8 Hard Realities About Motherhood That They Don’t Tell You

8 Hard Realities About Motherhood That They Don’t Tell You

Today I fulfilled a ”Motherhood” obligation. I took my kid to get
one of his vaccines. The receptionist at the clinic was a kind lady that has
always welcomed my kid with a salutation. Today, however, she is
juggling our chit-chat with long glances at the reception’s TV set.

Intrigued, I ask her why she is so keen to follow, and she
explains. The previous episode had aired on her day off. While she should have
been resting and doing things she loves on such a day, she can’t because her
two boys now have unchallengeable ownership of her TV and remote controls. To
boot, the duo dictates what she does with all her free time. I sympathized with

Before the birth of my kid, I did not have a complete account of
what motherhood was about. All I had were collected snippets of a glorious and
fluid fate that I would be insane to want to escape. My perception of
motherhood was flawed.

On the dangers of a single story, Chimamanda Adichie schools us beautifully on why it is dangerous to have a single
perception as I had. She notes “how impressionable and vulnerable we are in
face of a story.’’ had I known a few hard realities about motherhood before, I
might have been better prepared for parenting.

Motherhood is Life-transforming.

Once you cross that line, there is no going back. Motherhood
is a lifetime job. Forget the weekend Netflix and chill, or random romantic
getaways. Even if you could, your mind will not allow you an escape.

Your children’s needs will take precedence over yours. you
will be running on someone else’s schedule now henceforth. Any mother you know,
working or not, has devised a coping mechanism that helps her balance
and maintain her sobriety.
Indra Nooyi in an interview on
parenting hilariously offers a few tips on how she manages to be CEO of PepsiCo
and be a non-appreciated mom and wife.

Until Their First Birthday, Your Sleep is Unguaranteed.

Children take up your time, your bed space, and your sleep.
In their first month, your anxiety will be your undoing. You will be peeping
into their cot every few minutes listening to their breathing patterns,
terrified about SIDS. When that phase passes, you will be holding your infant
every 2 hours of your life for rocking and nursing, because, well; you have
already taught them bad sleep associations. Double trouble if they decide to be
pacified by your boob throughout the night.

Sleep deprivation has been associated with depression and
worsening cases of post-partum depression in new mothers by caregivers. It’s no
wonder why a number of parents resort to challenging sleep training methods
like CIA.

Your Marriage Will Be Tested.

Asides from the fat budget, it is startling that your
well-intentioned auntie will forget to mention the constraints that having
children will put on your marriage. But the truth is, no one can exert
entitlement as much as a child does. And you, the mother, will be the first
recipient of all their demands.

Unlike the dad who can bailout for a weekend with the boys,
nature will have your life and that of your children so entwined that none of
you will feel capable of surviving without the other. Your partner and you
might have never conflicted before, but unless he is fully committed to role
sharing, he will earn your resentment for his mare ability to mentally check

Sex Takes a Back a Seat.

For you first, and because, one, your child-birth experience
might lower libido. Two, you will no longer have much time for it, or three,
all the physical and mental draining will leave you feeling all too touched

After delivery, your doctor will forbid the act for at least
6 weeks, a time duration that your body will require to heal from perineal
lacerations. While the occurrence of these tears is common in vaginal
deliveries, they are rarely talked about. In case your child came through a
cesarean, your stitches will be too raw for your mind to conjure up anything

Secondly, some partners who accompany their wives to the
delivery ward get too traumatized by the experience to want to ‘hurt’ them
again for a while.

Irrevocable Body Changes.

One day you will catch your reflection on the mirror and be
awash with a realization, “This is what has become of me.” Your once perky
breasts will have surrendered to gravity with admirable grace. And the stretch
marks battle that you had thought won will be mocked by a giant web that hid
under a mommy pooch too prominent it obstructs your feet.

Another way that your body will show displeasure of
motherhood is through joint popping and pain that can even worsen postpartum.
Although it can heal with treatment, your bones will start to religiously send
you little reminders of pain and noise in different parts of your body like
your fingers, pelvis, and knees.

Your Baby Evolves Too Fast.

You will be hawk-eyed every waking second and yet unable to
notice the time when your child changes from a sweet cuddly angel to a
little shrieking
monster that terrorizes everyone in the house. Your child will undergo
different stages in growth and each stage will test you differently. In some
stages, you will learn, and just when you start getting comfortable winning,
you will lose terribly because your child will already have changed to a
different person.

You Will Also Evolve.

Conventional wisdom is that mothers are strong and will fight
to the end of the world for the sake of their children. That is true.
Motherhood tends to unveil different strengths within you that you would never
have thought existed. Like the ability to love one self-absorbed individual so
much and unconditionally that you cannot imagine a life without them. Or how
you can sleep so little and still be functional.

Your ability to speak up or be assertive will also get a
boost and you will be incapable of holding your calm in a situation where you
perceive the rights of your child threatened.

Your Friends Will Change.

Old friendships will no longer serve you and neither will
you be indispensable to them. You will find yourself opening conversations with
‘’ Can you imagine what my son did today…” and that can be boring to anyone
without a son to compare with. You will be starting new friendships with
questions like, “Is that your first?”

One day, you will be balancing tears on the streets,
wrestling a toddler on tantrums, and will want to follow home the elderly lady
who will walk to you and whisper, “Just let him be. It’s not worth your peace.”
You will start viewing such life-saving strangers as your friends.


My kid is barely two, and yet so far, I have a list of hard
realities I have learned all by myself. I love him more than I can love myself
and yet still, I experience an ambivalence.

Glorifying motherhood by telling only the nice stories tends
to put one on a pedestal where a mother’s most appealing resort is
selflessness. The painstaking efforts you will employ to raise healthy,
disciplined, and well-balanced children will be erroneously attributed as a
default to your sex. The common notion has been that motherhood is divine and
should not or cannot be a source of exasperation to a real woman. This belief
is untrue.

Before you use guilt to cover yourself up like a safety
blanket, remember that parenting is not a single person’s affair. As a mother,
you will experience constant failures, and that does not make you a bad mother.
The team that you hold close should consist of people who understand and
accepts that you too have limits. Your support system should be people who
value caregiving and don’t interpret caring for another human only as a woman’s

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