Exposing the Dirty Little Secret of Motherhood
Hey Mama? Do you ever look around at how happy other moms seem and feel like a complete fraud? Have you ever locked yourself in the bathroom to cry and wonder what's happened to your life while your toddler freaks out on the other side of the door? When was the last time you felt like raising your teenager is the shittiest, most thankless job in the world?
The joys of motherhood are a bit of a fairytale sometimes.
In fact, I think there are two types of moms: the moms who have a love/hate relationship with motherhood, and the moms who are lying.
Girl, I have four kids. My love/hate started about 2 months after my first baby was born. It kinda snuck up on me, to be honest. One night, after a couple of months of interrupted sleep, I just felt it. Like, I love this little peanut but I really hate being her mama right now.
Lack of sleep can make moms feel all kinds of ways, and hatred is no exception. By the way, some people say they don’t like to use the word “hate” because it’s too strong. Right now I’m giving those people both of my middle fingers! Who dares to judge how a woman feels after she created, grew and birthed a human being? The worst part about this trend towards censoring motherhood is that first-time moms don't have permission or space to acknowledge that being a mom really sucks sometimes.
Here’s the thing, Mama- I see you.
You had a cute pregnancy and you took all the pictures for the ‘gram. You were killing it in your career; you were a Superwoman and worked until your due date. You’re young, gorgeous and your life is full of possibilities. But Girl, you had your baby and now you’re so unsure of yourself. Nothing feels comfortable, physically or emotionally. You love this tiny, perfect human that you created, but you really don’t love feeling out of control of your life right now, do you? (If you’re not sure whether or not you’ve got postpartum depression, I’ve got you covered: download the free test that health professionals use to diagnose ppd, with instructions HERE)
I’m sorry to tell you that sleep isn’t coming for you anytime soon. It’s ok to feel any way at all about that: sad, pissed off, acceptance. Don’t let those Insta-Moms tell you that motherhood should look like 6 perfect squares on an app- even they hate their lives once in awhile.
I want to give a special shout-out to the moms who are raising rainbow babies, too. Nobody knows love more than a mama who has suffered loss. But you don’t have to love every single second of motherhood. Girl, you’re a little extra-hard on yourself, aren’t you? Feeling so guilty every time you feel unhappiness about your baby or motherhood after everything you’ve been through. But I’m here to tell you- it’s ok! It doesn’t matter how your baby got here, if you’re a mom you’re going to hate your job from time to time. Sometimes, you’re going to hate having other people rely on you so much. Sometimes your kid is going to cry and you’re going to feel a little empty inside. And while you’ll have lots of moments of falling in love with your kids over and over, we can’t possibly expect it to feel like that all the time.
To the exhausted mama who is raising kids of any age- it's ok to wish that you hadn't signed up for this job once in awhile. It's ok to feel an overwhelming urge to run and hide from those amazing, selfish assholes once in awhile.
So what’s a mom to do?
I think it’s pretty simple. I think what we need to do as moms is to get comfortable with these feelings. Did I mention that I have four kids? I still love/hate every one of them, no matter their age. The faster we accept that motherhood doesn’t have to feel like one big dance party through the daisy-field, the better.
Let’s all acknowledge that even if you’re a mom who did months of fertility treatments, even if you navigated the adoption process for years, even if you didn’t think you’d ever become pregnant- you don’t have to feel a constant flow of positivity about motherhood. If you’ve been holding yourself to an unrealistic level of happiness you have to let that shiz go now. If you're a seasoned mama who knows a new mom, please tell her it's alright if she isn't loving every second of it.
The best news about accepting all the feels of motherhood is that you're giving yourself the gift of lows. Without them, there are no highs. After all, being a mom isn't all in the peaks, Mama; it's in the valleys too.
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Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!