Non-parents often wonder what the hardest thing about parenting is. They presume it’s lack of sleep or crying babies, but what do real parents think is actually the hardest thing about #momlife? We asked parents just like you, what they found to be the hardest part of motherhood, from fatigue and sore boobs to never-ending planning and stress, this is what they said…
First of all, there are the physical challenges: giving birth alone is a physical challenge, putting your body through a lot of pain, which can continue way beyond labour, especially if there were any tears or complications, or for c-section mommies that need that extra rest to properly heal their scars. Lack of sleep can leave you physically drained, and breastfeeding can be a painful experience too. Then, there are emotional challenges, some new mothers also suffer form ante-natal depression, which is awful but you have to acknowledge that it’s not your fault,, you’r’e not a bad parent and you do need help to treat this problem for the sake of your mental health, and also to be the parent you know you are behind this nasty depression. Even without suffering from post-natal depression, many mothers find the first couple of months emotionally draining, as they try to manage changing hormones and physical stress on top of the worries ad fears of not being a good parent, worrying about your baby and if you’re doing ‘it’ right or not, and the fear of not being able to protect this precious little bundle from the world outside. Having a newfound unconditional and unexplainable love for a tiny little human that you created can be be overwhelming and daunting for new parents, and sleep deprivation on top of new routines and daily challenges and facing the unknown as you raise your little bundle of love can be very emotionally draining.
So, of all of these issues, what did real moms say were the hardest parents of motherhood for them?
So, here are the 10 worst things about motherhood, and don’t worry papas, we’ll have a dad-version of this post later on!
- Lack of sleep
This is quite an obvious one, but boy is it a biggie. Lack of sleep can go from feeling tired (lucky you) to total sleep deprivation (see a doctor!) Late night feeds, teething and discomfort all prevent you from getting the necessary amount of sleep to be on your best form. If you’re lucky, you might have a partner to help you, letting you have an afternoon nap or bottle-feeding once during the night to let you stay asleep, but sometimes we’re not that lucky. Even moms with a second parent willing to help can struggle because the motherly instinct means that we wake up extremely easily to our baby’s cries, and even if we try to block it out to let our other half take over, it goes against our natural response. Lack of sleep contributes to mommy-brain too, exhaustion leads to forgetfulness and loss of focus, and plays havoc with our emotions too.
Pregnancy is hell for some and a real pleasure for others, but when it’s all over we’re all left with our own little bundle of joy. You might think that our bodies bounce back to how they were, but that often isn’t the case. Firstly, there’s the pain down-below from pushing a human head out of a usually much smaller area, which even without the addition of tears and stitches, can be sore for a while afterwards. Then there are C-section moms, who have to rest so that their scar can heal ad they can recover from not only the childbirth but a surgical procedure too. Our bits hurt, our bodies wobble, and we have to get used to not being pregnant anymore, which for some can be quite a strange process, after all, we haven’t seen our own feet for a few months!
3. Body and Boobs
That brings us to the next thing which many moms hate about motherhood: saggy boobs, wobbly bits and body shaming. Sme moms genuinely do not give a damn about what their body looks like, and I wish we could all be the same! But honestly, for moms who spend a lot of time and effort working towards a perfect bikini body, not having that anymore can be disheartening. We see gossip magazines praising celebrity moms for getting their hot body back just a few months postpartum and body shaming the ones that didn’t lose the baby weight, and we’re supposed to love our bodies and not care about what other people think? It’s hard to ignore the constant pressure to look erfect, and for moms with hormones running wild and lack of sleep and new-mom stress, sometimes we feel like we jst dont look good enough. For breastfeeding moms, we have sore boobs which leak, and they feel heavy or sore or tight or just plain uncomfortable! And then we wonder, are they ever goning to go back to ‘normal’? Just remmber, there is no normal, our bodies are capable of extraoridnary things: you brought a little human into the world! Cut yourself some slack. You might get asked when youre due or be congratulated on yor pregamcy, but don’t hesitate to point out that yo’ve had your baby and you re not ashamed of your body! Whether you weigth 100 lbs or 200, your body is incredible, learn to love it.
3. Bodily fluids, namely: POOP
We know pparnents change diapers, but no parent can mental prepare themselves enogh for the reality of paethood. Liquids leak. Your son will pee just when you take off his diaper, and he’ll prbably have a little smirk on his face as if it was all planned and he timed it perfectly. You’ll be lcky if the pee goes o your shirt, at worst, it’ll be in your eyes or mouth! Baby vomit and poop also happen more often than we’d like to admit. Even the most picture-perfect instagram family has dealt with nappy leaks and car vomit and bathtub poop, you name it, they’ve seen it. It’s a gross yet completely normal part of parenting babies.
This comes in many forms. AS I mentioned earlier, body shaming is a real issue, and even if no-one comments on your body, a new mum can feel judged. Then there are the parenting judges. Your little angel might behave themselves the whole morning, the whole journey to the store and then in the middle of the cereal aisle all hell breaks loose! That’s parenting for you, poorly timed tantrums and many other mishaps and unplanned awkward moments. We should accept that, shrg it off and move on, but many moms feel judged by other moms, despite them having no real clue about their parenting style. School moms are almost as bad as the children when it comes to forming cliques, and dealing with that can be difficult too. We constantly feel like we have to justify our decisions and our behavior, but you’re a mum for goodness’ sake,do what you want! That’s without mentioning your mom, your mother-in-law, friends, siblings, when all eyes are on you it’s hard not to feel the pressure.
- mom guilt
- emotions, post natal depression, lack of support
- worry and fear