What makes Motherhood So Hard?
We all agree that motherhood is not an easy job. Once you conceive and give birth to another human being or sign up for the parenthood of a little one, you are forever committing yourself to the welfare and happiness of that person. You care for them and you provide for their needs – financial, emotional, love, and understanding. In exchange, we expect to get the love, devotion, and the happiness of having our own children.
Mothers are the epitome of love, care, support, and understanding. We are supposed to be forever giving, understanding, and supportive. And we are. Mothers are naturally wired to provide for their young. And motherhood is a lifetime commitment. It doesn’t end after graduation, or when they get married and starts a life of their own.
These are the roots of all motherly trials, challenges, and heartbreak.
We struggle to keep our own identity
Mothers are also persons. Before you became somebody’s Mom, you were a vibrant, happy, and smart young woman. Before you manage diapers, dinners, and housekeeping, you handled people, data, or the world’s future. Before motherhood, shopping for your wardrobe was a serious business, now, the only requirement for your outfit is for it to be comfortable. Letting go of that dynamic personality in care for another person can sometimes bite. We miss being carefree and independent.
We cry when our children cry
We cry with our children. We feel their pain, disappointment, and heartaches. More than our own pains, we feel more for our children. It is true that mothers hurt more than the child. We cringe at their shame, we suffer from their failures, and we cry with their sorrow. We try to prevent failures, pain, and disappointments with discipline, advice and restraint. But, alas, we only come across as naggers, tiger moms, or helicopter parents. We want to, but we will not be able to protect our children from life’s lessons and pains. And so, we let go, and we suffer.
We hurt when children start to break away
Changing diapers is the easiest part of motherhood. Babies are sweet, trusting, and clingy. You can stare at your little bundle of joy and cuddle all day and your only problem is that you don’t have enough time to indulge. Motherhood starts by being needed all the time. Young children adore, unabashedly love, and would like to be around their mother all the time. And when you get used to that kind of devotion, breaking away hurts so bad. It hurts when the child starts waving you off to play with other children, or when the teen starts shutting you off from his or her world, and when adult children start living their own life.
We blame ourselves for the failures of our children
Mothers will always feel for their children. We celebrate their successes and mourn their losses. Failures are the worst because we always end up blaming ourselves for it. Did we choose the right school? Should we have quit working and focused on child care? Have we been too strict or too lenient? Should we have allowed them those overnight parties? Have I taught him enough? Have I been a good mother to my child? When our kids get in trouble, we blame ourselves for not knowing too soon, for not knowing better, and for not knowing at all.
We feel inadequate as a parent
Mothers want the best of everything for their children. The best care, the largest toy collection, the best education, and everything else they wanted. We do not feel enough for our children. We wish for larger incomes to support their needs, more time to spend with them, better fathers to provide support, and better genes! We think we’re not good enough to be role models to our kids. That we are not smart enough, rich enough, or good-looking enough.
We cherish every moment with our children, dreading the empty days of the future
Spending time with your kids is bittersweet. Every mother loves nothing more than spending time, chatting, or just being with her child. As children grow, mother and child moments are shortened, diminished, and become too far in between. Talking to your child could turn from mealtime chatter, to weekly chats, to monthly visits and into a yearly event. We choose to enjoy and relish these moments, ignoring the long wait in-between, and not knowing when the next meeting will be.