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Stop Being a D*ck and Scaring Other Moms About Motherhood

Photograph by Twenty20

OK, so I have a serious question: Since when did motherhood become such a dick-measuring contest?

I’m not talking about the one where we tie our own self-worth to the achievements of our offspring, live vicariously through them and compare whose kid is smarter/cuter/more athletic/winningest at life.

I’m not talking about the “Who’s busier?” competition we start any time a bunch of us moms get together.

I’m not even talking about the “Which one of us is more tired?” game that we all play with our husbands. (Yes, you do. You play that game. And you always win, because you’re the fucking mom, dammit.)

I’m talking about the ridiculous habit we have of one-upping each other when it comes to “how hard this phase of motherhood is,” and scaring the ever-living sh*t out of other moms who haven’t been through it yet.

“Oh, you think you’re tired now? Just wait until the baby comes, then you’ll know the real meaning of tired.”

“Oh, you think the sleep deprivation sucks? Just wait until they start teething.”

“Oh, you think the toddler phase is tough? Just wait until they get to be teenagers.”

For Pete’s sake, can we all just call a truce and agree that motherhood is HARD? For everyone? At every stage?

The whole damn thing is hard. From conception to when your kids finally leave the nest to when your kids have kids to when you’re on your fucking death bed and your kids want to know if they’re in the fucking will.

Believe me, there’s plenty enough “hard” to go around, for all of us.

It’s just hard in different ways. At different times. To different degrees. For different people. What’s hard for you might not be hard for me, and vice versa, but it doesn’t negate the fact that it’s hard. Believe me, there’s plenty enough “hard” to go around for all of us.

Time has a very funny way of coloring the super hard parts from the past and making them seem a little less hard in comparison to what might be hard right now at this very second. Otherwise, why the hell would we do any of this? If everything were just permanently hard all the time and we remembered it that way, no one would have kids. No one would survive. Humanity would go extinct.

You don’t need to tell someone that their hard isn’t really that hard. Or that it’s going to get harder. Because, you know what? Maybe it WON’T.

Maybe, because of you, some poor mom will spend the next few months ... or years … or decades … terrified of what’s to come because she’s so worried it’s going to be harder than what she expects. But maybe her child will sleep 12 hours every night from the get-go. Maybe her teenagers will be lovely, attentive, well-mannered pre-adults. (I said "maybe.")

But here’s the kicker: No matter how it all pans out, everything is going to be OK.

*GASP*

I know, right? CRAZY.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's true. IT TURNS OUT OK.

So, how about instead of freaking fellow moms out, we devote a little more time and energy to supporting one another and reassuring each other of this fact>?

And, if for some reason, it doesn’t turn out that way, then telling someone it’s just going to get harder isn’t doing anyone any favors.

You’re just being a fucking dick.

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