Mom confessions: the ugly truth

by Tsholo Maluleke
Mom confessions: the ugly truth
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Are we allowed to say we hate being a mom or we are limited to just an off day? Parenting is a case of trial and error, crossing your fingers and toes and hoping that it works out well, agreed a few moms I spoke to who unashamedly revealed the ugly truth of motherhood. By Tsholo Maluleke

For many women, the excitement of becoming a new mom is almost inevitable. If you’re not showered with endless books, shows and social media all pushing the narrative of how happy your life is about to really be, then it’s the people around you, telling you how a healthy baby is the missing piece to your puzzle of life.

When these expectations are not met, the reality stings and can often breed a seed of resentment. But how can such a magical and divine experience be anything but joyous? I mean, moms are the home, the feeling at the end of a long day and faultless beings who do it all – with a smile and poise of course.

Moms often share the same if not similar sentiments but do not always have the room or space to articulate them publicly. “I only share my downs when I can see it starting to affect my child’’, one mom says. This already tells you that the truth of the journey is hidden behind the cute posts, matching outfits and endless captions.

What could a mom possibly not like about being the most influential person for a little being? “It’s definitely the fact that there’s no break, mom of one Awande Nkosi says, “constantly mothering, no in-between breathers.” Life events can be so overwhelming and non-stop  and  with the added responsibility of a child, the wheels can easily come off.

It doesn’t just end when the child is in infancy stage, it’s the “not listening and the tantrums, back chat, attitude and  ignoring you…”, says Daniella Bowen, mom to a six-year-old baby girl. “I must say that the baby stages were a dream as all they do is lie there and be cute and not talk back. At times, it’s very emotionally draining, I have screamed, cried in the shower and felt like I was having a panic attack”, adds Bowen.

Most adults will not tolerate this behaviour from anyone, but with your kid, it’s expected that you do because you are Mom after all.

“The thing I really struggle with most is not having any me time. It’s probably worse because I’m a single mother, but they seem to become less needy as they grow up,” shares Christine Davies, a mom who has decided to focus on a holistic life, beyond just being mother.

“It’s more challenging now as I work full time, enjoy my job, and then pick the kids up from school and start my second job of feeding, bathing and putting them to sleep. And at the same time worrying about everything from play dates to developmental milestones and tummy aches,” Davies adds.

Moms have to be aware of making decisions that that will not only affect the now, but ultimately set the foundation for their child’s future life. “I had absolutely no parenting experience before falling pregnant with my son, so I never knew how to handle situations when it comes to my child’s well-being, “ says Ndilisa Jordan, single mom to a three-year-old.

Mom guilt - the ugly truthAnd as if that’s not enough “mom guilt is real!” exclaims Jordan, “it hits me when I feel like buying myself something, perhaps a pair of shoes – it’s crazy!” she explains. Taking time for self and prioritising our needs is acceptable.

“You’re not the first to feel this way, and you’re definitely not going to be the last. You might have many more days like this, and it’s okay. Where possible, reach out for help, and a breather.” Awande Nkosi advises.

So, how do we normalise or at least accept the truths around motherhood? Is it a matter of challenging the narrative that has been set or finding ways to better tell the motherhood story? There need not be so much shame around the ugly truth of motherhood?

Every coin has two sides and by virtue of this, we can anticipate there will be uphill battles. Let’s allow moms to receive the help, support and love without asking or seeking for it. Perhaps then we can move to a place where books, social media posts and conversations are candid and a genuine preparation for the life-long journey.

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1 comment

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