The Ugly Truth of Being a Mom

So, today my daughter, Izzy, turned 11 weeks old. I thought it fitting for me to publish my first blog post today. But before I get into my story, I feel I have some explaining to do…

To many the title of my blog and this post may seem harsh, bitter, almost blasphemous. And I want to assure you this blog is not intended to offend or undermine the miracle that is children and the joy a parent receives throughout that child’s life.

However, there is two sides to every story, and I think it is safe to say that bringing a child into this world and raising it to be a decent human being is not always roses and unicorns. Some days are horrific, especially in the beginning, and on those days any parent who says they do not think at least one of these thoughts: “I wish I could run away.”; “This suxs!”; “Why on earth did I do this to myself.” – or my personal favourite – “FML”; is lying to you and themselves.

I started this blog to not only vent my own feelings, but show what I have discovered as the flip side of the coin of parenting. No-one can prepare you for how hard it is. It is the hardest thing you will ever do because there is no training for it, there’s no manual to learn, no guru to rely on, no wikihow, no right or wrong answer because there is no definitive answer for anything. Why? Because every single one of our journeys and experiences are unique, every baby/child is unique, so what worked for one won’t necessarily work for another. And to make it even harder what worked for you on Monday might not work again on Tuesday.

This constant state of flux and constant trial and error means that being a parent is not always fun, because nobody really likes to be tested everyday of their lives without the opportunity to study the course material and be confident they know if not all, at least 80% of the answers.

What I have learnt over the past 11 weeks is that no-one has all the answers, most don’t even have 20% of the answers. Everyone (even the mom who looks like she has her shit together) is doing this parenting thing through trial and error, experimentation, gut instinct and a whole lot of contradictory advice from multiple sources.

If any of this sounds familiar, take comfort in knowing you are not the only one out there who feels this way. There are more of us out there than are willing to let on, but not having all the answers doesn’t make you a bad mom. Because a good, no a great, mom is the one that, despite not knowing the answers, never gives up trying to ace the tests that each day of being a mom will throw at you.

11 Comments

  1. Suzette

    The only faint light at the end of the tunnel is the knowledge that it will pass ( doesn’t mean that you will not get tested in other ways than you already have been) and that the happy times and experiences will outnumber the difficult and exasperating ones ……. promise 😁🤗

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  2. Jan Turner

    In reference to your story about your experiences with PPD. My response to the article is below as well as another woman who commented on my comment.

    I 100% understand this story as I lived very similarly with my first born. However, I was on the side of a mountain, completely alone while my husband worked everyday out of town. So, the part where she says, ‘I stopped and called my psychiatrist’ really made me frustrated…that’s where I stopped. How many of us have that option?! I didn’t. I still don’t….even with insurance I cannot afford it. I’m glad you were able to get help. However, there are too many of us that cannot. Maybe someone needs to write the story of how some of us do kill ourselves because we have no help, and how others of us just exist the best way we know how without help. There is a stigma of being poor, and mentally ill, and there is very little help for those folks.

    Also the part where he psychiatrist recommends a night nurse so they get one. Most people could not afford that. If I could have, it would have changed my whole experience for the better. I also could not afford a doctor visit because the co pay was too high with only one income for the household. Money doesn’t buy happiness but it sure helps.

    Elizabeth Hutzler, Amen to that!!! I actually did finish the article and read the hired nurse part🙄 Her solutions were awesome, but not realistic in the worlds of the majority of women.

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    1. theuglytruthofbeingamom

      Hi, it has taken me a long time to respond as I needed time to think about how to respond. If I had responded immediately it would have been an angry response and thereafter a wounded response.

      So, here is my cool headed response; every mom’s story is different and I never ever claimed to have the worst go of it. I was merely sharing my personal experience and story never intended it to be representative of all mom’s stories. I also never intended to provide any of my strategies as solutions for others, my intention was to comfort women who may also have the dark feelings and show them there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am blindingly aware of the privileges I was afforded. But some context must be acknowledged, I do not live in the US, I live in a third world country where a large portion of my salary goes to private medical insurance so I can afford to access private medical care – government funded health care is in crisis and if I had had to use the state system my story would have been a very different one. So again I am acutely aware of my privilege. I agree we need more stories of different moms experiences with PPD as the conversation is far too shall. I urge you to write your own story and share it , the more we do the more represented everyone’s experience will be. I hope this response has given you the answers you were seeking. Please feel free to share and add to and get others to share their experiences. The more we talk and share our stories, the less one sided it will be.

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  3. Tales From Mamaville (@MamavilleTales)

    This post – and your blog itself – is spot on! Motherhood is, at the same time, the most amazing experience in the world and also the most challenging. It’s a heady mix of physical exhaustion, emotions, mum-guilt and everything in between – and that is the ugly truth that also needs to be revealed. Great to have you on the #itsok linky, because #itsok to feel that way as a mother.

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  4. mummyofasquarepeg

    After having my first son, I was genuinely in shock! I kept asking myself ‘Why have I done this?’ It is without doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done and now my youngest son has autism so that’s thrown another planner into the works. #ItsOK

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  5. Shelley Whittaker

    My daughter is almost two and I still have days that I want to run away or wonder why I inflicted this upon myself. But you are very right in saying that everything will pass and there is always a new challenge around the corner. I’m sure you are doing a stellar job and are in fact a great mum! x

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  6. Tracey Carr

    You know I never thought of it that way until you pointed it out – that being a mum involves being tested every single day only you don’t get any time to study or prepare. It’s so so true. When I think about it like this it probably explains why I have found it so challenging at times because I always had to be 110% prepared for every exam I ever sat but nothing in the world could have prepared me for being a parent and I do not cope well with not being prepared…It is a great point to make and I admire your honesty #itsok

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  7. Lily

    Ladies, I read a beautiful message written many years ago by a mom just like us that was a reminder that all the pain we are experiencing with lack of sleep and chronic fatigue would one day be over. Because for everything that happens with our kids, there will be a last time. Last time we’ll tuck them in because they are too grown, last time we’ll kiss them in front of their friends and so the list goes on. Trust me right up to the day they leave for varsity we will single handedly be playing our Mummy roles. May you always wake up and look in the mirror and remind yourselves of how special you are that sleep deprived as you are, you are still able to prepare a decent meal for the family, change a nappy properly and smile at them all, despite your puffy eyes and make up-less face. Wear your crowns with pride you beautiful women and know your jobs don’t go unnoticed, well by those of us who share the name Mom because we see each other at the supermarket in your mismatched shoes and we see ourselves in you and smile
    because we know “I am not alone”

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