Motherhood is tough work. There’s dirt, sweat, tears, even blood. (Have you ever been hit in the face by a toy from your over-zealous child? Let’s not get started on childbirth!) There’s also some of the most incredible moments you’ll ever experience that come with being a mom.
But the truth is motherhood isn’t all sunshine and roses. There’s a lot of tough things that we moms have to deal with. So why do feel the need to act like everything’s perfect and we love every minute of being a mom?
So often in life, we feel as if we have to pretend that everything is okay. That it’s all good. That we’re not frustrated and ready to give up. Or that we’re not so tired we can’t think straight.
But we do a disservice to ourselves – and those around us – when we don’t ever admit that we’re struggling. Because pretending never helped anyone.
It’s okay to be honest and admit that it’s tough.
Hear me out: I am not saying you should put every little thing on Facebook or pour out your heart to every new mom in the carpool lane.
But talk to a friend? Call up your mom? Text your sister? Yes.
And if you do nothing else, it’s okay admit to yourself that you’re frustrated, exhausted, sick, or feel like giving up and that often, you have good reason for it!
It’s okay to admit you’re having a hard time…
….with your colicky newborn.
….bonding with your infant.
….with your teething baby.
….that your toddler throws so many tantrums, you are beginning to think you won’t ever want another child.
…with potty training. Why did no one ever tell you it would be this hard?!
…when your child needs speech therapy.
…feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed with your autistic child.
….letting your child go to school.
…making the decision to stop homeschooling. Or continue.
…with all those not-so-little decisions that come with being a mom. Cloth diaper or disposable? Bottle or breast? To vaccinate or not? To co-sleep or not?
…with everyone’s opinions. Can’t it all just stop?!
….with your husband traveling so much you feel like a single mom.
…with being a single mom.
…with not having many friends. Maybe not even one.
…with your daughter’s food allergies.
…with your preteen sassing you.
…trying to teach your kids to be polite, respective, and responsible.
…being a younger mom.
…being an older mom.
…going back to work.
…working from home.
…just being a mom.
Guess what? Not one of those things makes you a bad person or a bad mother. It doesn’t make you a failure.
It makes you human.
When you admit that something is hard, then you can begin to have peace with it. And there’s freedom in being honest with yourself.
I used to feel guilty for not loving every minute of motherhood. When I had a long day where nothing would go right, I’d feel like a horrible mom for sighing with relief when my kids were in bed. And that was on top of whatever challenge I was facing. But that only made things worse!
When I finally started to make peace with the challenges, I began to enjoy the good times even more. And beyond that, I started learning how to find the good times in the midst of the tough ones.
That might mean having ice cream for dinner with the kids and not feeling guilty about it when it’s been a long week. Or not worrying about cleaning the house one weekend and simply enjoying family time.
One more important thing to remember:
Tomorrow is always a new day. Like Anne of Green Gables in L. M. Montgomery’s book says:
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
It’s okay if you’re tired, discouraged, overwhelmed, or just want a break. You’re not alone.
Be kind to yourself and don’t feel like you need to be a perfect mom all the time. Because no one is.