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I Never Thought it Would Be This Hard to Be a Mom

Photograph by Gettty Images

“Just get them on a schedule,” they said.

“Enjoy every minute when they’re little,” they said.

“Once you have two, you might as well have more,” they said.

“You were made for this,” they said.

One thing I’ve learned from motherhood is to take everything they say with a grain of salt. They think they know everything. They are usually speaking from their own experiences.

It’s hard in every way possible to be a mom: physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, financially.

It’s hard to be pregnant — and, for some of us, it’s hard to get pregnant.

It’s hard to nurse your baby a thousand times a day.

It’s hard to stay on top of everything your family needs of you.

It’s hard to not know what you’re doing and figure it out along the way.

It’s even harder for most of us to admit we are mostly winging it.

It’s hard to not scream when that’s all you want to do.

It’s hard to stay patient while potty training and washing sheets (for what might feel like years).

It’s hard to keep your spouse/partner a priority. It can take conscious effort to keep your relationship thriving after kids.

It’s hard to go years without a solid night’s sleep.

It’s hard to lose social relationships, mostly due to the lack of time to be social.

It’s hard to sacrifice things you want for things your kids need.

It’s hard to raise human beings.

It’s hard to keep your mind sharp when you’re immersed in preschool talk throughout the day.

It’s hard to feel confident.

It’s hard to smile and nod when your mom friends and family members seem to know what you should be doing with your children.

It’s hard to remember yourself as an actual person sometimes.

It’s hard to stay strong.

It’s hard to teach your kids who are being picked on to turn the other cheek, when all you want to do is drive to their school and punch some bullies’ lights out.

It’s hard to juggle work and schedules and mealtimes and carpools.

It’s hard to sacrifice things you want for things your kids need.

Yes, boundaries and routines help. Yes, parenting books and quick tips and tricks help. Yes, having a date night once in a while or planning a vacation can help. Yes, help is most definitely welcomed.

And, yes, unsolicited advice givers, those of us with young ones underfoot are aware that the years are short and this will all be over too soon. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.

Yet ... it’s all worth it. The lines around my eyes and the gray hairs popping through, the miles we drive each week running here and there to teach them and allow them to blossom, the stressful conversations with our partners of how to raise these kids in a money-hungry and fame-crazy society — it's all worth it.

At the end of the day — and at the end of my life — I’d like to think, even though it wasn’t easy, I did a pretty damn good job loving these kids and allowing them to grow into the people they are becoming. Perhaps that's all any of us really need in the end to make it through these never-ending days of motherhood.

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