39 answers

More of a Vent Then Anything Else... Why Is It So Hard to Be a Mom?

Why is it so hard to be a Mom? Has it always been like this? Was I so ignorant? I knew it was going to be hard and definitely something that would take getting used to. But Wow!!!
I love my boys more than anything in this world. I wouldn't change it at all. I look at my mom and she made it seem so easy when I was growing up. She worked in the house, outside the house. Took too much care of my dad, while balancing it all. How? Even, she says she doesn't know how anymore. She says that I do well. Of course I do.. Not as well as I would like but I do well. My boys are thriving and happy. Discipline, depends on the moment. I hate to see my 3yr old cry but I do place him in the corner when needed.
I think my frustration is that I can't seem to find some balance. I am a SAHM not exactly by choice. Can't find a job that would pay enough that it would make sense to put the boys in daycare. I have always worked. Now I have become exactly what I said I wouldn't. My husband works 2 jobs and I work none. I know I contribute but not financially.
Since, I am SAHM. It's very easy to become isolated. So I made sure I started going out more with the boys. I go to the gym (daycare) and shopping. I don't got to the park alone because my 3yr old doesn't listen so well. It scares me that he'll take off and here I have to go running after him with an 11mo old. Not my idea of I good time. Now, I feel like I have ignored my home.
Err.. It's a venting type of day.. I feel like I don't win. To pay attention to one thing I feel like something else suffers.
Does anyone else feel like this? I feel like I am being penalized. I love to be a mom but I would also like to be able to work and actually bring cash home while having an occasional "hang out" time with out feeling guilt. I'll figure it out eventually.
As I write this and re-read it..it sounds so dumb. Almost like I am ungrateful for my life... I AM NOT! I love it most of the days..It's the of balance and these superimposed ideas of what I should be able to accomplish on any given day.

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

THANK YOU! You ladies are all 100% correct. I know, if I was working I would probably be typing about how sad I am that I don't see my boys. It feels like so much are on our plates. Almost, like we are penalized for wanting to be a Mom. With that said, I would still do it all over again. I have to find a way to be more satisfied with what I do accomplish on a daily basis. It's kind of difficult cause I always have my mom in my ear. She lives with us so it can be overwhelming at times. I can see what she is thinking even without her opening her mouth. She thinks that I dilly-dally a lot and therefore don't accomplish more. Sometimes, I do.. like today. But, whatever...
Thank you for your suggestions and just reminding me that I am not alone. It is easy to think that you are the only one that thinks a certain way when you are constantly behind 4 walls or only have conversations with babies. I fell better already. Thank you again.

Featured Answers

I will never forget the conversation I had with my Mom about 3 years ago. I was holding my newborn son and trying to feed my 15 month old daughter...and demanded, "Why didn't you TELL ME how hard this was going to be????" She gave me the warmest, most understanding smile and calmly responded, "Sweetie...you wouldn't have believed me." After taking a moment to think about this, I realized she was right. I would have *never* believed her -- you just don't know how hard this is until you actually are living it.

You are not definitely not dumb or ungrateful. So much of this job is not fun. You are a GREAT Mom!! Hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful

Yeah, I could have written practically have written you post a lot of days. My kids are 4 and 17 months. Getting out, even just to the park or grocery store, helps a lot. I was given the advice by an older parent to get out every day with little kids and when I try and do that I feel in a better mood and the kids are less crabby.

BTW my older child is a boy and full of energy. I had a leash for him as a younger toddler. Between the ages of 2.5 and 3 he learned that if he wanted more freedom he had to stay with me or be on the leash or in the stroller. I was pregnant at the time and spent the whole 9 months teaching him this lesson to save my sanity later (he learned this but the potty training didn't take until later).

I wish I had some answers for you, but I feel the same way you do. Sometimes I feel like I am going to lose it. Sometimes I yell at my kids, and then feel guilty. Part of it is that they push my buttons, and part of it is just that I'm exhausted and grumpy. I can't catch up--I feel like everything suffers. Probably the worst is my self-esteem and sense of self. Sorry, I'm just venting. Just know that you are not alone. I look forward to reading the responses.

More Answers

I can't speak for all moms in general, but I can speak for myself and my girlfriends who are moms - WE HAVE ALL BEEN THERE!

There are days where I am at my wits end. There are days where I literally watch the clock for nap/bed time. There are days where I go in the bathroom and cry and ask for the strength to get through that day. Then at the end of those days when I lay in bed, I feel so guilty for feeling that way. And I thank God for giving me 2 healthy, beautiful boys!

I do the same thing you do. How the heck did my mom do it? Working 3 jobs, still having a hot healthy meal on the table, getting us to all of our activities, keeping a clean house! I have been trying to clean the floors for 3 weeks - just haven't gotten there. And you know what I decided...screw it, I'm getting the house keeper back (I had one when I was preggo, but stopped it after the baby...BIG mistake).

I think we have to choose our battles with the kids, and choose which things we really need to stress about. I WILL not stress about the house anymore - I'm hiring the cleaning lady back. I WILL not stress about my almost 2 year old not wanting to get dressed. I don't care if he walks around in his diaper all day...we aren't going anywhere!

Keep you head up mama and know that you are not alone in how you are feeling right now.

4 moms found this helpful

M., It is OK to feel the way you feel. Nobody said that being a mom would be easy. It is not. Every mom goes through this phase and not just once, several times. Being a mom is a wonderful "job", but the most difficult in the world. Your feelings and worries will pass.
We, moms, always want to be "super" moms, balancing everything in the house, husband, kids, chores, "me" time (if there is any...lol!), friends, neighbors, appointments, and so forth. But the reality is that we are NOT super, we are human beings ...and great human beings who have the responsibility to raise another human beings. Wow.., that takes a lot of our energy!
Don't let these feelings and concerns ruin your happiness and peace, just be strong, take a walk with someone, go to the cinema, to the pool by yourself or best friend....do something to recover energy and rest..this helps a lot.
You are doing a great job and it is normal to feel this way. It seems that it will never pass, but believe me..it will. I was there, I have been there, and there will be always something that will make your day better.

"Peace doesn't mean to be in a place where there isn't noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." (Unknown)
Take care

2 moms found this helpful

As you say, you are just venting out your frustrations. It is very clear to me you come from a working woman to a SAHM ( not by a choice) one. Take it easy, It is hard to be a full time mom and I am with two boys exactly you kids ages. However, do not pressure yourself to much about daily task to be accomplished. Try to organized your week, like you did at work. Assign few task to do every day without having to do thousands at a time. Now, my husband works at home and he helps a lot. He just found out yesterday with my 3 1/2 boy who does not like to leave any place by "motu proprio" that a fenced park at the local church is great. Just very few kids that occasionally show up and very clean and and safe. You are right about the isolated part of SAHM moms. However, don't you have friends you can call to visit or hang out with? My personal case is that I have very few friends and I am not crazy about others. My old boy is very social and he likes to interact with others easily and he is good playing by himself, too. If you want to socialize with other moms, check up a local Meetup, or the local parks in your area. Meanwhile, keep applying for jobs until you find something you like. I thinks that although moms that work at home do not get formally pay, but have their allowances, are having more to do than those who work in a formal job from 8 to 5. I have no schedule, I normally go to bed around 11:00 p.m and do like a lot my responsibilities as a full time mom, but understand you perfectly. It is not easy to be a full time mom, it is very hard and challenging, but overall is very rewarding.

2 moms found this helpful

You are not being ungrateful. Balance is hard for many, myself included. Being a SAHM is a dream for some, for others we do it because we have to and try and make the best of it. You don't have to love every second of it, just appreciate the special moments. A lot of the time I feel like I have lost my identity, or that I'm not doing enough with my life. I know caring for my daughter is important and later I am sure I will not regret these years but right now it is hard to have perspective sometimes.
I have been trying to cut down on isolation by going to meetup groups (go to meetup.com) where I can talk with other moms, let my daughter play, and get out of the house. Sometimes we all discuss a book, or go see a movie, or go for a walk with strollers. It helps sometimes. Other times I just miss being a part of a work environment, having coworkers to commiserate, celebrate, and cooperate with. At home with my daughter, I am the one to commend myself on my success and appreciate all my work. My husband and family do too, but in the moment, like when my daughter took her first 1.5 hr nap, it was me patting myself on the back.
I never thought I would be doing what I am doing, I even spoke out against it, but things change and I can change with them.
I benefit a lot from volunteer projects I work on. Making a few calls here, or attending an event every once in a while helps me feel connected to the outside world. And I am able to bring baby with.
But in the end I am constantly having to remind myself to measure how I am doing by the health and happiness of my daughter instead of how my house looks, how in-shape I am, or how much my husband liked dinner last night.

Oh and just an idea- maybe you could get a back pack carrier thing for the 11 month old so you could go to the park? A friend of mine has 3 kids- 3.5, 2, and 10 mos (yowzer) and she puts the youngest in an ergo carrier on her back so she can push the other two in the swings, or watch them on the slide.

1 mom found this helpful

No advice from me, simply as one over-stressed mom to another, hang in there and know that you are going to make mistakes and feel overwhelmed. We all do. Don't beat yourself up over it. I once heard Michelle Pfieffer, the actress, tell a story about how when her children were little she would put $1 in a jar everytime she made a mistake with them as a parent. She said when they turn 21 she plans on giving them the jar and saying "This is for therapy - I did the best I could". A joke I am sure, but the point is well taken.

1 mom found this helpful

I know exactly how you feel! I get frustrated that I can't give 100% to everything. I have to chose and that's frustrating. I love all my kids and couldn't do without any one of them, but I sometimes think I should have stopped at 2 kids because I could give more of myseslf and be a better mom, wife, daughter, person, housekeeper...The guilt and the feeling of being stretched too thin never ends. I get bored and isolated at home and I even feel guilty for feeling that way because I should be thankful for the opportunity to be home with my kids. I worked steadily since I was 15 and got married at 27, so I was really used to bringing in money and to not bring in money makes me feel really insecure.
I think the world has changed and it makes us feel like we are up against so much more than our parents where up against. We have worries about keeping our kids safe that our parents never worried about. It's overwhelming.

I'm rambling. LOL. But, yeah, I feel the same as you!

1 mom found this helpful

Dear M.,

Relax and take a deep breath. I am older now, back in the workplace, and my kids are 21, 18 and 16. And I felt EXACTLY like you when I had to quit work because it didn't make sense for me to continue working. I had always had high praise for the SAHMs because I wasn't sure I could do it, but then found that I had to.

So many days I was frustrated and overwhelmed. But eventually I made it through. For people like us, we get our self-esteem from our jobs, and from getting a pay check that validates our hard work. We get performance reviews that validates our hard work. We get results from the work we did to also validate. It is so hard to stay home and do the hardest job in the world, do it well, and get no validation. That is, except when you reach out to other people who notice, or let us tell you here that..

... you are doing a wonderful job! Keep it up!! I promise to double your pay in your next paycheck!!

Keep looking in the mirror and reminding yourself what a great job you are doing, keep your chin up, and know that time goes on. Please keep remembering who you are, so you can be you, just in a different job for now.

With lots of love and admiration for you,


1 mom found this helpful

Wow - you really struck a cord here! I feel the same way. I am amazed, SHOCKED really at how hard being a mother is. I expected it to change my life, but in the back of my mind maybe I thought it would sort of go back to normal after a little while. So wrong! But it is a dream come true for me. You've gotten some great answers so I won't reiterate, but just wanted to pose one question:

How about part-time work that just covers day-care costs? I know it sounds crazy to work just to pay for daycare, but sanity is worth it. Therapy is way more expensive! And, staying employed even just on a very part-time basis might ease your eventual transition back to work if that is what you want. People might think it's crazy, but that's one thing motherhood has taught me - to finally not care what others think.

I guess it boils down to how we each want to live, what our circumstances allow, what we feel we need personally and what is best for our families. I'm right there with you trying to make sense of this new extremely full life.

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