Being a Mom is Hard

Picture of Mind Body Baby
Mind Body Baby

Heidi McDowell

Pardon my use of strong language, but this needs to be said more often: being a mom is fucking hard. There’s a duality to motherhood that people don’t talk about enough. You can love your child deeply and still not love being a mother all the time. You might crave being near your child yet need space away from them. You can mourn your old life while still being excited about the new journey you’re on. It’s not always logical—it just is.

When I was undergoing IVF, spending all our money to become a mom, I envisioned bliss. I thought that once I had my longed-for baby in my arms, I’d be overwhelmed with joy, and no other feeling could exisit. Right? Wrong.

I didn’t create this expectation alone. Society paints a picture of what a “good mom” should be. Through the media and a society that doesn’t adequately support moms, we are shown that if motherhood isn’t easy or constantly joyful, then we must be doing it wrong. We’re not good moms.

Society tells us that:

  • A good mom should be happy all the time.
  • A good mom should breastfeed without any issues.
  • A good mom doesn’t need help with her baby.
  • A good mom’s baby sleeps through the night.
  • A good mom’s baby never cries in public.
  • A good mom has a perfectly clean home right after the baby is born.
  • A good mom always knows how to calm her baby.
  • A good mom can seamlessly manage her new baby and her marriage.
  • A good mom never feels overwhelmed.
  • A good mom never gets frustrated at her crying baby.
  • A good mom gets a full night’s sleep.
  • A good mom has time for all her friends.
  • A good mom has the energy to nurture her marriage.
  • A good mom doesn’t use formula.

I didn’t know I was allowed to feel overwhelmed or anxious with my baby. I thought having those feelings meant I wasn’t a good mom, so I pushed them away, denying that I felt anything but joy with my newborn. What I needed was someone to normalize my feelings and reassure me that it was okay to ask for help and that help didn’t mean I wasn’t good enough. I needed someone to tell me that being a mom is fucking hard. I needed someone to tell me that I was a good mom and that everything I felt was okay.

So, I’m telling you, friend: you are doing a hard job beautifully. You are tired, overwhelmed, and frustrated, AND you are a good mom.

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