote, “Listen mama. If you wake up in the morning and give your kids a hug, you are enough. If you keep them fed and safe, you are enough. If you struggle with balancing work and play and organizing and finances and relationships and it seems that everything is falling down, YOU ARE ENOUGH.”
I have to agree with her. I also think that if you’re worried about whether or not you are doing enough, you are doing enough!
Adriane, from Raising Kids with Purpose, mentions watching our kids fail as hard. For parents, it can cause anxiety and how it’s normal for us to want our kids to have everything and to go through life with ease. However, we all know life isn’t perfect and it’s important for our kids to learn from these challenges. For example, if your child doesn’t make the football team, how can we, as parents, help our kids learn from it and build resilience? These are times that can actually make your children stronger if they can learn how to cope with these challenges!
Jaimie, from Sunflowers and Motherhood, had this to say about why being a mom is hard:
Motherhood is the hardest (and most rewarding!) thing I’ve ever done. When your a mom of a newborn, you think it’s hard because of the sleepless nights. When your a mom of a toddler, you think it’s hard because they are constantly getting into things they shouldn’t be and then the tantrums and potty training. When your a mom of a preschooler, it’s hard because they are starting to test their limits. When your a mom of an elementary child, it’s hard because the homework and the sports and the limit pushing continues. Each stage of motherhood has a new set of struggles so just as you figure one stage out, the next one is there to trip you up. It doesn’t get easier as they get older but I wouldn’t want to miss a single day!
I have found the same thing to be true. When my daughter was a baby, there were a lot of sleepless nights. Once she was finally sleeping through the night, there were then tantrums. So, as a mom, once you feel like you got the hang of something, there’s a new challenge that pops up!
As moms, we may carry more of the “mental load,” which can be incredibly exhausting. There are also period of anxiety and fear, because we want to do what we can to protect our children and it may not always be possible. But as moms, we have the best job in the world. There’s nothing better than hearing your child laugh or giggle or to hear “I love you.” Being a mom is pure joy, and I couldn’t ask for a better job!
EOE. Retrieved from https://apfed.org/about-ead/egids/eoe/.
James, J. (2016). What being a mom really means. Retrieved from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-being-a-mom-really-means_b_7242784.Follow me on social media: