Indeed, we are witnessing an honest motherhood fad: many mothers compete to share the most “realistic” image. However, these images are often accompanied by an almost sorry comment: “But it’s amazing and intense, and I’m a warrior, huh, so it’s not a problem for me to shit with my baby in my arms.”
When you see other infants, you may witness the occasional fit of tears, catch the smell of a full diaper, or hear rumours of those mythical sleepless nights. But above all, everything seems excellent.
Most moms tell you about unconditional love, the deluge of happiness hormones, and intense, euphoric joy. Social networks relay this image: how many Instagram accounts of mothers flood us with posts as excessive as adorable images?
So I take up the challenge: here are the not-so-nice sides of motherhood that all new mothers meet but that we never discuss.
Motherhood Is Not Pie
I remember my niece’s first few weeks when she was constantly glued to her mother. I remember crying as she held her against her mother with one hand, with a plate of tortellini in the other. Like what? She was kind enough to give me time to make pasta. But she needed to be carried or fed as soon as her mother sat down to eat them.
A year later, she is independent and mainly takes care of herself (except when she is teething). Now it’s up to me to run after her, as she finds flaws in my baby’s safety features. When her mother tries to find a moment for herself or works a little on my computer, she needs to participate, preventing me from doing anything.
We Take Everything For Ourselves
In addition to motherhood’s physical and manual side (rocking and doing several things simultaneously), you have to rely on emotional vertigo.
Because comparisons, comments and judgments necessarily accompany motherhood. The following examples bear witness to this.
“She’s funny little for her age, your little one.”
“She only took a 30-minute nap?”
“We need to give him more to eat!”
These seemingly innocent comments are all knives in the heart of a young mother who is already questioning everything.
Why are these seemingly mundane questions so sensitive? Well, your hormones are upside down, you’re exhausted, and you must accomplish the most important life task. Raising a tiny human being into a perfectly functional member of society, who eats well, sleeps appropriately and is not too small is not an easy task.
Sometimes Motherhood Feel Excruciatingly Lonely
What we talk about the least should be what we share the most. It is the irony of motherhood: loneliness. On the one hand, we are always accompanied. On the other hand, this new companion means that everything has changed.
If you have a baby, who seems allergic to sleep, you will desperately try to establish a routine. It means that you will spend about 70% of your time in the dark rocking, feeding, calming and caressing your child.
As with most moms, the contrast between a woman-sociable-who-makes-career and one who spends her day obsessed with sleep (or lack thereof) can be unpleasant. Added to this is loneliness—no more colleagues or friends in the office. Hello, daily trips to the supermarket for anything and everything, to cut the day.
That’s it, it’s said: motherhood can be dirty and brutal and create a sense of isolation. I won’t add a “but it’s so worth it”. It goes without saying. But one should not have to apologize or justify oneself when complaining about the painful sides.
I still want to say one thing: they will subside, the nights will pass faster, and you will feel better overall. Like all challenges, you will also overcome this one. In the meantime, ladies, support each other. Go through this together and never feel guilty about finding it difficult. You are doing very well.